Vocational Education


Approved delegate of the Australian Skills Quality Authority


Vocational Education is for everyone, unlock your future: https://www.myskills.gov.au/career-info/


Further information can be found online via RTO details.

Vocational courses are offered to students in Years 10 – 12. Courses currently being delivered are:

BSB10115 – Certificate I in Business
BSB20115 – Certificate II in Business FLYER
CPC10111 – Certificate I in Construction
CPC20211 – Certificate II in Construction Pathways FLYER
ICA10115 – Certificate I in Information, Digital Media and Technology FLYER
MSF10113 – Certificate I in Furnishing FLYER
SIT10216 – Certificate I in Hospitality
SIT20316 – Certificate II in Hospitality FLYER

Further information on the courses can be found at Training.Gov


Vocational Placements:

Vocational placements are more commonly referred to as Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) Students in Years 10 -12 are encouraged to undertake SWL placements as they provide first hand experiences in the work place and on the job. It is not unusual for students to participate in more than one SWL.

Our staff have many contacts with members of their respective industries and this facilitates excellent opportunities for our students to complete their SWL. SFX Performing Arts teachers have developed strong working relationships with the Canberra Theatre Centre (CTC). St Francis Xavier College and the CTC have developed a program and course work including theoretical practice and classroom learning. The participating students “get involved” under the guidance of the CTC staff in a comprehensive range of performances including the ballet, classic drama, circus, contemporary dance and new Australian theatre.

The Information Technology (IT) staff has strong links with Robocup on a local, national and international level. Business students are heavily involved in the organisation and running of associated events. SFX IT students have proved to be formidable competitors and have participated with significant success at International level.

IT staff are also developing a strong relationship with one of the world’s leading App developers.

Students from the Furniture course have taken out many awards at the Canberra Show, including in the Open sections.

These successful partnerships reflect the quality of training being provided at our College. The College continues to have success at the ACT VET Excellence Awards. Students regularly make it to the finals and on occasions have won their section.


Trades Training Centre:

In 2012 the Canberra Region Pathways Trade Training Centre was established. St Francis Xavier College along with, St Mary MacKillop College, Merici College, St Clares College and Canberra Institute of Technology, make up the consortium. The objectives of the Trade Training Centre (TTC) are to:

  • address local and regional skills shortages in traditional trades and emerging industries by improving the relevance and responsiveness of trade training
  • improve student access to trade training facilities that meet local and regional industry standards
  • improve the quality of schooling offered to secondary students undertaking trade-related pathways in the local communities
  • assist young people in the local community make a successful transition from school to work and further training

The TTC has been purpose built and is well equipped to deliver construction, furniture and hospitality qualifications. Facilities include a computer lab, meeting room, fully functional work room, machinery room, store room and a commercial kitchen.

By providing students with vocational pathways from Year 10, SFX students not only receive quality training but also ‘taste’ the world of work through Structured Workplace Learning opportunities and one-off events. SFX College has hosted ‘Try a Trade Day’ in conjunction with Canberra Institute of Technology and the Canberra World Skills Competition for Construction. One of the SFX World Skills construction participants was placed first and went on to compete in the 2015 National World Skills Competition in Perth.

Construction students have built cubby houses, chicken coups, dog kennels and rabbit hutches, that now can be found in backyards across the ACT and NSW. The high demand for these is testament to the skill level of the students and the quality of construction. Every year furniture items designed and built by students are entered in the Royal Canberra Show Competitions with many prizes being collected. In 2016 a senior student took out first place with his hand crafted table.

Year 10 Construction students, under the guidance of their teacher, have donated their time and newly acquired skills to build raised vegetable gardens for Marymead. Marymead is a community based not-for-profit organisation which supports vulnerable and disadvantaged children and families.

In order to assist students to make successful transitions and address stereotypes, SFX executive recently invited a past student who is running her own electrical business to address an Awards Ceremony. A staff member’s daughter has also shared her journey working as an engineer in the construction industry.

In 2017, John Paul ll College will be delivering furniture and hospitality qualifications to their first Year 11 cohort. St Francis Xavier College will be their Registered Training Organisation under the auspices of the Canberra Region Pathways Trade Training Centre.


Australian School Based Apprenticeships (ASBAs)

SFX has a successful track record with ASBAs. Generally ASBAs roll into a full Australian Apprenticeship when the student completes Year 12. Over the years our students have been nominated for and won the ACT Australian School Based Apprentice of the Year. The slide show at the top of this page includes our current ASBA students in their work place.

What is an Australian School-Based Apprenticeship (ASBA)?

An ASBA offers students, 15 years of age or over, the opportunity to achieve a nationally recognised vocational qualification by combining paid work and training as part of their education program.

An ASBA fits within a student’s study program whilst at school and can count toward their ACT Senior Secondary Certificate.

Training is provided by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). This may be the school, CIT or a private provider.

To be eligible for an ACT training contract an ASBA must:

complete a minimum of 11 hours per week and a maximum of 20 hours per week if undertaking aCertificate II qualification. This includes eight hours of work and three hours per week of structured training

complete a minimum of 15 hours per week and a maximum of 20 hours per week if undertaking aCertificate III qualification. This includes 12 hours of work and three hours per week of structured training.

What are the benefits of an ASBA?

Benefits include:

  • valuable experience that provides pathways to future training and employment
  • receiving, on successful completion, a nationally recognised vocational qualification along with the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate
  • providing students with an opportunity to get a great head start in their career.

How to get started?

Students need contact the SFX VET and/or Careers Coordinator and advise them of their intention to do an ASBA. The SFX VET and/or Careers Coordinator will assist the student through the process. This includes helping the student to secure a work experience placement in the relevant field, through to finding an employer and sign off by our Principal Mr Angus Tulley.

If students are currently employed, they could discuss the possibility of converting their current job into an ASBA.


USI Number:

Students enrolled in a VET course require a USI number as of January 2015. Certificates and Statements of Attainment cannot be issued to students unless a USI number is provided to the College. Please read the USI fact sheet for more information. USI numbers can be created via the USI web site www.usi.gov.au


Why Vocational Education?

Australia’s vocational education & training (VET) sector continues to deliver excellent results and outcomes for its students, industry and the economy at large.

Yet, among the Australian public, perceptions surrounding vocational education continue to be widely out of step with the reality of the sector and its achievements.

Sandwiched between debates about university deregulation and private vs public school funding, vocational education all too often is relegated to forgotten child status, struggling to gain the media attention required for the public to understand VET’s unique abilities and ambitions. Further, the current overemphasis on academic and university pathways means VET pathways are often not given due consideration by high-school leavers.

As such, public awareness and recognition of the crucial role that VET can play and is playing—in training the Australian workforce with the skills required to grasp future industry opportunities— is poor.

When compared with employment outcomes for university graduates, VET continues to produce superior results, and has proven itself to be a more flexible, accessible and adaptable platform for educating and skilling Australians than university education. Importantly, given the rising cost of formal education, VET is also a more cost effective training option for both businesses and individuals.

If we are to ensure that young people, parents and educators are aware of the breadth and depth of opportunities available through VET programs and pathways, it is clear we need to raise the profile of VET and build community awareness of the employment and career opportunities vocational training can facilitate.

Using a range of local and international data sources as well as real-life success stories, this report addresses some of these pervasive and inaccurate perceptions about vocational education and, also, highlights the importance of including VET pathways in the overall discussion about our nation’s long-term educational strategies and employment solutions.

Nicholas Wyman CEO, Skilling Australia Foundation