VDSS primes secondary students to succeed in study
Each year in August, senior secondary students across Gippsland make plans to supercharge their studies through the VDSS program.
VDSS stands for ‘Vocational Education and Training Delivered to Secondary Students’. It’s a hands-on program designed to give secondary students a head-start in life by completing a nationally recognised qualification while still attending school.
For former VDSS student, Rachael Lawry, it was an opportunity too good to miss.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do for a career when I was in school, but my Dad encouraged me to complete a business qualification because he thought it would be a good addition to my resume,” Rachael said.
“The course covered lots of skills that are useful in any role, like communication, teamwork and customer service.”
While Rachael didn’t go on to work in business, the experience of studying gave her the confidence to take on a higher-level qualification when she decided to pursue a career as a personal carer.
“I felt really good about returning to CCG because I really liked the learning environment,” Rachael said. “The classes are small, you get a lot of support from the trainers and they have such great professional experience to share. The training really prepares you to succeed in the industry.”
Rachael went on to complete two additional qualifications – Certificate III in Individual Support and Certificate IV in Disability. She is now employed in work she loves, providing aged care and home care.
“If someone was considering VDSS, I’d tell them to do it!” Rachael encourages. “It’s great to leave school with further qualifications. It can help you a lot, and you have nothing to lose.”
VDSS Manager for CCG, Gordon Talty agrees. “There are so many benefits to completing a qualification while still in school,” Gordon said.
“Not only does it boost your resume, but it gives you an opportunity to try out potential careers before you commit to a particular pathway. You can build the skills and knowledge that employers look for and experience an adult learning environment.”
VDSS students attend classes at Community College Gippsland on a Wednesday or Friday and participate in their regular school program for the rest of the week. VDSS courses include Community Services, Horticulture, Retail Cosmetics, Salon Assistant and Workplace Skills, all at Certificate II level.