Now’s the time for Year 12s to re­flect on their plans for 2018. Me­lanie Burgess re­ports

The Courier-Mail - Career One - - News -

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

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