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GTEC inspires a bright future

Image of GTEC students and teachers

The Geelong Technical Educational Centre is a proven formula for success as students seek an alternate education that prepares them for the workforce and for life. 

Angelica struggled with her schooling, until she stepped through the doors of the Geelong Technical Education Centre.
Commonly known as GTEC, this school with a difference has allowed Angelica to overcome a disrupted educational journey and focus firmly on her ambition of becoming a Zoo Veterinarian.

“I always had trouble settling in at other schools. I never seemed to fit. GTEC is a completely different school. The teachers treat you like an adult and understand that you sometimes have other things going on.” Angelica.

Arriving at GTEC in 2019, Angelica undertook the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL). Frequently referred to as ‘hands-on’ learning, VCAL is a non-academic approach to providing a senior education.
The reserved Year 12 student states, “I love that even though I’m studying Year 12 and completing a Certificate II in Animal Studies as my VET, I have also learned some great life skills.”
The beauty of GTEC for so many students is that it offers VCAL as part of an integrated three part program that provides students with the opportunity to complete a senior secondary certificate in an alternative education setting, while also participating in vocational training and structured workplace learning.
Leesa Hanlon, Team Leader of GTEC, explains, “VCAL at GTEC allows students to explore what success could look like through the development of not only vocational skills but life skills. Our students have left mainstream education for varying reasons, with some students experiencing success for the first time through the GTEC model.”
Providing students with employability skills, VCAL is a proven option for a smooth transition to apprenticeships and further tertiary study.

“VCAL at GTEC is the perfect vehicle for students to gain confidence with their learning, develop real skills for the workforce and achieve a Senior Secondary Certificate. So essentially, when our students leave us, they leave with a skill set that today’s employers are looking for.” Leesa Hanlon

Differing to the more academic Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), VCAL is strongly aligned to Vocational Education and Training (VET). Addressing skill shortages, VET is a vocationally centred learning pathway that provides benefits for employment.
GTEC student, Luca Grapiglia studying Certificate III in ElectrotechnologyGTEC student, Luca Grapiglia, has successfully secured a School Based Apprenticeship while completing his Senior VCAL at GTEC. Building genuine job skills while on placement, as part of a Certificate III in Electrotechnology, Luca declares, “I made the right decision in moving to GTEC. I have been able to experience what it is like in the workplace and found that the practical learning aspect really suits my learning style.”
Luca’s proud fathers shares his sentiments, “Luca was always told school wasn’t for him. The expectation was he would drop out at Year 10. At GTEC, the teachers believe in him. His self-worth has improved and he too now believes in himself.  GTEC has done miracles for my son. He gets up and wants to go to school. This is great for Luca, and for home life as well.”
GTEC offers an inclusive environment where students are fully supported in realising their educational and career aspirations. Ms Hanlon states, “The feedback I receive from students’ parents is that they are continually amazed and grateful to the staff and teachers for the transformation in their child. They are so happy that they have found their place and a future filled with hope and opportunity.”
VCAL and VCE are very different in their framework and approach, but both are equally a significant achievement. At GTEC, students are highly motivated to stay longer in formal learning, achieving a Senior Secondary Certificate.

Images: Top: GTEC students and teachers in action. Below (right) Luca Grapiglia, GTEC student studying the Certificate III in Electrotechnology.