In 2016, there were estimated to be nearly 81,000 new enrollments in Australian non-university higher education, according to the Grattan Institute. Compared to less than 15,000 full-time equivalent students in 1999, this shows more and more people are choosing alternative pathways after high school.
With over half of these non-university institutions providing vocational education and training (VET), this growing trends suggests students are looking for more skills-based education to fast track their career. In this article, we'll take a look at how VET can help students like yourself join the workforce earlier.
High school students want more practical skills
Work-readiness and practical skills are the top priority for over half of Australian secondary school students today, according to a recent study by UNICEF. A significant 51 per cent of respondents said they would like to learn more recruitment skills for getting a job, while exactly half also claimed they wanted more practical on-the-job skills, such as working in a business. Closely behind, financial and problem solving skills were highly regarded, appealing to 48 and 45 per cent of high schoolers respectively.
Meanwhile, the Foundation for Young Australians claims it takes an average of 2.6 years for youths to find full-time work after completing study. Additionally, the 2018 Mission Australia Youth Survey shows lack of skills and experience are felt to be among the biggest barriers to finding work.
It's clear from these results that skills for both work and life are extremely important for young people today. If you don't feel like your need for work-ready skills is being met, it's important to choose the right study options after high school to prepare for the workplace.
While surveys by the Queensland State Government indicate roughly a third of students are still opting for university study, 10.2 per cent are instead choosing VET qualifications at Certificate I level or higher. Those opting for VET are likely to find themselves enjoying gainful employment and career progression sooner than those in university. This is because only 72.9 per cent of former university students found full-time employment within four months of graduating (according to Universities Australia) and the FYA found one in four of the graduates in full-time work felt they weren't using their education.
On the flip side, students earning VET qualifications at Kenvale College graduate already participating in the workforce and are often easily able to pick up full-time hours.
Entering the workforce sooner with a VET qualification
The FYA modeled identifying factors which contribute to faster entry into full-time employment, examining 14,000 young Australians and 2,000 variables. Of the key factors, two stand out in particular.
Firstly, hours of relevant paid employment. The FYA suggests 5,000 hours of work experience can decrease the time it takes to find full-time work after completing your studies by 12 months. While 5,000 hours isn't generally possible for students in full-time study the valuable takeaway is that more experience increases your ability to enter the workforce sooner.
Secondly, building enterprise skills in education can help you find work 17 months sooner. Enterprise skills are highly transferrable abilities such as communication, problem solving and teamwork. They're generally applicable to just about any industry, and are considered attractive by most employers. Many enterprise skills are integral to hospitality and events jobs, and VET students studying in these industries work with mentors and employers to develop them.
So, not only do Kenvale College's VET courses give you work experience, they deliberately curate enterprise skills that will see you entering the workforce and transferring into different industries more easily.
You can read more about developing enterprise skills for a diverse career in our article "Practical career options for young people in 2019".
Ready to take the next step?
If you're thinking about what to do after high school, consider a VET qualification with Kenvale College. Our team of course advisors are ready to help you understand what your future holds, and how you can achieve your goals. You can even take our Career Test online to discover which area of study we offer is best suited to you.
For further guidance on how to start your future career, click here to talk to a Kenvale course advisor today.