VET champion living her dream

Sunbury resident Hannah Valenti has been named among the first cohort of VET Champions. (Supplied)

Oliver Lees

Teenager Hannah Valenti has been lauded for her early career success after being named as a VET (Vocational Education and Training) Champion by the state government.

At just 19-years-old, Sunbury’s Hannah Valenti is already employed in her dream job as a youth worker.

Ms Valenti started her first VET certificate in community services while in year 10 at Salesian College, and also completed VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) courses in year 11 and 12.

“VET is really a springboard into the industry,” she said.

“I felt like coming straight out of year 12 I was ready to start in the workplace, whereas I know a lot of VCE [Victorian Certificate of Education] students didn’t feel that way.

“I was able to make quite an easy transition because I already had so much experience.”

That experience included a year of placement at Goonawarra Primary School, where Ms Valenti was able to get a taste of supporting children in a school environment.

Ms Valenti said traditional academic learning didn’t appeal to her, so she gravitated toward the more hands-on, skills-based approach of VET learning.

Now employed as a youth worker at Youth2Industry, Ms Valenti works directly with students looking to make the most of a VET pathway.

“I assist students with social and emotional needs, counselling, assisting with student engagement, mental health check-ins and wellbeing across the school,” she said.

“It was a goal of mine to circle back to help VCAL students. It feels nice to get a bit of recognition because VCAL and VET don’t really get that much.

“It’s important for people to know VCE isn’t the only option, and you can get great results through a VET program.”