How can students ready themselves for new employment pathways and trends?

Monitoring the proportion of young people fully engaged in education, training or work provides an indication of how well students are transitioning from education to the workforce.

Effective career guidance in high schools can improve the transition from education to employment for young people, especially for those experiencing any disadvantage. There is an urgent need for high quality, accessible and visible career advice services directly involving industry to be available to school students.

Increased engagement with education, improved employment prospects and an increase in social capital and wellbeing, are some of the many benefits career guidance can bring for students. 

Studies show that if young people can recall four structured career activities across their school life, they are five times less likely to be unemployed or disengaged from education or training (Youth Action & Policy Association, 2017). 

We need to ensure that young people are fully informed about the pathways that best match their capabilities and interests, and those, which are likely to lead to a job.

Current training trends

  • University entry has increased and VET training has declined across NSW.
  • The current reviews on University entries and completions have highlighted quite a high number of students who do not complete their courses.
  • Degree Graduates continue to have the stronger pathway in employment, however, ensuring the correct course selection has a critical effect on completion, costs and career pathways.
  • Additional Vocational training is often sought by employers to help gain industry experience.
  • In 2016, 70.2% of Year 12 completers and 54.3% of early school leavers were in some form of education and training six months after leaving school.
  • Studying a Bachelor degree was the most common form of further education and training among Year 12 completers, with slightly more than half (51.2%) studying at this level.

The need to complete the final year of school has become increasingly important for employment outcomes, with fewer jobs offered in industries that traditionally employed young people without qualifications. However, completing secondary school is not the only option for students, and many young adults choose to complete a vocational qualification instead.

Given this, targets for Year 12 attainment are measured in terms of Year 12 and/or its vocational equivalent in the AQF.

Monitoring these outcomes provides an indication of educational achievement for all young people, and is important for understanding which post-compulsory education pathways are suited for particular groups of young people.

Currently AQF Certificate Level II or above is recognised as the vocational equivalent to Year 12 when analysing educational attainment levels. However, the level is set to change to Certificate Level III or above in 2020 to meet agreed Council of Australian Governments’ specifications.

Students are advised to research career pathways for their field of interest and the areas of growth employment:

  • Try work experience before entering training
  • Make use of family and friends who might be able to put you in contact with someone in the industry
  • SPEAK WITH YOUR CAREER ADVISOR – all Maitland-Newcastle schools can access the “Jobjump” service
  • Compare the quality of the training providers for your industry
  • There is a wealth of information available for students to access information and guidance on employment and career pathways
  • Ask your Career advisor to provide a list of websites for your further search of career areas and how to access the information, which you are seeking
  • Create your own job alerts with the Apps Australian Apprenticeships or
  • Research the financial support available to you for further study.  

Look at the opportunities and trends in your local area:

The local Hunter region is gaining identification as a centre for Advanced Manufacturing and STEM careers. Apprenticeships and Graduate employment in the area is increasing as employers and industry grow in business confidence and opportunities and regional enterprise groups, such as RDA, attract Government support. Find out more about Hunter Regional Development and Australian Industry Group.

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