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Navigating the Australian Job Market When Leaving High School

by Heidi Anderson



Are you approaching the end of high school in Australia? If so, then you might be thinking of joining the workforce. In this blog, we look at some important information you should know to get your career off to a great start.

If you're coming to the end of high school in Australia, you may be wondering which way to turn. We know that it can be a stressful time trying to figure out what to do next, but don't for a second think that you're on your own because you're not! Not by a long shot.

At Wandr, our platform is designed to help you find a career that vibes with you - something we'll cover shortly - and in this blog, we look at some of the steps you can take to make this important decision.

Countless Paths Are Available

After leaving school, the world is your oyster, and along the way, you may discover new passions, develop brand-new skills and find out more about what you want from life. We know it can be challenging, but there are countless paths you can take after leaving secondary education.

So, if you're ready to see what exciting opportunities await, let's get started!

The School Leavers Information Kit

A great resource that's free to download from the National Skills Institute is your School Leavers Information Kit, or SLIK for short. It contains lots of useful information about your next steps, and you essentially have three main ways to go at this point.

You could:

  1. Head straight out into the Australian job market & build a career.
  2. Get stuck into further study to develop yourself professionally.
  3. Volunteer or take a gap year and travel.

You might feel pressured to go out and get a job right now, but don't feel bad if you feel like a gap year is the right move for you. Many school leavers between the ages of 15 and 24 do so as it gives you time to grow and mature into an independent, self-sufficient person.

Naturally, this article is about navigating the job market, so let's take a look at what you need to think about if you decide to work.

Getting a Tax File Number & Medicare Card

If you choose to go into a paid job that requires no further study, it's a good idea to go and create a myGov account on the my government website, as there may be support available for you as you start your career. It's also the place to register for your Medicare card, which gives you access to a range of medical services and cheaper prescriptions.

Something else you'll need when entering the world of work is a Tax File Number (TFN) from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website. You don't strictly need a TFN, but it will make sure that you don't pay too much tax - whether you're employed or self-employed.

Superannuation is another part of employed life in Australia that you'll find more information about on the ATO website. It’s basically money that's put aside for your retirement. We know that seems like a long way off now, but it's important to get familiar with it.

What You Need to Think About When Applying For Jobs

The great news for anyone entering the Australian job market is that there are just 2.9 people applying for each advertised position - down from 4.4 before the pandemic. Even so, you do have to prepare yourself for success, which means focusing on aspects like:

  • Writing a great resume that tells employers what's great about you.
  • Familiarising yourself with job websites like Seek and Indeed
  • Visiting career expos to discover local employers looking for staff.
  • Interview preparation so you can shine on the big day.
  • The transport options do you have open to you.
  • Do you have formal interview wear to use?

Another consideration is whether you need to take further study to join the industry you have your eye on. It could be that a traineeship, apprenticeship or other training is required.

Is Further Study Needed For Your Chosen Career?

When you're leaving school to pursue a career in a field that means taking further study, you have a various routes open to you, depending on your chosen career. Let's take a closer look at those now.

Apprenticeships & Traineeships

Combining paid work and training, apprenticeships provide a clear pathway to a trade-related job (e.g. plumbing, electrician, bricklaying) at the end. This will take you between 3-4 years of full-time study as you pass through certificate-level qualifications.

Traineeships usually cover non-trade roles, such as admin and services, taking 12-24 months to complete. For more information on apprenticeships, visit the government site devoted to it.

Vocational Education & Training (VET) Courses

Another choice for training is to take VET courses, which are also known as TAFE courses. They're nationally accredited qualifications designed to give you workplace skills and include Certificates I-IV, as well as Diplomas, and Advanced Diplomas.

Hundreds of different occupations can be studied in this way, with most certificates taking between 3 months to 3 years to complete.

Other funding support options that you should investigate in Australia include ABSTUDY for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and HELP Loans.

Gain Marketable Skills Fast With Wandr Essentials Courses

If you'd like to gain marketable skills that will make employers sit up and take notice when applying for jobs as a school leaver, Wandr Essentials courses are a great way to get them. These verifiable micro-credentials look amazing on your CV and the bank of Mum and Dad needn't worry too much, as this training is available for just $15 a week.

Essentials courses from Wandr cover a wide range of fresh, industry-aligned topics that can set you apart from the competition with hiring managers. Topics covered include:

  • AI, Cyber & Tech
  • Branding & influencing
  • Beauty & Makeup
  • Business, Management & Entrepreneurship
  • Criminology & Law
  • Education, Childcare & Teaching
  • Fitness & Nutrition
  • Game Design + VFX
  • Graphic & Interior Design
  • Mental Health & Wellbeing
  • Photography
  • Trades & Construction
  • Travel & Tourism
  • Fashion

…and more! 

If you're still yet to decide on a career path, don't worry, as Wandr Skillin' It! and Trial Run courses are designed to let you sample different industries and try them on for size. In fact, the whole Wandr platform has been created to help you find a direction that suits you and your abilities.

Become More Employable With Wandr Essentials Training

Leaving high school can seem really scary, especially if you aren't quite sure about which career path to take. Never fear, though, as the Wandr platform is designed to help you find your vibe and figure out what it is you want to do with your life.

No matter whether your talents lie in teaching, animal care, or anything else, you'll find what you need in our interactive, video-led career content spanning 1000s of topics.

Looking for extra guidance? Then you can also get 1-to-1 career coaching from real-world experts you can hit up any time you like. Instead of wondering what you want to do with your life, start Wandring! Your ideal career is out there waiting for you and with our help, you can work out a plan to get there!

To find out more about us and what we offer, visit us today at www.wandr.au where you'll also find our career quiz to give you guidance on those first steps. Alternatively, get in touch by calling 1300 611 404 or emailing support@wandr.au today, and we'll do everything we can to get you started.

by Heidi Anderson



Are you approaching the end of high school in Australia? If so, then you might be thinking of joining the workforce. In this blog, we look at some important information you should know to get your career off to a great start.

Career Coach



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