School to work transitions

There is a clear link between getting a Year 12 certificate (or equivalent qualification) and improved social and economic outcomes for young people.

The Australian Government recognises the importance of education and training, and encourages young people to complete school, to increase their chances of successfully moving to further education, training or work.

Young people who complete school and get their Year 12 certificate (or equivalent vocational qualification) are more likely to complete further study or training, get a job, have significantly higher wages and be better prepared for future challenges.

The Australian Government is working with state and territory governments to bring schools, business and families together to help young people continue their education and training and create a productive, skilled and knowledgeable future workforce.

Various Australian Government initiatives help support young people move from school to further education, training, or work, including:

Career Education

Career education is an important element in preparing young people to successfully move from school to further education, training, or employment.

Career education is the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes through a planned program of learning experiences in education and training settings to assist students to make informed decisions about their study and work options and enable effective participation in working life.

National Career Education Strategy

The Australian Government committed to develop a National Career Education Strategy, under Quality Schools, to prepare students for life beyond school and for the jobs of the future.

Future Ready – A student focused National Career Education Strategy, is a new strategy for career education in schools supported by the Australian Government and endorsed by the COAG Education Council in February 2019.

Future Ready was developed with cooperation from state and territory education, business and industry and career education groups, and aims to support school students to make informed study and career choices by:

  • building students' skills and capabilities for the future
  • strengthening school and employer collaboration
  • developing students' career management and navigation skills.

A number of projects to support the strategy focus on building teacher and school leader capability, supporting parents in their important role in career conversations and encouraging collaboration between industry and schools.

Further information about Future Ready is available at

Career Education Resources

Further Australian Government career development resources and initiatives are available to help young people:

  • make informed choices when selecting schools, courses and post-school opportunities
  • connect education and training pathways with career choices and employment prospects
  • access the broad variety of community services and specialist support available to them.

Information for Career Practitioners

The Australian Government provides career practitioner resources to help provide quality career guidance services to young people.

Career Education Strategies and Resources

Future Ready – A student focused National Career Education Strategy  builds on existing strategies and frameworks, including the Core Skills for Work Developmental Framework, and the Australian Blueprint for Career Development.

In addition, the 2013 National Career Development Strategy guides career development across all ages, and in a broad variety of settings, and articulates guiding principles for the future. It provides high-level goals and responsibilities for governments, business, industry, and the career development sector across education and employment settings.


Preparing Secondary School Students for Work Framework (the Framework)

The Framework was developed to update and improve the previous framework to better deliver vocational learning and vocational education and training (VET) delivered to secondary school students.

The Framework makes the clear distinction between vocational learning and VET delivered to secondary school students, and recognises that VET undertaken at school is the same as all other VET.

The four principles of the framework are:

  • Clarity—of terminology, purpose and expected outcomes
  • Collaboration—to meet the needs of students, schools and employers
  • Confidence—in the quality, value and benefit of vocational learning and VET
  • Core systems—that are efficient, streamlined and support the needs of students and employers.

The Council of Australian Governments Education Council endorsed the framework in 2014, and since then, resources preparing secondary students for work have been developed to support schools and career educators. These include fact sheets, self-assessment tool for schools, videos and good practice case studies.

School and Industry Collaboration

The Australian Government funds various programs to support secondary students receive contemporary, industry-relevant training that provides pathways to industry-recognised qualifications.

The P-TECH pilot is an innovative model of education–industry collaboration that provides students studying for their Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with an industry-supported pathway to a diploma, advanced diploma, or associate degree in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The Trade Training Centres in Schools (TTCs) program provides students with a broader variety of options to help improve Year 12 or equivalent attainment, and their pathways into vocational careers. The program includes Trade Training Centres and Trades Skills Centres.

Partnerships for schools, businesses, and communities improve outcomes for young people, by recognising that educating our young people is the responsibility of the entire community.

School to Work Transitions Research, Reports and Evaluation

The department has a repository of previous research and reports including the National Career Development Strategy Research Project and school-to-work transitions research, reporting, and evaluation, Everybody's Core Business – Research into the non-technical capabilities needed for successful participation in work and further study and Everybody's Core Business – Supplementary Report: Findings from the literature.