Free TAFE training for year 12 graduates offers a timely solution for young people who face barriers to entering the workforce.
Recent CSIRO research supports what parents and educators have been watching unfold for generations: young people who fail to secure a first job after school are at a much greater risk of facing a lifetime of unemployment and poverty. While Australia's overall unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the developed world, meaningful workforce participation amongst our youth continues to fall*. The effects of not being able to secure that all-important first job have shown to have a scarring effect that can lead to lasting negative impacts on health and career prospects.
With 75 per cent of 23 year olds perceiving a lack of work experience and 50 per cent stating a lack of the right education and training as major barriers to getting a job*, free TAFE training for year 12 graduates offers a timely solution for young people who face barriers to entering the workforce.
Vocational Education and Training (VET) is the most agile, work-integrated training solution for young people who need relevant, real-world experience to secure their first job. For young people interested in beginning a trade, TAFE Queensland offers pre-apprenticeship trade courses that arm them with the confidence and entry-level skills and credentials employers are looking for in new apprentices and trainees. TAFE Queensland even offers a service that connects keen would-be apprentices with employers, giving them that much-needed first job to set them on the path to a healthy future.
Free training at TAFE Queensland gives Year 12 graduates the opportunity to earn the work-ready skills they need, along with gaining the connections and experience with employers that will set them up for success in the job market. Not only will they graduate up to two and a half year sooner than their university counterparts, but they will enjoy the prospects of a higher chance of employment and a higher starting salary.
As important as practical skills are, TAFE Queensland's work-integrated learning approach gives students confidence. Being able to speak fluently about relevant industry trends and demonstrate current knowledge to not just employers, but also friends and family, engenders a positive mindset which is critical for job hunting.
Additionally, the hands-on nature of VET organically builds the enterprise skills that employers are increasingly seeking from job applicants. According the the CSIRO report, "Soft skills... are critical for the future workforce in terms of career and life success. They include willingness to learn, interpersonal and communication skills, attitude and work ethic, self-management, teamwork and motivation, as well as critical thinking and imagination. The university degree alone might not be a hallmark any more: innovative thinking and self-development as professionals are what can set a young employee apart." TAFE Queensland's supportive, real-world approach is the perfect way to develop these skills that are transferrable across roles and industries.