September 3rd, 2022

The role of the parent is so important

There are over half a million students in Year 11 and 12 in Australia, and every one of those students is on the cusp of some serious decision making (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2021). Whether they’ve got a clear idea of what they want to do once school is over, or are just starting to explore their options, almost all of those 500,000 students will be taking input from their parents, carers, or guardians.

Parents are the number one influencer over their children’s post-school decisions, and play more of a role than their teachers, careers advisors, or friends.  Studies found again and again that children were relying on their parents for direction with their post school decisions.

Parents often rely on out-of-date or inaccurate information or their own experiences to support their children, which can be very limiting.

VET is a vital pathway for those who leave school without completing Year 12. Around 75% of early school leavers re-engage with education by the age of 25 — 51% of these through apprenticeships and traineeships and a further 34% through other VET courses

There will continue to be more jobs growth in ‘services’ industries (89%) compared to ‘producing’ industries (11%).

National Skills Week Chair Brian Wexham gives his 10 top practical tips to parents who may be looking for advice on how to guide their children explore options available to them.

  1. Keep an open mind when it comes to opportunities through the VET sector. There a literally thousands of career pathways attained through VET, it’s not as most parents think only about traditional trades.


  1. Think about your child’s personality – what do they love doing, what are they passionate about? Connect your child’s passion with a career outcome. If they are passionate about something they will excel … we can give examples of this.


  1. Do a career/ personality quiz;;;;

Download some fact sheets;


  1. Seek out accurate, unbiased advice: A wealth of information is available for career advice and inspiration including MySkills, Your CareerCareers NSW, ATA media sites as well as key VET strategy partners such as:


  1. Be inspired by the VET Alumni. Watch the myriad of amazing VET Alumni stories of how thousands of other Australians of all ages, backgrounds and abilities have excelled through their chosen VET career. As role models, they provide a collective voice on the benefits of VET for potential students by sharing real and relatable stories of career success. Further, watch this year’s Skillaroos compete in countries all around the world through the WorldSkills Competition 2022.


  1. Try work experience. Looks great on a resume. Shows they have initiative. Provides contacts and references. Builds confidence. Provides opportunities to develop skills. Remember, there are many ways for young people to get experience such as through volunteering, sports clubs, school work experience programs and part-time or casual employment


  1. Investigate School-based Apprenticeships and traineeships. Children can start their apprenticeship while completing years 10, 11 or 12. Their work contributes to their HSC, and they can earn money while learning.


  1. Many VET courses lead to owning your own business. The opportunities for students to start their own businesses, not just limited to tradies, look at Zimmerman, started selling dresses at Paddington market. The digital age has made options much more practical and accessible.


  1. There are pathways to University through VET Courses. VET also provides an avenue for articulation into higher education, with students being able to use their VET study to gain entry into university. Plus they can use the practical skills to help them in their studies- software, teamwork experience, networks, organisational skills are strong skills needed for success at University.


  1. Think about the jobs of the future? Don’t be afraid of the changing world of work – major drivers of change, including technological change — artificial intelligence, robots and big data, as well as innovation in materials, propulsion and energy strategies, climate change, globalization, population pressures and changed demographic profiles are exciting and part of the new careers and skills needed. There is a huge range of diploma and advanced diploma courses available that are part of the next wave of in demand skills areas . In fact, 9 out of every 10 new jobs in the future will be higher skilled and will require post-school qualifications (i.e. advanced VET or university)


  1. The opportunities for young women now is broader than it’s ever been. 


  1. No HECS Debt. Most VET Courses are free to enrol while most University students finish their course with a $40,000+ HECs debt.



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