STEPS TO BRIGHT FUTURE
Now’s the time for Year 12s to reflect on their plans for 2018. Melanie Burgess reports
Y EAR 12 students may be six months away from graduating but they need to start making plans now, if they have not already. Students and their parents need to consider if a university degree is best, or whether it is better to embark on a trade, traineeship, work or a gap year.
SkillsOne chief executive Brian Wexham says students must reflect on what they are passionate about.
“My encouragement is always to look at the things you enjoy doing . . . and seeing how those could be connected to a pathway,” he says.
“If you like sport, you could get into sports marketing or if you enjoy golf could get into horticulture and manage the greens.
“Or you could run a golf club so should look at event management and the hospitality industry. It’s not always an obvious connection.”
Once a school leaver knows what path they want to take, they should determine the training they need. This may include not just considering a degree or apprenticeship but which train- ing institution is best. Wexham says to talk to people at training organisations.
For Year 12 students who need more time to find their direction before beginning post-school study, there is the option of a gap year to work or travel.
“There is immense value in people taking a gap year and assuming responsibility for their lives and seeing a bit of the world,” Wexham says.
Automotive refinishing technician Megan Riley was accepted into art school before changing her mind and taking a gap year. She landed a role as a car washer and detailer for a panel shop.
“We got to paint the cars and that was pretty cool,” she says. “My boss offered me an apprenticeship so I finished my trade and have been there for four or five years.”
Riley, 23, says she didn’t even know it was a job before she started detailing. She recommends people who cannot sit still at a desk all day to consider a trade.
“The best part is you earn as you learn . . . and are pretty much guaranteed a job at the end of your study,” she says. “I could move wherever I want and get a spray-painting job.”
RIGHT MIX: Megan Riley switched from art school to become an automotive refinishing technician. Picture: BOB BARKER