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What happens when I leave year 12?

When you step outside school for the last time, you will need to take a new direction. This is a time of opportunity.


Even a faint dream can lead you in the right direction. WANTING to believe that you can achieve your dream can be enough to get you started.

Seeing each other will not be automatic. You need to make the effort to maintain contact. Arrange to meet with a wide group of friends during the holidays.

Take a Gap Year

The range of opportunities for overseas travel is limited but they still exist. LetzLive is an Australian company providing Gap Year and Working Holiday programmes for school leavers. Positions are available for their January 2022 intake to New Zealand, The United Kingdom and Thailand.

More information on Gap years with Letz Live can be found online HERE  or for an information pack email

There’s never been a better time to get a job

Western Australia has a shortage of workers. Many employers are paying high wages to unskilled workers. We saw the shortages last year when farmers couldn’t get workers. This led to the Work and Wander program designed to attract workers into picking fruit and vegetables.

Things are more desperate this year. Builders, farmers, restaurant owners. They are all looking for workers.

There has never been a better time to earn good money, learn about life after school, and make clearer decisions about exactly what to study.

If you want a Job, it’s who you know that counts

You need to be connected, visible and credible. See It’s Who You Know That Counts for tips on how to use your networks to get a job.

Get Interview Skills

Go to a Jobs and Skills Centre for free interview skills help.

Driver’s Licence

To get many jobs in Western Australia you need a driver’s licence. If you haven’t started to get one, start now. Go to this site to get started.

Tax File Number

If you want to get paid employment you will need a Tax File Number. You can apply HERE.

Bank Account

If you haven’t got a bank account, you will need one. Go to the MoneySmart site to get financial advice on how to manage money now that it is largely invisible. That site also has a budget planner.

Create a Job Application Portfolio

Put COPIES of your stuff from your school and life in your folio. Put the original in a safe place.

You folio can have:

  • Your resume/CV. Youth Central provides tips for school students. Remember, your resume is not your life story, it is your pitch to a potential employer.
  • Your application for the job/scholarship/course you are going for. You can get help from a Jobs and Skills Centre to do this.
  • References from teachers, coaches, mentors
  • Photos of prizes you have won
  • Reports
  • Certificates
  • Photos of projects (photos of you working on a car, building something, doing community service, art, cooking)
  • Anything else you can think of that will show you in a good light.

You could go to Uni

Most school leavers go to uni. Universities have promoted the school to uni pathway so well that many students don’t think of alternatives.

Check Is the Uni Bus right for you?

Many pathways to uni

Check out the Alternative Pathways to Uni.

Every university has some sort of uni preparation course. These courses are probably better than going straight into a course you are not sure of. They give you the chance to explore life at uni and to check out different courses.

Most of these courses are free and you learn how to do research, write assignments and do referencing. Students who do these alternative pathways typically do well when they envol in a degree.

  1. Check out the different WA alternative pathways,
  2. Pick your uni and enrol in 4 week or one semester course
  3. Work with career advisors while you are at the uni.

Which Uni is Best for You

There are five main universities in WA. Most teach similar undergraduate courses with a few specialist courses like medicine at Curtin and Veterinary Science at Murdoch.

All of the universities are very different. Check out Which University is Best for You


In Year 12 What Next? I provide information about alternative pathways,

Youth Allowance and Scholarships

Your decision to study may depend on finances. If you are 18 – 24 and you have supported yourself for 18 months you MAY qualify for Youth Allowance.

Check the Youth Allowance site to see if there are any benefits that you are eligible for. There is an Ask for Help button which could save you hours trying to get through on the phone. If you need to leave home to study don’t forget to ask about travel allowance.

Also check for financial assistance on the Good Universities Guide site HERE.

There are scholarships for so many purposes, not just academic excellence and they are often only available when you start university or TAFE. Search online for scholarships in your field.  The Good Universities Guide tries to capture most scholarships on its site.

Ask your career advisor for help searching for scholarships.

TAFE is booming

Lots of TAFE courses are free or low cost in 2022.

Check out the different courses that the VET Award finalists for 2021 were enrolled in. The scope of careers available through TAFE is huge.

A VET course can get you into the high demand cyber security industry or into a specialist health career without getting a degree. There are also apprenticeships and traineeships that you expect to get from TAFE. See:

Entry to pre-apprenticeships at 15

How to blitz your apprenticeship interview

This is how you get an apprenticeship in WA

Go to a Jobs and Skills Centre which is probably on the same campus as your local TAFE. They have diagnostic tools that will help them to point you in the right direction.

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Bev Johnson

Infocus Careers is an independent organisation which is solely supported by insanely great subscribers who share information with me, support each other and help me to pay my bills.

I can talk about careers under water so if you would like to chat about how I can help you to improve your career or the services you deliver, give me a ring on 0434056412 or email me at



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