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An alternative pathway for VCE VCAL students

As the academic year progresses, staying engaged with studies can be a huge hurdle for many senior secondary students. Transitioning to a less formal and more hands-on learning environment may be the best solution for students to happily continue their VCE or VCAL studies.

The Gordon offers excellent solutions for Year 11 students looking for a fresh start midway through the year. Both programs provide an avenue for students to achieve their educational goals while getting a head start on their careers; the VCE and VCAL programs are worth exploring.

Hannah Dickenson was one of these students, "I didn't want to be at school, but my mum encouraged me to check out The Gordon. My brother liked it there, and I have found it is a great way to prepare for a trade. So I started mid-way through Year 11, and I have not looked back. I'm hoping to be a cabinet maker, and as part of my studies here, I get to work with Breakwater Kitchens. So now I am looking forward to starting my apprenticeship once I finish Year 12."

Gavin Wake, Principal of the VCE and VCAL program, believes The Gordon's approach to learning gives students much more than academic results. 

"We have smaller class sizes, and our programs are delivered in a TAFE environment. This exposes students to multiple trade opportunities while bridging the gap between education and work. With the capacity to combine study and hands-on training in a real working environment, students can make great connections with local businesses and start on their career path sooner.
"As part of their everyday activities at The Gordon, students quickly learn the soft skills of communication, teamwork and time management. These transferable skills set students up to be job-ready as these are the type of key skills employers are looking for"
, said Gavin.

Mid-year intakes for foundation programs, typically for 15 to 17-year-olds, offer students an opportunity to re-engage with their education. These courses have been specifically designed to help students successfully enter Year 11 or transition to an apprenticeship. 

Lincoln Ber, VCAL student - Parks and GardensLincoln Ber started his learning journey in Year 10 with a youth foundation program at The Gordon. 

"It's completely different to normal school. They treat you like an adult and expect us to step up and be really responsible. I like that Foundation was hands-on and that it allowed me to try a few different trades. I am completing Year 12 now, as well as a horticulture course. This has come in handy as I am doing my work placement with Kardina Park. I'm really happy here. I am getting the support I need and really love it!", shared Lincoln.

Mr Wake continued by stating, "We nurture and value our students. There is nothing better than watching them grow into confident young adults as they transition into the workforce or continue to tertiary studies."

If you are interested in completing your Year 11 studies at The Gordon or are looking for second-semester options for Year 10, please contact us on 5246 6350 or visit and take a look at our youth education options.