VET provides a pathway to surprising careers for students like Amanda

This story was first published on Friday 24 April 2020. If you wish to use this content, please contact to confirm that the information is still current.

Vocational education and training, or VET gets students out of the classroom and into the real world, with hands-on experience and real-world skills to help them pursue a wide array of careers.

VET encompasses hundreds of exciting occupations and industries as diverse as biotechnology, cyber security, agriculture, accounting, retail, hospitality and the arts.

When Amanda Woodhams discovered that she could combine her passion for improving and shaping urban ecology with hands-on learning that brought out her best, she enrolled in a Certificate III in Arboriculture.

Arboriculture requires fearlessness, athleticism, balance, technique and the ability to problem-solve at great heights while operating a chainsaw.

“I thrive when I’m learning by doing. By the end of my training I’d climbed to the top of a 54 metre redwood,” Amanda said.

“One day I hope to manage one of Australia’s most significant, mature landscapes. My qualification is an important step toward that goal.”

Now she has finished her traineeship, Amanda focuses on creating educational opportunities for other trainees. She teaches eight students with academic learning difficulties from a local high school once a week.

The program gives students experience working outdoors, and Amanda encourages them to look at vocational training as a pathway to explore.

In recognition of her contribution to skilling Australia, Amanda was awarded runner-up in the 2018 Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year Award.

The Australian Training Awards recognise and celebrate excellence and are an important mechanism for promoting the benefits of vocational education and training. This year, the Australian Training Awards will be held in Melbourne.

Watch the video 


More information

From the Newsroom

Correct at time of publication.