Are you a student aged 16-19 who hasn't completed Year 11 or Year 12, or equivalent? We offer a wide range of programs for early school leavers, run by our TAFE division, Victoria University Polytechnic.

Victoria University Polytechnic focuses on helping you achieve your immediate goal – whether that is finding work, gaining a trade, or starting a pathway into further education at university.

Senior secondary qualifications

If you would like to complete your Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) outside the high-school system, you can take it through Victoria University Polytechnic.

Completing your VCE can provide opportunities for further study or entering the workforce.

To take your VCE with us, you must be aged 17 years or older and have been out of full-time secondary education for 12 months or more.


Prepare to enter a trade with a pre-apprenticeship course, available to students aged 16 years or older.

A pre-apprenticeship provides valuable workplace experience that helps you develop important job skills and gain a realistic expectation of the work involved in a particular trade. You will receive skills training at Victoria University Polytechnic, as well as work experience with an employer in your trade.

Employers often prefer that you undertake a pre-apprenticeship before they will consider taking you on as an apprentice. It’s a great way to gain a head start in your trade.

Pre-apprenticeship courses

"The teachers put in a lot of work to ensure students gain as much knowledge as possible and I believe that this is one of the main reasons I was able to win the Energy Safe Victoria Award."

Bryce Williamson left school at the end of Year 11 VCAL to pursue a plumbing apprenticeship, and further his studies at VU.

Work education

If you have special needs due to an intellectual disability, our work education program teaches you a range of skills to help you find employment or undertake further education.

Study Certificate I in Work Education to gain community awareness, independence and other skills to improve your employment prospects.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

If English is not your first language, we can help you to improve your language skills in order to find work or continue your study.

We offer English as an Additional Language (EAL) courses to young people from countries where English is not the first language. These programs are designed to help you develop important English-language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Pathways into further education

We have various connections between courses that help you move from TAFE courses at Victoria University Polytechnic through to undergraduate courses (bachelor degrees) at VU. We call these connections between our courses ‘pathways’.

Pathways can put your dream qualification within reach, regardless of your educational background. Many of our TAFE courses are also structured to offer you credit for future study. This means you might be able to finish your next course sooner.

Minimum age to study

VU and Victoria University Polytechnic have set the minimum age at 16 for all courses. This means that you must be aged 16 years or older, or have completed a Year 10 course of study or equivalent, to study with us.

There are some exemptions. Contact VU Polytechnic to discuss your particular requirements.