Careers & Learning Pathways

There are an infinite number of pathways for careers in the 21st century.


The workplace of the future requires workers with ever-changing skills, necessitating individuals to be motivated and prepared to become life-long learners. No longer will students necessarily have a direct route to further study or remain in one position in the workplace. To this end, Career Education and Vocational Education and Training (VET) specifically empowers Year 11 and 12 students as they transition from school to the many possible pathways through work, travel and further studies. 

Careers Education


Years 10, 11 and 12 students work towards having a better understanding of the many choices available to them and are guided towards being able to make proactive decisions relating to their career development. Year 10 students implement their Senior Education and Training (SET) Plan aided by their Personal Development teacher. All Year 11 and 12 students have a dedicated Career Education class with the College Careers Counsellor where they investigate, explore and are empowered to plot their transition to beyond their secondary schooling. These opportunities culminate in students being able to achieve one QCE credit point in this QSA Subject - Career Development Studies.

Click here to download the SET Plan brochure. 

Vocational Education and Training (VET) offered by Downlands College RTO 30039

Recognised VET programs cater for a broader range of student learning styles. These subjects have nationally recognised certificates, potentially opening up a range of post-school further education, training and employment possibilities and, therefore, fostering life-long learning. Students have the opportunity to gain entry level qualifications to many related traineeships and apprenticeships, affording students a head start towards gaining valuable qualifications. Research consistently reveals a strong relationship between levels of formal schooling and later involvement in further education.

Click here to read the VET Student Handbook 2016 

Other Available Vocational Education


A number of other vocational opportunities are available to students at the College. Downlands fosters a close liaison with many other public and private training providers along with TAFE, Australian Agricultural Colleges, Rural Industry Training and Education (RITE), QUT and the University of Southern Queensland. Students undertake units available, depending on their areas of interest e.g. TAFE units: Hairdressing, Photography, Nursing and university courses e.g. Mathematics, Accounting, Law subjects. 

School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships


Students undertake training with an employer in a structured traineeship or apprenticeship, usually working with the employer one day per week and accessing training, either at the workplace, through subjects at the College, or with a training provider such as TAFE. A Certificate II traineeship or the first year of a Certificate III apprenticeship may be completed during Years 10, 11 and 12, while students work towards their Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE).

This "hands on" approach is encouraged for both OP bound and non-OP students as an opportunity to develop a strong work ethic and gain recognition for applied work skills and also to fine tune options, network with the business community and for their own personal growth.

School-based apprenticeships and traineeships are available in over 600 different areas and are limited only by the availability of placement with an employer and a suitable training provider.

To date, areas have included: Audio Visual, Automotive – vehicle servicing, Automotive – spare parts, Bakery, Butchery, Cabinet Making, Carpentry, Commercial Cookery, Computer Technology, Electro-technology, Hairdressing, Horticulture, Hospitality – food and beverage service, Office Administration, Real Estate, Refrigeration, Retail and Veterinary, just to name a few. 

Industry Partnerships


This year, Downlands College is proud and pleased to be both a Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) and Gateway to Agribusiness school. Involvement in these partnerships brings significant benefits and opportunities for students and staff at the College. The QMEA hosts workshops and develops relationships between the Energy and Resources sector and its member schools. The Gateway to Agribusiness partnership offers similar Agribusiness-related activities to its member schools. 

Industry Placement


Industry placement is available to students studying Vocational Education subjects. Students are monitored and trained on up to a ten day placement in an area of employment that interests them. Experience, business contacts and the possibility of referees are some of the positive outcomes. 

Work Experience


Work experience is actively encouraged during Years 10 to 12 and students may take part in work experience during their holidays or during suitable school hours, as coordinated by the College.

As part of their SET Planning process, Year 10 students have a dedicated week to undertake work experience in a vast array of work sites. This experience gives students insight into career options for themselves, often clarifying areas of interest for further pursuit, and also opening doors for school-based traineeships and apprenticeships.