Who would’ve thought?! There’s life after highschool.

Who would’ve thought?! There’s life after highschool.

Whether you leave in Year 11 or 12, you’re about to enter the world outside school and start making moves towards your dream career. A lot of students find themselves overwhelmed with the burden of choice, because there are just so many options unexpectedly available.

It’s important to stay calm and think clearly about what your career goals are and how you’re going to achieve these goals. Really take the time to think about your passions, not just following the same path as the rest of your friends.

These are just five of your post-school options, no matter which path you pursue, be prepared to put in the same effort to making your adult years productive.

University.
University is often thought of as the only option for becoming qualified and making a reasonable income, but that isn’t the case.

Uni classes aren’t anything like your regular high school classes. Whilst it may seem like a dream come true not having teachers on your back to get work done, you’ll have to hold yourself accountable for getting assessments completed on time and to a satisfactory standard.

University offers flexibility in regards to choosing between online distance education or face-to-face on campus learning environments. Additionally, you can choose to complete your degree on a part time or full time basis.

University also offers mammoth opportunities for your social life! You’ll get to hang with a community of like-minded students, be invited to heaps of events, join an array of groups and clubs, and get to fully exercise your independence.

Is university right for you?
• Is a university degree essential for your ideal job?
• Do you prefer an independent learning environment?
• Are you proactive and effective with time management?

Still considering uni but worried that your ATAR wasn’t high enough to get you into your preferred course? Bridging courses offer you a second chance, however the workload is often very intense over a short period of time. The course can also set you back the equivalent of your first year at uni so you’ll definitely want to ensure you’ve made the right decision prior to commencing a bridging course!


VET.

Many people who did not do well academically in high school choose trades, leading to the false perception that tradesmen are not “intelligent.” This is certainly not true. The university learning environment just isn’t for everyone.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) provides numerous pathways that help you to gain a certificate or diploma, whether this be through TAFE, a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) such as Skillset, or completing a traineeship or apprenticeship with an organisation directly.

The labour market is very favourable in the trades, and blue-collar work is quickly becoming one of the better-paying career choices. Studying VET provides a much more hands-on, practical learning experience in your chosen profession.

Is VET right for you?
• Do you prefer to learn in a practical, hands-on environment?
• Were you hoping to complete your qualifications in less than 2 years?
• Do you enjoy physically demanding work that is also mentally challenging?
• Do you want to be able to earn while you learn?

VET graduates are more likely to be employed full-time.
Up to 82% of VET graduates are employed after training;
compared to only 68% of university graduates finding full-time work.

From July 1, 2018, the NSW Government made new apprenticeships fee-free – meaning no more upfront training costs for students or employers. This also ensures that VET graduates have a lower HECS-HELP debt than university graduates.

If job security is more of your concern, learning a trade is a smart way to secure your future – in the next 12 months alone, experts predict NSW will need another 50,000 skilled construction workers and 19,000 chefs.


Work.

For some, the transition to work right after high school will be a permanent one, and that can be another pathway to your dream career.

You may start casual, which means flexible, usually minimal hours. There’s also part-time, which is for roles that only require you to work a few hours or days a week, and full-time, which means you’ll be working around 38 hours a week in your role.

Consider whether the position is a career or a job. A career has two key components that a job does not: room to advance and increasing earning potential. In contrast, a job just pays the bills.
Going straight to the workforce out of high school is a good choice if your work qualifies as a career; if not, think twice.
Settling for a job rather than a career can send you to an unfulfilling dead end. While a job can provide extra spending money in high school, chances are it won’t pay the bills as you enter adulthood.

There are plenty of benefits to working: You get to start earning money immediately and begin building your superannuation, which is money set aside from your pay to help you later on in retirement… which is something you have to think about once you finish school!

You’ll gain some great experience, develop communication skills and learn how to navigate professional environments, which is its own very valuable skill.

No further study also means… no further study. Also: no HECS-HELP debt or study loans.

Some people consider working first and studying later in life as a mature age student when they’ve decided what industry they’d like to work in where they can take their valuable, practical knowledge with them. There are still a number of things you’ll need to keep in mind though. By jumping straight into work, you might be limiting your opportunities for structured, formal learning later on.


Gap Year.

Still not sure how you want to spend your days after graduation? We get it. You might be so overwhelmed with your high school workload, you’ll want to take a break and unwind before plunging into the next stage of your life. Sometimes, that’s the best thing to do, which is why a lot of students consider a gap year after high school.

If you don’t really know what you want to do, or completing assessments wasn’t really your thing, why would you rush into doing it for another few years?!

What do you do in a gap year?
• Travel – interstate, internationally… wherever! Just take off and learn about other cultures and discover what the wider world has to offer.
• Work casually/part-time – You could start working; save up a bunch of money at a casual job, or gain some work experience in a few of your different dream industries.
• Chill out – do nothing. Read, watch movies, learn a new language, do whatever you have always wanted to do! Just take time for yourself.

Gap years allow you to gain life experience and grow on a personal level. They’re also a chance to take a break from academic pressures and explore what options are available whilst also travelling, working or volunteering, to experience other cultures and broaden your horizons.

Gap years have plenty of benefits: They get you out of the study bubble and help you gain some life experience, either by leaving home to see the world, or by putting others first through volunteering. Even the ‘chill out’ option helps you reboot if you’re burnt out from study, and gives you the time and mental breathing room to think about what it is you want to do with your life and helps to discover your passions.
Keep in mind though, gap years can be expensive and set you behind your peers who may be studying and focussed on progressing towards their careers. If you’re thinking of taking a gap year, ensure you’re choosing the path for the right reasons.

 

It’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong choice – you can change direction at any time, it’s just a matter of reminding yourself of your goals and getting started. No matter what pathway you choose, you will gain independence and life experience and that’s the exciting thing about finishing high school.

Good luck with everything that lies ahead for you and remember to stay calm, the best is yet to come.

SKILLSET SENIOR COLLEGE SET TO OPEN IN DUBBO

SKILLSET SENIOR COLLEGE SET TO OPEN IN DUBBO

Skillset Senior College is expanding to open its second campus in Dubbo in Term 1 2019. Initially catering for 34 Year 10 students, the school features a small and supportive learning environment that focusses on individual needs, student well-being, small class sizes and high levels of student engagement.

Skillset Senior College has been successfully operating in Bathurst since 2015, and will be launching their second senior school campus in Dubbo. The College promotes values and behaviours that lead to mutual respect and responsibility and is aiming to develop a more adult-styled learning environment, with small class sizes, and shared responsibility across many school activities.

Skillset Senior College Dubbo will initially cater for 34 Year 10 students. The Year 10 students will have the opportunity to undertake NESA approved courses, leading to the Record of School Achievement (RoSA). By 2021, Skillset Senior College Dubbo Campus will offer Years 10, 11 and 12, with Year 12 students undertaking the Higher School Certificate (HSC).

The Dubbo campus will be located at the former TAFE NSW Dubbo College on the corner of Bultje and Fitzroy Streets. Some fit-out work is already taking place with a new amenities block and interior fencing soon to be commenced with some further work on a kitchen facility also planned.

Skillset Senior College Principal and Skillset CEO Craig Randazzo says he is looking forward to opening the school in Dubbo following four successful years of operating in Bathurst.

“We’ve seen some amazing outcomes through Skillset Senior College in Bathurst since 2015, and we are really delighted to be bringing this opportunity for years 10 to 12 students to Dubbo. We operate on a student-centred model, always focusing on the individual needs of our young people.”

“At Skillset Senior College, we partner with a range of local community organisations to provide holistic support beyond the classroom. We absolutely acknowledge the great work being done by mainstream schools across the state, but in a city the size of Dubbo, some students just may not fit what’s on offer. Our aim is to provide a school community where we can work together to overcome educational and personal barriers through a proven individual strengths-based approach to learning and support said Craig.”
Mr Randazzo added, “Education drives economic and social mobility, and we are excited about the life-changing opportunities we can bring to Dubbo from next year.”

Expressions of interest are now open for young people going into year 10 in 2019, as well as for Teachers and Learning and Support Staff. For more information on the college or to express interest in enrolling, visit: www.skillsetseniorcollege.nsw.edu.au or call 1300 167 794.

Skillset Senior College Agricultural team take on the Royal Bathurst Show

Skillset Senior College Agricultural team take on the Royal Bathurst Show

Months of preparation will all pay off when students from Skillset Senior College present sheep and cattle for the first time at the 2018 Royal Bathurst Show.

This weekend, students from the Skillset Senior College Agriculture team will be showing three Corriedale Sheep and a Hereford Steer at the Royal Bathurst Show. Skillset Education Manager Abbey Barrett commented on the immense value of running the agriculture program, “Agriculture is offered to all senior students at Skillset Senior College and it’s been incredible to watch the difference the agriculture department has made. The animals have provided a means for the students to build confidence and nurture positive relationships. It has also provided career ambitions with many students wanting to pursue further study and employment in Agriculture after they complete their HSC.”

Students across Years 10, 11 and 12 have access to a dedicated Agriculture area on school grounds. The area includes sheep yards, cattle yards and chicken pens with expansion of the area set to continue. Skillset Senior College Agriculture students, Lilian Nairne and Jacob Collins said they enjoyed being a part of the team and working with the animals. “The school is a great, supportive community to be a part of. Everyone who is a part of the team are dedicated to caring for the animals with many of the students volunteering their time during school holidays and weekends.”

Entering animals into the show would not have been possible if it wasn’t for generous donations from local businesses. Skillset Senior College would like to thank Mark Mason from Ceres Agriculture Company for donating a Hereford steer, and Rick Hoolihan from Rydal for donating three Corriedale stud sheep. Skillset Senior College Agriculture Prac Teacher Tyler Majchrzak, who is visiting from the University of Kentucky, commented on how agriculture had provided a positive impact on the students. “Students are given the opportunity to work with the animals and gain practical experience where they can get in and get their hands dirty in a learning environment.

Good luck to the Agriculture team!

Skillset Senior College Celebrates Students at Grad

Skillset Senior College Celebrates Students at Grad

There was hardly a dry eye in the house yesterday as students were celebrated at the Skillset Senior College Awards and Year 10 Graduation Ceremony.

Thirty-two year 10 students graduated from the College, with all but three planning on continuing into Year 11. Principal Mr Craig Randazzo congratulated the students on the commitment and dedication it has taken for them to successfully complete Year 10. “Each and every one of you has persevered and persisted and reaped the rewards of your efforts by being here today. I could not be more proud of you.”

Students across Years 10, 11 and 12 were also awarded faculty achievement and effort awards, with the inaugural Randazzo Award for citizenship, scholarship and leadership going to Year 12 student Corey Kovacs-Edmonds.

“Corey started with Skillset Senior College in 2015 as one of our first group of Year 10 students, and has been a model student throughout his time with us, achieving well right across all subject areas, and always embodying a positive approach to school and life, which aligns so well with our values here at Skillset”, said Skillset Manager of Education Abbey Barrett.

Another success was also celebrated this week with news of the first Skillset Senior College student being accepted into university. Elicia Dixon, one of the 2017 Year 12 students, the first Year 12 cohort through the College, has been accepted into Theatre Media at Charles Sturt University.

Skillset Senior College is an innovative Years 10 – 12 school set in an adult learning environment at the Flannery Centre. With a focus on individual well-being and achievement it is currently taking Year 10 enrolments for 2018

Skillset Wins Employer Support Award at Bathurst Business Awards

Skillset Wins Employer Support Award at Bathurst Business Awards

Skillset is honoured to have received the inaugural Defence Reserves Support Employer Support Award at the 2017 Peak Connect Carillon Business Awards in Bathurst on Saturday night. It is wonderful recognition for the culture of the organisation and the support provided to staff, in this instance our Defence Reserve staff.

Skillset first became a Reserve employer in 2016 when the organisation engaged a new member of the Senior College teaching staff with the full knowledge that this employee was also a serving Army Reserve Commissioned Officer with the local 1st/19th Infantry Battalion.

Immediately upon engagement at Skillset, the employee was released on a 6 month full time military service contract to attend to duties at Rifle Company Butterworth, Malaysia, with nearly 120 other reserve soldiers, including 15 from the Central West.

During this period Skillset Education Manager, Abbey Barrett, alongside the Bathurst Business Chamber Chair Stacey Whittaker, took up the Army invitation to brave military life for a week and visit troops in Malaysia on Operation Boss Lift.

On return to Skillset, their Reserve employee maintained a regular parading routine in the lead up to battalions preparation for its rotation to be ready to provide a heightened degree of response to the nation’s security in 2018. This includes Tuesday nights, weekends and extended exercises. Skillset Managers have extended every support to ensure the employee is granted leave, provided recovery time if necessary and can cut away early from work to attend military training, often at very short notice.

Beyond this, it’s the spirit and overall willingness of the Skillset team to let military planning and habits become a part of the operating procedures and environment within the work place. The team takes a genuine interest in the military activities and also provides wide spread support to cover the employee when he is away with the Army to manage the impact on the work place.

As a hub for young people, Skillset is also mindful of the opportunities that military service can provide vulnerable people who need a break. With this in mind military recruiters have been embraced at the school and a number of students have been targeted and mentored through the recruiting process with the aim of joining the local Battalion and beyond.

We believe Skillset is an excellent example of an employer who supports the Army Reserve, not because we have to, but because we want to.

Skillset Stars Shine at Glittering 35th Awards Gala

Skillset Stars Shine at Glittering 35th Awards Gala

Skillset Limited celebrated a huge milestone at the iconic Flannery Centre in Bathurst on Thursday evening by holding its ’35 Years Strong” Gala Awards dinner.

This year, Skillset celebrated its 35th year of operations which has seen thousands of young lives in our regions changed and supported through pivotal moments in their careers as they embark on apprenticeships, traineeships or just taking those first steps in their career. Skillset are proud to have supported over 6,000 apprentices and trainees to completion across central west and western NSW.

This milestone was celebrated in conjunction with our annual awards ceremony which celebrates the outstanding young talent in all facets of our business. From apprentices and trainees of our Workforce business unit, to prominent young achievers in the Green Army program of our Environment Unit, and outstanding community volunteer support for our Education unit, just to name a few.

Skillset was established in 1982 by Bathurst, Orange, Blayney, Parkes, Lithgow and Dubbo Councils and Chambers of Commerce, to help regional businesses by supplying them with apprentices. Central West Group Apprentices, as it was then known, employed one staff member and just 22 apprentices in the first year of operation.

Since then Skillset has developed three major business units to answer the calling to service more than just apprentices, but to educate and empower our local communities and even to support disengaged youth to transition back to school, training or the workforce. Skillset has achieved this over the years by introducing our diverse business units and programs to achieve this goal: Skillset Senior College, Skillset Workforce Recruitment, Skills and Engagement and Skillset Environment Land Works. Skillset are currently providing jobs and skills to over 400 employees.

Skillset Chair David Cooke said it was an important milestone for the organisation and a great opportunity to recognise so many who have contributed. “This is just a such a fitting grand finale for our 35 Years Strong anniversary year. To be celebrating the individuals, businesses and organisations who have made outstanding achievements or contributions is very special. It is a privilege to be in a position to have such a positive impact on both people’s lives and the organisations we work with, and we look forward to continuing our important work for another 35 years.”

The top Apprentice and Trainee of the Year Awards were taken out by Graphic Pre-Press apprentice Laura Burgett, hosted by Spatial Services Bathurst, Community Services trainee Maddison Griffiths-Leonard, hosted by Centacare Orange, and Plumbing apprentice Donald Dundas, hosted by Warrumbungle Shire Council.

Storco Storage Systems and PJL Group, both from Orange took out Skillset Workforce Host Awards, with Moolarben Coal winning the Skillset Workforce Jim Todman Safety Award, and Interact Injury Management the Skillset Workforce Partnership Award.

Skillset Environment recognised outstanding individuals and organisations from their Green Army program over the last 12 months, with Eurobodalla Team Supervisor Damon Lane and Participant Billy-Ray Davis-Wilson, the Kalyarr Team, participant Thomas Kennedy, Holbrook Landcare Network and Central West Lachlan Landcare all receiving awards.

Skillset Education Awards went to Youth Connect participant Sam Hampton, Skillset Senior College volunteer Helen McGoldrick and Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre in recognition of the support they have provided to Skillset Senior College students.

Skillset Workforce Operations and Return to Work Manager Anthea Koehn received the Skillset Service Award.

Skillset CEO Craig Randazzo paid tribute to the staff, and credited them and the innovative range of services for the organisation’s longevity and success “Just tonight we have launched the Skillset Workforce 2017 Pledge250 Jobs Campaign, and the Skillset Environment Land Works Service, as well as celebrating our first year of Year 12 students at Skillset Senior College, and Skills4Trade and Youth Connect Programs. You can’t do this without staff who are willing to embrace innovation, and are committed to delivering excellence in everything they do. We are very much the sum of our parts and I thank each and every one of them for their passion and hard work.”