Pathways to Careers

Pathways to Careers: Meanwhile

Career planning steps that can happen alongside school, and continue further into adult life. Scroll down to find out more about decision making and work experience and the role they play in the pathway to careers.

Jump to your area of interest:


Decision Making

Deciding what to do after school can be an exciting but also daunting time for young people. To offer support in planning ahead for life beyond the school you may like to consider the following:

Focus on the young person’s interests and abilities. What do they most enjoy, and how can that be related to work, activities and community participation?

Find out more about identifying your strengths at Reachout  Opens in new window

Visit expos and open days at school, local training providers and TAFEs. To stay in the loop for upcoming further education and training open days, visit Career   Opens in new window

Students may undertake work experience/ placement to help them decide what kind of career they are interested in pursuing. The Department of Education and Training offer a process to help schools arrange work experience Find out more


 Seek advice

Talk to your school. Students’ teachers and careers advisor will be central in helping to plan for their independence and potential career opportunities. Student will develop their Individual Learning Plan and career action plan profiles during school to help plan for the future.

Families within the school community can share learning with each other on pathway options that they are exploring.

Another option is to engage with a Disability Employment Service or Job Services Australia to discuss potential avenues or work options available. Find out more. 

If you know which industry you would like to work in, seek out a person working in that industry and request a meeting with them to interview them on their career. Look within your existing network for people you might be able interview, such as extended family, friends of friends, and friends parents. When requesting a meeting with someone, mention that you are hoping to work in the same industry as them someday, and you would learn about their career path and ask for advice. You might interview them over the phone, or meet in person at their place or work or maybe even a café.

Here is a video about making decisions created by SpeakOutAdvocacy  Opens in new window
decisions video
Watch video
  Opens in new window



Work Experience

Work experience is a valuable way for students to get a feel for the work force, learn more about industries that interest them and improve their chances of finding a job.

There are different types of work placements available:

Work experience at school

Work Experience is part of the schools’ educational program, where secondary students take part in short term placements with employers. Work experience usually takes place in Year 9 or 10. This is an important opportunity to get an understanding of the work environment, and learn more about an industry of interest. Work experience offers more of a window into specific career or industry rather than active on the job training.

Find out more  Opens in new window

Structured Workplace Learning

Structured Workplace Learning is on-the-job training as VET programs during VCAL. Students are assessed on skills and competencies learnt in the workplace. Structured Workplace Learning can lead to practical experience and employability skills, as well as the skills students will need to go on to a workplace, further training in the workplace or at TAFE.

Find out more about VET

Find out more about Structured Work Place Learning


Work Placement

Work placement can also be undertaken as apart of TAFE, or even after school when you are looking for a job or understanding of career opportunities. This is an important opportunity to get an understanding of the work environment, and learn more about an industry of interest.

When job seeking, you can undertake work experience at any time to increase your experience, build on your resume and improve your chances of getting a job. There are services available to assist you in getting work experience:
Disability Employment Service
Job Services Australia

Don’t forget to look for opportunities in your own network. Ask you friends, family and within your local community if there are any opportunities.

School Community Work

School Community Work is volunteer work by students in the community, organised by the school. This kind of volunteering can supports student’s learning and career development, and is linked to the curriculum. Find out more.


Certificate I in Work Education

The Certificate I in Work Education course prepares students for employment and/or further education, as well as enhancing students’ communication and academic skills. Find out more.


Volunteering is a great way to gain more skills and experience while contributing to your community at the same time. Find out more.

Find out more about work experience and how to find placements at myfuture Opens in new window
Find out more about your legal rights when it comes to work experience at Youth Central  Opens in new window