Vocational Education Training a path to better job prospects for school leavers

Enrolments in Vocational Education Training (VET) are increasing as high school students turn to strong job prospects in the beauty industry.

A 2008 report by the Australian Council of Education Research (ACER) into VET Pathways Taken by School Leavers revealed that participating school leavers were more likely to succeed in their careers, as they increase their employment prospects and earning power.

For Denise Dean, Director of the Brisbane-based Professional Beauty College of Australia (PBA), enrolments in this year’s VET courses are testament to the increasing popularity of the beauty streams in particular. Ms Dean said that in the ten years her college has been offering VET training, she has never seen such a dramatic increase in applications.

“2009 is our biggest year for enrolments across all streams. We will be offering our first full day of full training to accommodate the demand,” Ms Dean said.

VET enables year 10, 11 and 12 students to fast track a beauty career by completing a range of professional beauty courses as part of their senior certificate. Streams include nails, makeup, professional development and beauty therapy.

According to the PBA, the unprecedented interest in VET training has been attributed to good job prospects in the beauty industry.

“Upon completing the training, students have access to amazing jobs; the students are happy, the high schools are happy and the parents are happy – and it’s great for the industry,” Ms Dean said.

While the courses are popular, Ms Dean said many students are unaware they exist – or that they can be credited towards their education certificate – before they make contact with a career advisor or the college directly.

“Graduates can choose from a diverse range of opportunities in the workforce; from fashion styling, day spa therapy and home salons through to luxury cruise liners and movie sets – but often they don’t know where to start,” Ms Dean said.

VET graduate Monique Gaillard commenced her Certificate Two in Makeup during Year 11 at Cannon Hill Anglican College, in Brisbane.

During Year 12, Ms Gaillard undertook night courses and completed her makeup qualifications, in addition to a Certificate Two in Nail Technology.

“It was definitely a head start; not only did I absolutely love what I was learning, I was able to work in the industry during Year 12 – and I’ve been doing my ‘dream job’ ever since I left school,” Ms Gaillard said.

“I’m so glad I had the opportunity to obtain my qualifications during school, so I could hit the ground running in an industry I love as soon as I graduated.”

At the age of 18, Ms Gaillard now owns her own business, working as a freelance makeup artist on fashion shows, photographic shoots, weddings and formals.

“I love the flexibility and versatility of freelance; there’s no shortage of stimulating work,” she said.

The PBA offers the following VET courses in 2009:
Certificate II in Retail Cosmetic Services
Certificate II in Nail Technology
Certificate III in Beauty Services (leading to Beauty Therapy option)
Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy

For further information, contact: Professional Beauty College of Australia ph. (07) 3210 1455.

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