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Post School Pathways in Challenging Times

Staff Blogger, Michelle Kath

It has been a very challenging year so far, none more so than for our Year 12 students, many of whom are worrying about their post-school options. The fantastic news is that options for further study in 2021 are being made more accessible as Universities respond to the challenge and provide hope for our young people.

The Details:

• Griffith University will continue their policy of recognising stand-alone VET qualifications completed at high school. Find out more. view the list of eligible degrees.

USQ, ACU, USC are other universities that continue to recognise VET qualifications for entry to a range of their degrees.

QUT has just announced an important update : In recognition of the extraordinary challenges Year 12 students are facing due to COVID-19 disruptions, QUT will now accept VET qualifications (Certificate IV and above) for entry in 2021 for any student who completes Year 12.

TAFE continues to offer a range of options for students who either didn’t finish Year 12 or didn’t get the rank they needed. They provide diploma-to-degree pathways and you can actually study a degree with TAFE Qld.

It might be a challenging year to find a job or an apprenticeship next year, however, further study can provide the hope and optimism young people need while they wait for the job market to improve.

Professor Nick Klomp, Vice-Chancellor and President of CQUniversity Australia, wrote a great article of hope and optimism for Year 12s. A shortened version below:

If you are one of the state’s 50 000+ year 12 students, you must feel like you’ve been robbed. This was going to be the biggest academic year of your life so far. Huge. Right now you are probably wondering why has the Class of 2020 been the educational piñata year after year, taking all the hits?

No, you are not imagining it. Throughout your entire journey from Prep to senior high school you and your year have been the subject of repeated challenges.

Back in 2008, you were the first full wave of students to enter the compulsory prep year; the first year of the national curriculum – you jumped straight to year five mathematics (and other subjects) when you were still in year four; the first group of year 7 kids to be removed from primary school and dropped into our high school system; the first students in Queensland expected to negotiate the new external ATAR examinations. And if you hadn’t already been through enough to reach your most vital, final year of schooling, along comes a global pandemic, a societal shutdown, an economic calamity, and an unprecedented interruption to your education.

No adults can understand what you are going through because no other peace-time year 12 school cohort has ever had to deal with anything like this before. But that doesn’t mean I can’t help. Here are some of the most common questions I am being asked by year 12 students over the past days and weeks:

  • The virus is already impacting my schooling. Will it impact my plans to go to university or TAFE? Absolutely not. Zero chance. A big nooope on that one. You will find all sorts of flexible arrangements waiting for you at universities and TAFEs.
  • Should I just give up on 2020 now and repeat year 12 next year? This is not a good option for most students. Picture yourself restarting year 12 next year alongside everyone who is in year 11 today, in crowded classrooms, competing for the limited spots at university and TAFE afterwards.
  • Should I just park 2020 in the shade, kick back, leave school at the end of the year and take 2021 as it comes? I would come up with a stronger plan than that. The jobs market next year will be tough. Experts are forecasting record high unemployment levels, so you’d be competing for low-skilled positions alongside hundreds of thousands of more experienced and higher-skilled workers. If university isn’t an option for you, I’d consider vocational training at TAFE to give yourself higher skills and stronger employment prospects.

Right now, universities and TAFEs all over the state are working on innovative ways to support and enrol year 12 school leavers. They don’t have every answer in place today, but they will be ready for you soon. University and TAFE will absolutely remain an option for you. Don’t waste time worrying about things beyond your control – the system will find ways to make adjustments for you.

This is a great message of hope and optimism for our Year 12s as they returned to school this week.

Michelle Kath, Head of Senior Pathways