From tertiary to trade
IN the wake of Higher School Certificate (HSC) results, the emphasis has changed from degree to trade qualifications. Dubbo College careers advisor Caroline Watts said that over the past two decades, trends have changed from tertiary to technical pursuits.
She pointed out that school leavers had the option to pursue university, TAFE or an apprenticeship but many were veering towards trades.
“Twenty years ago, students went from the HSC to university, but that has really changed,” she told Dubbo Photo News. “Students are now getting the HSC and training for a trade.”
Mrs Watts explained that there was no longer the same pressure on students to become degree-qualified and employers were also choosing to employ apprentices at a later age than in previous years.
“The focus has changed a lot because the reason has changed,” she said.
“We want good tradesmen so the numbers leaving Year 10 are very small.
“Employers are wanting apprentices who are at least 17 so that they have a licence, they are more mature and they have a level of expertise in maths.”
Mrs Watts said that work placement in senior school can also help determine career paths.
“You really have to go for what you are interested in. And if you do work experience, you can either rule it in or out – there’s lots of ways to go about it.”
Mrs Watts said that school leavers are now thinking three to five years ahead in their career paths. Gaining a certain skillset also puts students in good stead for a future array of work choices.
“It comes down to developing employable skills. If you’re happy to gain technology, communications and self-management, then you are going to succeed, no matter what changes come along. If you put in the effort, you never know where you’ll end up.” Dubbo College careers advisor Caroline Watts says there’s no longer the same pressure on students to become degree-qualified and employers were also choosing to employ apprentices at a later age than in previous years. PHOTO: DUBBO