Vocational education


​​​​​​​​​Connecting school to career transitions

Vocational Education and Training (VET) plays an important role at Cairns State High School helping students move from school to further education, training and employment. VET qualifications are recognised nationally and are industry endorsed.  These courses combine relevant knowledge and practical skills that reflect current industry standards.

The VET Student Handbook version 7_2022 updated.pdf​ has more information. It is advisable to also check updates on the Cairns SHS Careers website​ throughout the year.  

As a Registered Training Organisation (RTO Code 30248), Cairns High is​ able to deliver a range of nationally recognised training packages at Certificate I and II levels. Students are also able to obtain VET qualifications (Cert III or Diploma) offered by external RTO’s. These courses can be studied as part of their timetable in a flexible mode. ​  

Subject information

As a Registered Training Organisation (RTO Code 30248), Cairns State High School is able to deliver a range of nationally recognised training packages at Certificate I and II levels. Policies and procedures at Cairns State High School for VET programs meet the Standards for RTO's 2015

Students are also able to obtain VET qualifications (Certificate I – IV and Diploma) offered by external RTO’s. Some of the School-Based VET programs offered at Cairns High include:

  • ​CUA20720 Certificate II in Visual Arts
  • FSK20119 Certificate II skills for work and vocational pathways (pending)

Students enrolled in VET programs have access the to the VET Student Handbook. This handbook highlights important information for students and in particular refers to the complaints policy.​

Flexible timetable for Year 11 and 12

To assist students in developing their skills for career pathways, Period 1 and 4 on Wednesdays are flexible timetables periods. The options are:

​School to Work

​Independent Study Program

​Timetable Extension Programs

​​This includes:

  • ​School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships

  • Work experience

  • Structured Work Learning

  • Courses and Certificates as required e.g. construction white card, dive course, boat licence etc

  • Home study

​One or a combination of the following:​

  • ​University/TAFE courses

  • Work Experience

  • Structured Work Learning

  • Home study

​The following courses are available:

  • ​QCS Preparation Lessons

  • Music Extension

  • Multi-Arts Studies (Tech Theatre)

  • Multi- Media Arts in Practice(Euroka - school magazine) 

  • Work experience during school holidays

  • subject extensions

  • CISSA sport (Semester 1 only)

Unique Student Identifier​ (USI)

All students enrolled in a VET program must have a Unique Student Identifier (USI). The USI number is issued by the federal government and without a USI students cannot be issued with their qualifications.  Please refer to the USI factsheet​ for more information.​

Third party courses

Cairns State High School utilises the following RTOs (Registered Training Organisations) to deliver Certificate courses to our students. The RTOs are all ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority) approved and comply with the Australian Quality Training Framework.


Aviation Australia

Bluedog Training






​External Providers​

Work experience

Work experience placement assists students in their transition from school to work.  It provides a formal arrangement whereby school students who are at least 14 years old participate in activities at a place of paid or voluntary work. Students in Years 10 to 12 can participate in this program and placements occur during school holidays. 

School-based Apprentices/Traineeships (SATs)

Students in Years 11 and 12 are offered opportunities to become School Based Apprentices/Trainees (SATs). SATs are proving to be a valuable way for students to start their career by combining school with work and training (at Certificate II or III level).  Please visit the Queensland Government School Based Apprenticeship​ and Traineeship website​ for more information.

A-Z List of Apprenticeships and Traineeships (PDF, 77kb) 

Sarah Daggett | Head of Senior Pathways | T 4050 3092 | E ​​​

Last reviewed 22 March 2023
Last updated 22 March 2023