When you leave school, it is important to have a plan so you can work out what to do next. Students have a variety of choices to make when deciding to leave school. There are many opportunities during your school years to explore and plan your future career options. Exploring occupations, researching career paths and asking lots of questions helps you to develop your own career action plan, that is, to identify the steps needed to achieve your career goals.

Some of the questions you need to ask yourself and explore include:

  •  What do I really want to do with my life for the next 5-10 years?
  •  Have I developed my own action plan to get where I want to go?
  •  Do I want to go straight to employment or should I do some training first?
  •  What subjects should I be doing at school to help me with my future career?
  •  Can I gain experience by doing a traineeship or cadetship?
  •  Do I need to do an apprenticeship to become qualified?
  •  Many similar courses are offered at a variety of TAFE or universities so what TAFE or University should I go to?



The first thing you will need when looking for work is a resume. This is a document that provides your contact details and a summary of your skills and experience. Check the career & pathways handbook.

Volunteer Work  

do you want to get experience within an organisation and help people at the same time? Volunteering is a great thing to do to help the community and it has tremendous benefits for you as well, such as learning new skills, meeting new people, gaining experience in a workplace, building your confidence and communication skills. Most volunteer work is unpaid, however you may come across some volunteer positions that are paid. Payment is not important, it is the experience you gain that is valuable and it will look great on your resume!!

Here are some links to help you find out more about volunteer work and potential volunteer placements and the Go Volunteer website provides search results advising if it is suitable for students age 14-18yo:


Link: Volunteer Victoria                            Link: Go Volunteer



School leavers

The websites below contain up to date and comprehensive advice. It is worth investing time in researching the range of options in order to ensure that you choose the pathway best suited to your skills and interests. Students and parents will benefit from starting with the Victorian Skills Gateway, Victoria’s online one-stop shop for vocational training in Victoria.

Link Victorian Skills Gateway

This website is an online one-stop-shop for vocational training in Victoria designed to improve access to information for students, employers, careers practitioners, parents and adult learners, to help them make informed choices that lead to better jobs.


Link Wyn Bay LLEN – Wyndham and Hobsons bay Local Learning and Employment Network

The INLLEN provide a range of valuable and useful resources for young people, particularly those looking to leave school. Their website provides booklets such as: School Leavers Guide, Pathways Program Guide, Pathways and Services Guide for Young People with Disabilities and Non school based VCAL options.

Link Industry Trends – where are the skill shortages?


This link provides you with important industry information with a forecast for top employing occupations and skills that are in demand to help you decide what career and what training you might need.



An apprenticeship is an employment contract incorporating training in order to learn a trade. Apprentices can be employed directly by employers or through Group Training Organisations. Many industries employ apprentices and Australian Apprenticeship Centres can assist employers, apprentices and training organisations prior to and throughout the apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships Australia is an Australian Government website detailing information about apprenticeships and all the parties involved and also have practice aptitude tests for various trades and occupational videos.

Australian Apprenticeships website Become a Bricklayer
AAP- Practice Aptitude Quizzes Electrical Apprenticeships – NECA website
AAP – Jobs Pathway Charts Careers in Plumbing
APPRENTICESHIPS – Occupational Videos Automotive Careers – VACC website



In deciding on their Uni/ TAFE Pathway, students should make an informed choice about what course to study and which university or TAFE institution to apply to. This page offers a variety of resources for students to explore their options and help them choose the university or TAFE and course that is right for them.

Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) website –  www.qilt.edu.au

Is quality of teacher and learning important to you? Compare survey data from all Australian universities about students’ experience at university and past graduates’ job outcomes. QILT is a new Government website launched in 2015 which can help students make informed choices about their higher education options.


Study Assist
Find out about Australian Government financial assistance for tertiary study – Study AssistLooking at course options

Search Courses on VTAC by clicking on their “Course Search” facility –  www.vtac.edu.au

Uni Options – Pathways Finder
Didn’t get the ATAR you wanted? Use the pathways finder to look for alternative courses that match your interest and ATAR score and that can help put you on a path to entering your dream course in the future.

Uni Options – Pathways Finder

Hobsons Course Finder – A comprehensive and independent information source about tertiary education pathways, including postgraduate courses like the MBA, and career options in Australia.

Hobsons Coursefinder and Career Search

Course Camel is a tool that makes exploring courses easy by providing a range of filter options so you can search in many ways.