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Making the most of your time at school

Starting back at school can be one of the hardest parts of the year. If you have started back at school and you aren’t loving it, we have some tips to help you make the most out of being there!

One of the best ways to make the most of school is by talking with your career adviser. If you are thinking about changing your subjects at the start of the year it is very important to talk with them. A career adviser might also help you understand what kinds of education or work you want to do after school, with writing a resume and applying for jobs, or to get work experience or volunteering.

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Vocational Education and Training (VET) in school

Doing some vocational learning while you are still at school is a great way to get hands on experience in an industry you are interested in. Your skills and qualifications can lead to further education or employment.

There are a number of ways of doing VET while still at school, and in most cases, completing a VET qualification can give you credits towards your high school certificate. You may choose to do an Australian School-based Apprenticeship, have a VET course incorporated as a subject at school, or do a VET course or part-time apprenticeship or traineeship outside of school hours.

It is best to speak with your career adviser or principle about these different options, to see what your school can offer.

Australian School-based Apprenticeships (ASbA)

An Australian School-based Apprenticeship (sometimes called school-based apprenticeships and traineeships) give you a combination of paid work experience and a vocational qualification, while you are still at school. Just like doing VET in school, you get hands on experience, but with an apprenticeship or traineeship you get paid to work as well!

Your school-based apprenticeship or traineeship can lead to further education, including higher level vocational education and university. Depending on your area of study and the type of further education you do, you might get credits towards further qualifications.

If you are interested in doing an Australian School-based Apprenticeship you will need to talk with your career adviser or school. Find out more about Australian School-based Apprenticeships here.

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Paid work and volunteering

Any work experience, paid or unpaid, will help you learn the skills needed in a workplace, even if you end up working (or studying) in a totally different industry. When you are applying for jobs your work experience will be useful to show your skills and experience.

If you have an idea of what you want to do when you leave school, volunteering or doing work experience in that industry can give you a better idea of what the work is like and whether it really is for you. It can also help you grow your networks; knowing someone in your chosen industry might be a great help in the future!

Work experience as part of your school studies is a great way to get an introduction to a new industry, and to work out whether you would like to study or work in that area. Many businesses will take on work experience students in areas you wouldn’t typically be able to get a job or volunteer in, so get in contact with businesses in your area of interest to see what you can organise.

School subjects

What you learn at school will set you up for further study and work. It is important to make the most of your subjects at school. If you already know what you want to do when you leave school, choose subjects that are going to match well with this. Talk with a career adviser and someone in that industry to work out what is important!

If you don’t know what you want to do when you leave school, your subjects might give you an indication of what you like and are good at. If you like physical education because you love being active and spending time outdoors, this might show that an office job won’t suit you. Talk with your career adviser about study and work options that match your favourite school subjects.

These are just some ways you can make the most of being at school. There are heaps of other resources that can be used by school students, sometimes with the help of a career adviser or other teacher. Take a look at our Career Services and Sites for links to other resources, or try the Work Type Explorer to find out more about career options that might suit you.