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Opening the door to new opportunities for your child or student

Young teens laying on the grass giving the thumbs up!

For some of you, back to school means packing lunches and sending your children off, for others it may be resource preparation for the horde of students coming in for career advice. Some of you may even do both! All in all, there’s one thing in common between career advisers and parents; the role of preparing children for the future.

Inevitably, the start of school will come with a torrent of why’s, how’s and when’s! The same goes when you start career discussions. Knowing about all the options available to your child and student will prepare you for answering these questions, and will guide your young one in the right direction. Motivate them with your answers and the rest will follow!

Whether your child or student is interested in completing school and going off to university, or they are looking at a hands-on approach to further education, you should familiarise yourself with the many options available through Vocational Education and Training (VET), and how it can help your child or student's journey to a successful career.

Below are some tips for parents and career advisers to help young people explore their options through VET and motivate them to take charge of their career research.

1. Find their passion and nurture it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not knowing what they want to do or why they should do something can really inhibit a student’s motivation to learn at school. The old-fashioned way of telling them to “do this” to become “that” won’t work if they don’t know why.

To help answer the whys, get your child or student to try the Career Interest Explorer. This interactive quiz can help them identify their career interests and strengths in particular areas. It is a great starting point in career conversations and allows your child or student to explore industries and occupations that spark their interest!

Encourage your child or student to watch some occupational videos on YouTube or websites such as SkillsOne Tv. These videos provide an engaging perspective of what an occupation is all about!

2. Show them the way to VET

Once your child or student realises what they aspire to be, they can watch over 200 videos of real apprentices and trainees on the My Gain YouTube channel to get an idea of how these apprentices and trainees found their jobs.

Job Pathways Charts can show your child or student that they aren’t limited to only one occupation. They can show the potential Australian Apprenticeship pathways from Certificate II up to Advance Diploma qualification level. It doesn’t stop there though as your child or student may even get credits for what they’ve learnt when advancing into further education such as university! For training levels and requirements beyond Advanced Diplomas, check out MyFuture’s Career Bullseyes!

The understanding of basic language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) skills is mandatory for most occupations! It would be wise to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your child or student’s LLN levels. For those who want to get an apprenticeship or traineeship, use the Practice Aptitude Quizzes as a non-formal LLN assessment. There are 31 industry-based entry level quizzes to choose from.

For information about how to get an apprenticeship or traineeship, visit the Steps to becoming an apprentice or trainee page.

3. Options to get there while at School

Sometimes, traditional schooling isn’t for everyone, just like how University or TAFE isn’t a pathway for everyone. Below are two options that your child may have at school.

VETis – Vocational Education and Training in schools

These entry level courses are ideal for young people to develop the ‘employability skills’ and some ‘technical skills’ that employers are looking for. They are also ideal if someone is unsure about what they would like to do. Some courses can count towards your Year 12 results!

ASbA - Australian School-based Apprenticeship

You have already heard the phrase ‘earning while you are learning’. An ASbA basically involves doing an apprenticeship or traineeship while at school. Can you imagine being a fully certified Electrician at 20? Or maybe a qualified Business Administrator at 17?

Here are some other ways to motivate and engage your child or student down the right pathway if your school does not have VETis or ASbA options:

Casual Work

Working at the local Deli/Maccas or doing odd jobs like mowing your neighbour’s lawn can really build a person’s character. It helps them learn team work, communication, reliability, how to manage money, and how hard work pays off.

Volunteering

The best way to enter an industry you are interested in is to volunteer! Want to work as a Trainee Veterinary Nurse in the future? Volunteer at a local animal shelter/RSPCA. Interested in Retail? Volunteer in Salvation Army OP shops.  It also looks great on a resume plus all these things gives a young person a taste of the real world.

There are so many opportunities available today that searching for information can be confusing. Career advisers, parents and family are the ones that most young people turn to for reliable advice. This article is only a starting point for career discussions and should be used to encourage young people to do further research on what other options are available.

Other helpful resources for parents and career advisers