Year 10 programs

Year 10 Future Finders lets students take part in hands on sessions that relate to career pathways and understand how their future aspirations could help impact communities in a positive way.

Free offer

Our Year 10 Future Finders program is offered at no cost to our Regional campus & Wollongong In2Uni partner schools.

Schools will be contacted by their local campus with further program details.

Year 10 Future Finders resources

In 2023, the University of Wollongong’s Outreach and Widening Participation Team welcomed Year 10 students from local partner schools to participate the Year 10 Future Finder program at UOW Wollongong campus.

The program provided an opportunity for Year 10 students to gain insight into what post school study is like, help inform them of various study options and assist them with goal-setting. 

Year 10 & Beyond – Pathways to your Future.


[Subject Selection and Pathways Seminar]

Good morning Year 10, as James said, my name is Shane. I'm really fortunate to have the chance to speak to you all this morning. I have been working with students just like you for the last, well I guess better part of 30 years. I've spent a lot of time helping students try to find their pathway and so today I really want to go through some of the most interesting information and some things that are going to help you. Let's get started our three goals for this morning are this:

Firstly, I want to help you find your post school pathway whatever that looks like for you; I want to help you with that.

Secondly, I know you're about to undergo or have started the process of subject selection. I have a son myself in Year 10 who's doing the same thing, so I can very much appreciate where you are in relation to making these choices. Now choices, it's fantastic you get an option for things, in which you wish to do in Year 11 and 12. So that's really great.

Then the third thing I want to give to you this morning is an ability to find out other support places that can help you with this process. I know your teachers are great at your schools, I know that you've got lots of support around you. So we'll go through some of those other things you can also use to go from there. Give me a nod if that sounds okay with everyone, give me a nod. Yes, all right that's enough nods, thank you very much.

Right now, in New South Wales alone there's 80 000 students doing exactly what you're doing. Right now, in Australia there's about 250 000 students in Year 10 doing the same process as you. So, it's a lot of people in this same situation that we find ourselves in at the moment. Last year there was 250 000 people, the year before there was 250 000 people, so this is not something that's brand new to us and we can absolutely help you with this. All the research tells us that about half the students, half the number of students in Year 10 don't know their pathway and in fact when we get to Year 11 and 12 at the end of Year 12 it's about the same sort of number. So, if you don't know yet what you want to do with your life from a career perspective that's okay, because you're going to be the same as what half the other people in Australia and across the world, don't know themselves as well. So, it's okay, if you know; but it's absolutely okay if you don't know as well. The process of this morning is to give you some tools to help you find where that actually is going to be for you.

I'm going to start with someone else's story first. Hands up if you have heard of a person called Jessica Watson before? Some have, many of you haven't. Okay, great. Well Jessica was you in 2009, she was 16 years of age just like you, most of you are 15 or 16. Jessica decided that she was going to sail around the world, unassisted 43 000 kilometers, 210 days. At the age that you are right now. So, at 16 she decided that's what she's going to do and there's lots of things about Jessica's story that's going to help us. Let's have a look at what that actually looked like for Jessica at the age of 16.

[Jessica Watson video]

I read a lot, did a little bit of schoolwork.


This was always a marathon, not a sprint. Success achieved through the slow and steady connecting of dots rather than by some impulsive flourish. And so constantly the sea miles wash under the tiny hull of the Pink Lady as the world is slowly measured out. Another day, another cape, another childhood dream turned into triumph.


Well how about this? It's uh 13th of January and uh I'm sitting here looking out at a Cape Horn, out the window. So um, it's not the best sightseeing weather at all. We've got a gassing at 40 knots of wind, seas a total mess, uh rain and overcast skies, hardly see a thing. But um, 10 nautical miles out there, I can just see this beautiful big outline of Cape Horn, that's uh, it's just like a story it's um just how I imagined it. Yeah, this is amazing! We’ve done it, we’re rounded Cape Horn. This is it, yeah wow!


For all the challenges of her passage nature saved the worst till last. With Jessica tucked in under the Great Australian Bight, three monster low pressure systems in succession formed off Antartica. Surging through the Southern Ocean and generating monster waves up to 12 meters high dwarfing Ella's Pink Lady.


So that's Jessica's story. Now I am not suggesting whatsoever you've got to go out and sail around the world, that's an extremely extreme case of someone who's decided to take upon a challenge and go with that. So, I'm not in any way saying that you've got to be someone who's going to do something as significant as that. But this is someone at 16 years of age; this is someone at your age who decided to take on certain things. Now, there's a lot we can take from her journey, there's a lot of information we can take about what it was that she was able to do to achieve the goal she wanted. As I said, your goals may not be anywhere near as lofty as that, I couldn't have done that, there's no way in the world I could have. But her story and some of the things that we’ve spoken about then, to me really resonates and it's all about the idea of this was a slow burn; this was step at a time, step at a time to achieve her challenge. Now for us as Year 10 students we're in that same situation of trying to find what it is we want to do, it's not easy, we get it and we understand this, but there are ways that you can try and I suppose learn from her story. Let's have a look at some of those things together. The first thing that Jessica did and I think is really important was plot her course. She started to think about what she wanted to do, how she was going to achieve this, what skills or attributes or interests she may have had, that's going to give her a chance to maybe achieve what she wanted to achieve.

Just like Jessica you've got choices. At the end of Year 12 you can go straight to uni, you can go into TAFE or you could do an apprenticeship or a traineeship or internship or could have a year off or you could go into work, there’s all these choices that you've got. About 70 percent of all students in Year 10 by the time they get to Year 12 will choose to go into some form of extra training, educational training; be it uni or any type of VET training as well. So, you've got choices right now and the choices you get to make really give you a chance to set yourself up for the future, which is what we want you to do.

Sometimes when we're looking at our careers and our pathways towards what we want to do, it's a really good point to start with the big thing first i.e. What is something in this world you would like to do? What is a big challenge or what is something you'd like to make a difference to the world to be? It's a pretty tough question I know, but it's sometimes a good point to start this whole conversation about careers and give us the idea to say, what is it we want to actually achieve? It might be something to do with building, you might want to build things, you might want to help people, you might want to become an entrepreneur, have your own business, you might want to be in a situation where you're creating something for others - music or visual or arts it’s all those sorts of things. Each of us are different and that's okay as well. So, our first activity for the day, on your worksheets at the top under, ‘Setting Sail for the Future’ here, what you can see is a box and it says, ‘Set your destination: Impact you want to make in the world’. I've given you some examples up on the screen. I’m going to give you a couple of minutes to think about what you might want to put in that box, as to the difference you want to make in the world. It can be big picture, it doesn't have to be little stuff, it could be something that you really want to do. Some examples on the screen. Two minutes everyone, I want you to write something down for me, let's go!


Great, well done everyone! It's not an easy thing to think about, is it? I get it, you may not know right now in your life what you actually want to do in the world, that's completely fine. Up on the screen as I said before, when surveys are done for people of your age the top 10 challenges in the world they want to address are on the screen there. Now again, it doesn't matter if you change or swap or decide that in two years' time or six months' time or next week, you want to do something different the process of thinking about this idea first is often really helpful.

So, the next step after that, if you want to really start to consider what pathways look like for you, is to then go into an idea of what sort of goals do you want to set yourself, because it's really great to have an idea of what you want to do in the world. And then the next step after that is to really find out how to go about doing it, i.e., What can you set yourself as goals, that will give you a chance to achieve that? Each of us are different, so it's okay if you've got something different to your friends; it's okay if you've got the same idea as your friends, that's fine as well. The next step I want you to do then is to think about your long-term goals, the space below the first box in your worksheet gives you a chance to write down a couple of long-term goals. Let's have a go at that now; let's go, a minute or so to think about what goals you may have when it comes to your pathway, when it comes to your career.


Excellent, thank you so much everyone. Why are we doing this? This is what works for people to help them find their career, this is the reason why we do it this way because it gives you a chance to work backwards for what it is you want to do, to what the things are that can actually help you do that. Now every one of us here in this room have skills, every one of us here in this room have talents or interests that are unique to them. We know that if you choose pathways that are aligned to your interests, that are aligned to your skills or your talents you are generally going to be in a situation where you're better off in that way. James mentioned before that most people in their lifetime these days have about five careers and 17 jobs, within those five careers. What we want you to find which gives you the chance to be happier, is things that you really want to do because if you're spending 40 hours a week every week of your life on a particular role or in a role, we want it to be something you like to actually do. So, the next step for this process is to start thinking about what your interests are, what your skills, what your strengths and what your achievements might already be. Now on your worksheet below there's four boxes; achievements are the things that you may have already done; you may have achieved a coaching certificate or refereeing certificate; you may already have a part-time job or do some volunteer work; you might care for someone at home. These are really great skills, and these are really fantastic achievements. It's not an easy process, I get it; to try and self evaluate what's important to us but it's a really important one everyone, because it's going to give you the chance to try and find where you want to go in your life. So what I'd like you to do and I'm okay to talk to people next to you, that's completely fine I want you to see if you can try and put at least one thing in each of those four boxes you can see onto your worksheet. All right two minutes let's have a go at that. So, four boxes at least one thing in each of the boxes that's specific to you.


Three important parts there, 1. big picture, 2. your goals, 3. interesting talents. Now again I get it we're only here for 45 minutes, you can take this away and start considering this yourself. There are tools out there that will actually help you find some of that a little bit more effectively. We can do the best we can in the time we've got together this morning, but there's a whole range of different places that will help you try and find what that pathway looks like for you.

Let's have a look at some of those together. The first one is the booklet you have in front of you. Inside this Future Finder booklet what you'll see is that there's a whole range of parts there. Now, if you can turn to page 9 and page 10, there's a ‘Find your why’ section. Okay, it looks like this, it's the blue pages; page 9 and page 10. Now for many of us, uni is a great option; for many of us, it may not be into uni it might be into Tafe which you'll hear about later on today. But here's an example of trying to find what your ‘why’ looks like and then you can start to map backwards to try and see how you're going to get to achieve that particular career or that level of qualification, to get you into a job or a career. What you can then do in the pages there afterwards in this book, is you can start to explore what's required for you and also some recommended subjects for you if you're looking to go down that career path. So, it's a really great idea for you to start to consider what that looks like for you. So, I'd absolutely recommend again; we don’t have a lot of time this morning to take this away and use this; maybe just to give you a starting point once again for that.

In addition to this Future Finder booklet, there's a whole range of really great free websites and platforms you can use. One of those is called, it will give you a chance to do personality and career quizzes. It will then give you a chance to recommend types of roles or occupations you might need and then going forward you can then start to look at the details around those roles; how much is the median salary or wage? How many people in Australia are employed in that industry? What are the growth projections and the level of qualifications required? There's some really great sites, now these sites are at the bottom of the second page of your worksheet, so you can explore them later on, but it's a really great way to look at these.

Another really great site which helps you with resources and support is called, that once again contains lots of information about pathways, both VET and tertiary pathways; helps you understand what it is you need to know across those parts. And the third one that we'll talk about outside of the Future Finders booklet is this idea of what's called Once again, it gives you a chance to really explore what it is you might be looking to do and all that information that's surrounded apart from that as well. So, three really great sites, plus your Future Finder booklet - is a really good source of information for you. Give me a nod if that's making sense everyone, yeah? There are some really good support resources and all of those are free; doesn't cost you anything and they're really effective in trying to help you find your pathway.

If we talk about Jessica Watson, the first thing she did was plot a course; the second thing we then do is trimming your sails. Now, Jessica Watson was in a sailboat, if you sail a sailboat (which I haven't really done to be honest) there's a process of what we call trim your sails to keep it moving by getting as much wind as you possibly can. In our circumstance for us at the moment, trimming ourselves is all about what it is we need to choose in Year 11 and 12 to move us towards our path; this is a little bit of subject information, a little bit of information around what we call the HSC and some credentials with that. Now I don't know exactly where you're up to with this within your schools; whether you've started this process with your teachers and your career advisors or you're about to start this. So, I'll just cover this in general terms in case you haven't seen this yet. In order to achieve a HSC or a High School Certificate what you need to do is fulfill the requirements of the subjects that you choose. If you fulfill those requirements and meet what we call the minimum standard you graduate Year 12 with a HSC (a High School Certificate). If you want to you can also seek to get what we call an ATAR. Everyone in Year 12, if they meet minimum requirement get the HSC. If you wish to go down a tertiary pathway, into uni you can also choose subjects that will lead you towards what we call an ATAR. An ATAR stands for the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank and it's basically a number according to how you do compared to everyone else in the state across those subjects. Now the highest mark you can get is 99.95 and about 50 students; it's actually 48 students every year get every one of those sites from there.

Question? Why can’t you get an ATAR of 100?

You can't get 100 because it's not a score; so 99.95 is actually the rank that is provided for that and the reason for that is that every student in Australia, if they're looking to go to university would be choosing subjects that give you a chance to achieve that, and the subjects that go towards your ATAR are the ones that you have a common exam at the end of Year 12, where what's called NESA gets to assess you compared to every other student in the state that does that same subject. So, it's a fair way and fair process.

In Year 11 you have to do a minimum number of 12 units. For most of us here, as you're aware, the only subject that's compulsory is English, so we’ve all got to do English in Year 11 and 12. It doesn't matter what level it, it just has to be English of some sort. For our catholic schools and our independent schools you're probably also going to have to do religion either an ATAR based course called Studies of Religion or Catholic Studies which is a non-ATAR course. You'll have a chance to choose in Year 11, four subjects or five subjects. Each subject is usually worth what we call two units, so 12 units is the minimum requirement for Year 11 and 10 units is the minimum requirement for Year 12.

At the end of term 3 you'll have the opportunity to potentially drop a subject and only focus on 10 units, if that's the pathway that you choose. So, what we say about when you're thinking about subjects is consider your pathway, consider what that subject is and without question choose the subjects that you are interested in, are good at or can see yourself working through for the next two years. Two years is a long time as I'm sure you know; at the moment you've probably got 8 or 9 subjects you're doing in Year 10, so it brings it back. You do more detail within those subjects and you get those choices. For most of us when we go to Year 9, as I'm sure you remember, you usually had a choice of two or three electives. This time you've got basically your whole pattern of study; it’s essentially electives. Not even Maths is compulsory for you, even though three-quarters of the state do Maths of some sort, it's not even compulsory for you to do Maths. So, you get to choose the pathway that's best for you. Now there's lots of different subjects and that your school will go through in detail; the number of subjects and the offerings, they'll provide to you as a school are about 75 subjects (if you take away all the languages), there's a lot of different subjects that can be chosen. I know that you may not have seen some of this, but what I think is a really good starting point for us today is to think about; what are the subjects I'm locked in for that I absolutely know I want to do’ and then what are my maybes and I can start to explore what those maybes look like. Back to your worksheet, on the first page at the bottom is a table on the left-hand side. List the subjects that you are definite about okay, the ones in which you definitely want to be doing in Year 11 and 12 and the right-hand side column is the subjects that you're considering and at this stage unless you've done this process, you're still in the process of making those decisions. Let's have a go, let's have a think about the subjects that you're locked in for now. What's the first one on the left-hand side you've got to write down everyone? English. Thank you very much if you're at a catholic or independent school you're also going to have to do a type of religion which is a requirement as well.

Alright I'll give you a couple minutes, have a think about that. I'm okay for you to talk to your friends next to you as well guys. That's completely fine. Okay to share ideas, that conversation is a really good one to have. It's a really great one.


Unfortunately we haven't got time to go through each type of subject today and you'll do that with your schools, so your teachers will help you with this process. A couple of questions asked about numbers of units or subjects, as I said before just to clarify, most subjects are two units of study. There are some extension subjects that are one unit and there are some what we call VET or other subjects that are one unit as well. You can do more than 12 units in your prelim or Year 11 courses and you can do more than 10 for your HSC or Year 12 courses. That's fine to do more than that. Usually, it's capped around 14 or 15 and Year 12 is capped around 12. Your best 10 units, which has to include English if you're looking for an ATAR are used. If you do 12 units in Year 12, you get the best 10 that will be used to determine your ATAR. As I said before, inside your Future Finder booklet you'll notice that there are some suggested subjects, you don't have to do them. It's not the case anymore, generally speaking, where you have to do things. For some universities and some degrees, you may need to have certain levels of English or Mathematics, there are some courses that's the case for, they're called prerequisites. There is also something called assumed knowledge, so oftentimes if you want to go into say (what have I chosen) Computer Science and I.T, assumed knowledge might be some understanding of doing that beforehand. However, you are absolutely still better off choosing subjects that are best for you, even if it won't necessarily be the field of endeavor you work for. Okay, so that's that part just there.

If you're looking to do an ATAR and this has been taken directly from an organization called UAC, the University's Admissions Center. UAC is the organization responsible for, where you submit your preferences and then UAC, after all the marks are gathered and sorted out, then offer you places in courses - that's what UAC does. UAC also for some universities, also they are responsible for the early admission process. The University of Wollongong's got a fantastic early admission process, as does a number of the universities you're all thinking about and they sometimes are responsible for that. When it comes to subjects and choosing subjects, there's lots of myths you may hear about what gets scaled higher and what is moderated and all this sort of jargon and language. And it's kind of a bit complicated to get. I think the most important thing for you to understand is we know that students do better when they choose the right levels of subjects. So, when it comes to English, your school might offer English studies which is a non-ATAR course, English Standard and English Advance. Take the advice of your teachers, take the advice of those that know you really well to help you choose what levels within English and Mathematics in particular, because they are the ones that have done this a lot and they can absolutely help you. Which leads me, I shall do this first and I'll go to the next part, UAC have a really great tool on their website called a ‘Subject Compass’. And what it does, it gives you a chance to put your subjects in and tells you whether those subjects will allow you to be eligible for an ATAR. It will also give you some recommendations, if you have put your interest in things down about the sorts of subjects you might wish to consider choosing in Year 11 and 12. So it's a really great tool, it's free, if you Google ‘UAC Subject Compass’ it will come up and you can use that to also help you with this process of subject selection.

Let's look at the next part, the next part is about seeking guidance. As I mentioned you don't have to know everything right now and we don't expect you at Year 10 to understand the processes of the HSC and ATAR and all this sort of stuff as well. So it's really great for you to try and find help with different people there are lots of people out there to help you; your teachers at your schools are wonderful resources, your careers advisor, your subject teachers, your family. You may have had brothers or sisters that have gone through the HSC before, and they might be a great source of advice to offer their ideas with that. We all need people to help us and there's lots of people at the moment that will support you in this next month or so by making those decisions. Turn the page of your worksheet for me please, and I want you to look at this document at the back here and you can see there's like a bit of a diagram. I want you now to try and identify those people in your life that you think are your best sources of help. Let's write them down in the boxes, in the circles there. If you have more people than the four, that's great, add another spoke to your wheel and we'll add those as well. Examples of those people to help you are also up on the screen right now. You can use those people, let's write down our support networks because they're really, really important to us.


I just want to say guys you've been really great this morning, thank you so much. You're doing really well, so I really appreciate that. Now hands up those people that put their friends down as one of their support networks, who did that? Excellent, okay there's nothing wrong with choosing friends, absolutely. Just be conscious though, we sometimes get caught in the trap of occasionally choosing things our friends are doing though. There's nothing wrong with choosing a subject if your friends are doing it because that might be what you like or you can see yourself working well together. That's great. The proverb on the screen there, I think is a really good one because it talks about seeking advice from everyone and then at the end of the day you really have to use your own common sense when it comes to this. Give me a nod if that's making sense everyone? Yes. Great news, all right, just like Jessica Watson now she didn't say it on the video because I only picked a little part of that. But unfortunately for Jessica Watson, what happened with her was that she actually, two days into her trip her navigation didn't work quite well so she ran into a 150 meter freight container on her journey around the world and damaged her boat relatively considerably. It was a plug of a leak that she had to then look at, so she had to patch what was there as such. Now all of us as human beings sometimes have weaknesses, so there's nothing wrong with that at all. I've got plenty of weaknesses, okay numbers aren't my thing. Finance isn't necessarily my thing. I've got strength, but I've absolutely got weaknesses as well. And it's okay to have those weaknesses. What we want you to start thinking about now though, is what is it you can do to maybe start to patch your own leaks; if we take the analogy of being on a boat and setting sail for the future. We're talking about things in which we can control. Now, as you can see on the screen, there are absolutely things in your life right now you can control. Your thoughts, your actions, what you're giving your time and energy to, is very much under your control right now. There's also things unfortunately that you can't change, the past and the future are obvious ones. You can't actually change what people think about you, as much as we want to in that way. So, when it comes to thinking about pathways, when it comes to thinking about success or where you want to go with your life, by all means think about the things in which are under your control. Like your choices, your subject choices, where you're wishing to spend your time and energy towards. But I'd also recommend for you to try not to focus too much on things that are outside of your control, because there's nothing that we can do that's going to change that unfortunately.

A really good strategy right now in Year 10, is to start thinking about how can I look at addressing some of these weaknesses or these gaps in my understanding, or my skills, or my knowledge. On your worksheet, just towards the bottom, there are three boxes or three rows. Let's just do one of them this morning, try and think about maybe one thing that you'd like to improve upon or get better at or understand more. It can be to do, with what you know or understand, it can be do, with your skills, it can be done with your experience. Let's just put one thing down that you think you could improve upon and see if you can come up with a strategy that may help you in achieving that a little bit more. Let's do that for a minute. Okay let's go you've got a minute, let's write something down if you can.


Now the idea of this isn't to say that there's something that's wrong with you, because as I said before we all have those weaknesses absolutely. People talk about trying to gain experience when it comes to careers, if you get an opportunity to do work experience or unpaid or paid work that's great. It doesn't matter if you don't get to do that though, because sometimes it's quite difficult, we understand that completely. I really like this slide because oftentimes we get caught in thinking that things are worse than they actually are. Now when it comes to careers and pathways, this is absolutely the case. Sometimes we think it's such a big thing we're never going to get there, but oftentimes when we actually start doing something it's not kind of as bad as you think so. Give me a nod who agrees with you on that one, does everyone agree that's the case. Oftentimes we make things worse than they actually are, when we start things the process of finding our pathway, of looking at careers, of subject selection, when we start that process it's not as bad as we actually think it is, so that's a really important one I think as well.

We've looked at trying to find more about yourself, trying to find or plot your course in life, how to seek guidance from people that you can trust and know, what things you could maybe patch that'll help you in making those decisions better. The last process of this, is about setting sail. It's about actually having a go and trying to do things. If you can, at this point right now, you can start to consider what sort of goals you have now. There'll be some days you'll feel like, you'll feel like this - a million dollars, things are working for you, things will be great, I've got this under control. There'll be some days where you'll be a little bit more like this. Hands up who agrees with me on that one? Yes or no? Yeah, lots of people do excellent. That's okay, it's part of the process. As I said before, lots of people make choices and decisions and change their mind. I have four children myself, two of those children have started a course and want to change their mind and that's okay. As James mentioned earlier this is the process that happens all the time. But moving towards a process to start with, not only tells you what you do like and know, but it also tells you what you maybe don't like or doesn't work for you which is completely fine as well. Action plans work, okay, action plans are great to see where you want to go. If you want to become a vet nurse or a builder or an accountant or a cyber security expert or whatever it is that you want to do in your life. It's really great to start that planning process now, because by planning it it's been shown to be much more effective. In fact if you write just your goals down, there's a 50% greater chance that you'll go and achieve them. If you not only write your goals down and share it with someone else, like a friend or a parent or a significant other in your life, you're 70% more likely to achieve that more. So that's pretty important I think, that's pretty significant, that that's actually the case. So, these are the things in which we want to start you thinking about now and get into that process. I want to thank you so much for your attention today. There's lots of things there, go and do your research, read the Future Finder booklet, give yourself a chance to do some of those things.


[The right pathway can transform your life. TAFE NSW]

My name's Kate Derby I'm the manager of Tafe Services here in the Illawarra so I look after our TAFE campuses here in Wollongong, West Wollongong, Shellharbour and Yallah and also at the Innovation Campus. My time with you today is really going to be about pathways, pathways while you're at school and pathways after school. So let's kick it off.

[Video of TAFE students]


I would describe myself as a little bit of an introvert, a little bit of an awkward turtle. I am a country girl, how much information do you want to know I could go on. I am open-minded. Well, the old term my head screwed on too tightly gets used quite a lot. I am a foodie. I am a single mum of three children. I am a caregiver. I'm a proud Muddy Muddy man. And I am a soldier.

Um I wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, but that was more my parents dreams for me more than my own. When I was a kid in school I wanted to be a carpenter. Running up to the windows pressing my nose against the glass and watching the planes come in. I was a young sailor. I was working as a receptionist.

That's a good one, uh success to me is ensuring that I'm giving back to my community. Success means hard work and determination. The more I'm coaching other people it means that I feel more successful. Success for me, means going to a job that I love. Success being content, being happy being proud of who you are and what you're doing. The focus should be on what you actually love and what you want to do. Dad suggested maybe you should do an apprenticeship and that's pretty much when my whole life changed.


I have a Diploma in Nursing. I have a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance. I have my Certificate III in Electro Technology. I have a Diploma in Aeroskills Avionics and a Diploma in Management. I'm studying for my Certificate IV in Screening Media. I'm a senior Aboriginal Community Worker. I'm an Electrical Instrumentation Technician. I'm a Carpenter, Builder and Cadet Building certified. I'm a Master Stylist. I am an enrolled nurse. I am the 2017 Local Woman of the Year for Monaro. I'm a Head Chef. I am an International Sales and Business Development Manager. I'm a High Voltage Electrician. I'm the manager of the Koori Youth Council.

When you take on a vocational education course, you're actually making that life decision. I get to make people feel beautiful every single day. I am so happy to be doing something that I absolutely love every day. You definitely feel like you're important that you matter to the community. It is absolutely brilliant, it's everything that I ever wanted it to be. You definitely feel like people rely on you and you sort of feel like of a mentor or hero. It's definitely a career versus a job.

So, before I go any further with my presentation I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet today. I'd like to pay my respect to Aboriginal Elders past, present and emerging and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people here today.

So let's talk pathways, TAFE NSW offers you so many different pathways, from where you are right now right through to your dream career. So, let's start where you are right now. You guys and girls are in Year 10? Year 10, yep. All right so, the first pathway that I'd really like to share with you is our TVET pathway. Now your career advisors probably might have mentioned this to you, you've probably heard this term, but TVET is an opportunity for you to gain the skills to start your study, to start your career, to start your vocational education while you're still at school. It enables you to continue with your high school education but get that kick start on your vocational education towards a career that you might like and one of the great things about TVET is that it actually allows you to have a little bit of a taster of something that you might want to do for a job.

So, say for example, you want to be a nurse, that might be something that you want to do. By doing TVET as part of your schooling, it'll give you an opportunity to have a little bit of a taste of what the health services industry is like, either you're going to love it and in five years’ time you'll be putting needles in people or alternately it might not be for you; but either way you've had this opportunity to experience it, to try it, to start it before you have left school. So talk to your career advisors about TVET because it's a really great way to start your career progression.

The second pathway that I want to talk to you about while you're still at school is our SBAT, which is a school-based apprenticeship and traineeship. Again, this is a pathway that you get to stay at school, you get to stay at high school but again it kicks off your career. It gives you the opportunity to with an employer; work, go to school and also start your vocational education. So, it's an incredible opportunity for you while you're still at school and again will give you the opportunity to start your pathway, your career a little bit earlier. We have a great team here in the Illawarra that support our school-based apprenticeships and traineeships both from the Department of Education and also from TAFE NSW, so again if this is a pathway that you're thinking about please talk to your career advisors and they'll be able to give you a little bit more information about that pathway.

Now post-school; post-school for you might be next year, it might be in two years; everybody has their own journey but again after school there are a lot of different pathways. There's lots of different ways that you can go. There's apprenticeships and traineeships so that's again where you earn and you learn and you build your career and you build your capabilities with an employer that gets you on your career path. The other way is by doing a vocational education course so we have a number of courses, 1500 courses at TAFE NSW from Certificate II right up to Diploma and we also have Higher Education. So we have Higher Education courses ourselves but we also have some really great pathways to get you to Higher Education if Higher Education, if university is where you want to be but you don't quite hit the mark when you finish school we're a great pathway to get you into the university that you need to get into.

[Video of Kickstart your career with a TVET course]


Tafe has given me the opportunity for a head start, I'm 18 years old I've almost done my apprenticeship. It's so different to like your high school environment, heaps hands-on. It was an SBAT, so I did it throughout school, I completed my HSC and gained a certificate III all in the same year. I gained a Cert III in Education Support going straight out of high school, I had a job in a profession that I wanted to study further on.

At school I was studying Construction and I really enjoyed construction, so then I figured why not get into that type of a path. Looks good on the resume, a bit more experience and more learning so it's good.

When you have a good student who really cares about what they're doing, they care about their work, they want to achieve and seeing them reach that goal there's no other feeling like it.


So, here's a little bit more information about TVET and the opportunities and benefits of actually studying TVET. You get to prepare for further education and training and employment while you're still at school, it gives you the opportunity to explore different courses; different career areas, you can build your skills and it gets you ready for your lifelong learning. One example of a student that we had that studied Health Services Assistance, so that's our HSA course, again with that nursing pathway; did the TVET, absolutely loved it, felt more passionate than ever that she wanted to be a nurse. Now part of the nursing both here at UOW and with TAFE NSW, it's very, very competitive, they're very competitive courses and it is by application. Students who do a TVET do have an advantage in that process because they've started their learning, they've started their journey, they've started their career towards that particular industry and that's definitely an advantage. Another advantage is that, if you are looking at perhaps doing an apprenticeship after school, doing a TVET while you're at school shows the employer that you're keen, that you actually really want to do this and so when you're up against all those other you know would-be apprentices and trainees you've already started, you've already shown that commitment and so TVET a really great opportunity and as I mentioned before check to your career advisor about the TVET options for your school.

The other one that I mentioned earlier is SBAT, so SBAT obviously is a little building, a little bit more on that TVET in terms of it has that work component to it as well. So school, vocational education with TAFE or a vocational education provider and your employer. So those hands-on skills at work, fine-tuning that knowledge with your education provider and you still get to stay at school with your friends.

[SBAT Video]


SBAT is a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship, and it sets them up for whatever journey they want to take in life. They vary from Childcare, Fitness, Beauty, Electro Technology and everything in between. Watching a student thrive in an industry that they're passionate about is a massive reward, when you love something that you're doing it's never going to feel like work.


So the next part I'd like to talk to you about is your post school apprenticeships and traineeships. You know, I think that more and more these days we're seeing apprenticeships and traineeships spread past the traditional construction and trade areas. We're seeing apprenticeships and traineeships in a wide raft of areas and so this is definitely an opportunity for you to look at your career and see if there is actually an apprenticeship or traineeship within that industry that you can engage in and part of that, at TAFE NSW, we can engage you in your learning. We have an incredible apprenticeships and traineeships team at TAFE NSW to support you; your career advisors can support you on looking for those opportunities while you're still at school for that post-school study option, but that's definitely a career path that you should consider if it's within that industry that you're after.

Now at TAFE NSW we believe that everybody; everybody should have the opportunity to learn and that's why we have a whole range of scholarships. They're not just academic scholarships either, so you don't have to be a straight A student, you don't have to be top of your class to get one of our scholarships. We have all different types of scholarships, so if you want to study with us and you're worried about how much it's going to cost, you wonder if you can't afford it, if mum and dad, whoever cares for you can't afford it we do have scholarships and in our post-school courses we have a lot of fee-free options as well. All of this information is on our website, so if there's anything that you're particularly interested in, you can jump on our website and have a look at all the different scholarships that we have and also to, about the whole lot of free and subsidized courses as well.

That brings me to the next part which I'm really, really passionate about and that is short courses. We're finding more and more that students that are in high school maybe at the end of Year 12 or at the end of Year 11 or over the Christmas holidays are picking up short courses. Short courses can be in anything, we've got some really great short courses in the digital space at the moment with our micro skills, we've got some really great short courses in Project Management, Business Management, Construction, Health. These courses might take you a day, they might take you two weeks, they might take you six weeks and a lot of them are self-directed learning. So to set yourself up for a job or to set yourself up for a career, if you feel like you want to build up your capability a bit and maybe pick up a couple of short courses, jump on the website and have a look and see some of the short courses that we've got that you can do from the comfort of your own bedroom, but build up your capability while you're doing it. For now, I'll hand over to UOW College to present to you, thank you for having me guys I really appreciate it.

[Pathways to Uni. UOW College]

My name is Niribi Mathews, I am the Marketing Manager here at UOW College. So UOW College is literally here in the building next door. So, we're here on campus, our students are taught like UOW students, they get access to all of the same systems, same student number. It's just that we're a separate College to the university and we provide pathways into the University. I'm going to talk to you a little bit about what that means today and then I will reference some of our courses, but I suppose just take away from today, that you do have options and that there are pathway options. For myself personally when I finished Year 12 I didn't get the mark that I needed to get into The Bachelor of Commerce that I wanted to get into. My parents told me I had to keep working if I wasn't going to university, so I studied a Diploma of Business. After I studied that Diploma of Business I then came back to university when I was about 21, I did some travel, stopped socializing as much and came back and did a Bachelor of Commerce and actually went into the second year from there. I then went to the Masters of Business Administration and I actually graduated with high distinctions so when we talk about pathways to university you know sometimes things don't go to plan, sometimes you might not get the marks that you're expecting but you know, keep your options open and that's something I'll talk about a little bit today.

Put your hand up if you have ever heard of UOW College before? A couple, all right that's good, and put your hand up if you've been to an Open Day on campus. No, that's not surprising . UOW does do Open Days in August and if you live in the local area I encourage you to bring your family down, bring your friends down. There are kind of targeted at Year 12 students but it's a great way to come onto campus, experience campus, find out a bit more about the UOW degrees that you can study and it's on a Saturday too, so you don't get a day off school but you do get to come on campus on a Saturday. Okay so first of all I suppose one of the things I'm just going to reference when we're talking about pathways is anyone really confused when we talk about Diplomas, Bachelors, Masters, Post Grad, Undergrad? Does anyone kind of hear all this terminology and think what are you talking about? You all know? I'm going to test you yeah! Okay, there's some hands there. I remember when I was getting thrown all these terminologies I had no idea what they meant when I was in school. I think with education post school, think of it like a ladder okay. After school you can do it or during school you can do a Certificate III, you can do a Certificate IV, you can do a Diploma. After a Diploma you can do a Bachelor. A Bachelor Degree is within the undergraduate framework and after that you can do a Masters which is within the Post-Grad framework. We just heard from TAFE, they were talking a lot about Certificate III or Certificate IV, so they're at the bottom of the ladder and then you slowly move your way up. As I mentioned I did a Diploma but I got into my second year of a Bachelor, so sometimes what you'll notice is there's a little bit of crossover there between the Certificate that you might be doing and a Bachelor and in some cases like in the scenarios at the College, we can actually package a Diploma plus a Bachelor. Does that help you understand? I suppose if you think of it like that ladder perspective. Okay so in terms of pathway or entry into university do people know how you're assessed into university? Someone give me an example of one where you can be assessed into university.

[inaudible audience response]

Definitely, so you can be assessed based on an ATAR. Does anyone know any other ways that you can be assessed for entry into university?

[inaudible audience response]

Yep, that's exactly right, so we actually have something called an Early Admission program where we don't look at your ATAR but we look at your marks in Year 11 and Year 12. In addition to that we also look at things like your academic readiness, your ability to work as part of a team. Most of you are in Year 10 now, correct? So, you have the opportunity to start to influence those marks in Year 11 and Year 12 to then gain entry to university through potentially an Early Admission program. So Early Admissions is around August and you apply for it when you're in Year 12. When we say ‘enter university’, the College does also offer pathways through these programs as well.

So what other options do you have to enter into university?

You can come in through a vocational qualification, so you might take some time off and do a Certificate or a Diploma similar to what I did and come back and enter through those qualifications. You can also do a packaged course, so what this means is if you don't get that ATAR that you want to get into the degree that you want to, you might actually get an alternative offer from someone like our team that says if you want to get into this degree you do this Diploma first and we will give you guaranteed entry into the Bachelor. Of course, you have to pass the Diploma, but it is another way that you can get in so that's like a package course where we say, ‘do a Diploma plus a Bachelor.’

You can do a vocational qualification, so similar to something at TAFE, we also offer vocational qualifications, so we offer them in Nursing, for example, Ageing, Individual Support, Fitness or you can come back as a non-school leaver. So, you might want to do a bit of exploring, decide exactly what you want to do, and then come back two years later.

In terms of advice for next steps: investigate the courses that you're interested in at university, but to do that you need to know or have a think about the career that you want to get into. If you consider your career, look at the degree and then from there look at your entry options into university. So, think of the end goal, think what you want to be doing in your career and then map your course back to that once you've figured out your UOW course, then people like ourselves at UOW College can map a pathway course into it. So definitely keep those options open and as I said understand the entry requirements. This is really important when you start to pick your subjects in Year 11 and Year 12 because there might be degrees there that require “prereqs”, a prerequisite for you to do a particular subject. So start thinking about that now.

Know your pathways. I'm not going to give you all of the information about the pathways now because you'll get overwhelmed, but just know that you can ask the question “are there any pathways into this degree?” And prepare for the next two years. So, Year 11 and Year 12 can be challenging, it might go to plan, or it might not go to plan. If it doesn't go to plan reach out - get the support of your teachers, of your careers advisors, and keep your options open. Oh, look there - find your goal, decide the career that you want to get into, and then work backwards from there. Any questions?

Nope – okay. I'm just gonna, oh here, these are the different areas that we offer our diplomas in. I'm not going to go into them in detail but just so you know, there's a range of different options there.

I'm just going to quickly play a video for you.


Well, I'd say I'm very happy to be a student because it's allowed me to, I guess get used to studying again after such a long time. I didn't come straight from school, they've really surprised me in a good way about how helpful the college is so I would recommend anyone to who's thinking of, who has the chance to come through the college, to come through the college before they're going to university so yeah.

It helped me just by being genuine and genuine people and not being too teacher-like if that's a, if you know what I mean, not overly formal, but at the same time respectful and just being real people, I think being open to the discussion and just yeah helping in general.


They are genuinely, authentically interested in getting to know you. Also just incredibly committed to like teaching people who of course want to be taught and I think through the college because this is an alternative pathway, the majority of people that come through want that and it's nice to have that reciprocation from the people that you're here to learn from.


Again, I don't know where to start but there's so many things that that I love about the college and I think it's because I wasn't expecting to love it. I'm proud of it because I came in expecting a wholly different experience and I walked out the other side like believing in myself.


Okay, so that's just I suppose a reminder if there's one thing that you take away from today, is know the career you want to get into, map it back to your Bachelor and know that there's pathways for you to get there. So, keep those options open, that's it. Thank you.

Downloadable resources

Resources referred to in the video

Supplementary resources for use with Future Finder Guide

Recommended for a careers-based lesson with students at school; and the resources are best used with a device: