Finished school? What’s next?

Are you a school leaver looking to take the next step? Here are some ideas to get you started on your way:

School leaver career resources: 

Explore your options with a school leaver career information kit:

School Leavers Support | Your Career

Still deciding on a career?

Jump on to the Job Outlook website to complete a careers quiz, explore interests, match skills and look at the future labour market to see what opportunities are available for your chosen career.

See some examples of local school leavers and their career paths:

Youtube videos (

The Geelong Region Local Learning and Employment Network has some great information about joining the workforce:

Looking for a job?

Create or use an email address for jobseeker emails so you don’t miss anything. Check your inbox daily.

Target entry level positions where you can learn new skills and gain experience to move into higher level positions. Most people sign up for alerts from recruitment websites such as:

Another strategy is searching company websites for a careers section, again signing up for alerts where possible. This approach is essential for larger retailers and companies who often only advertise this way.

Let friends and family know you are looking for work and join networks like local Facebook Job Watch pages as well as looking for printed notices in windows around town. While you are out looking, drop off your resume to businesses to show that you are interested in future vacancies.

Your Employment Rights

It’s also important to know about your working rights before you take the leap into the workforce or even when you’ve already started a new job.

  • How much should you be getting paid?
  • Are you entitled to sick leave?
  • Should you be getting paid overtime for working extra hours?
  • Can you do an unpaid work trial? Is it legal?

It’s important to ask these questions but who can you speak to?

JobWatch is an independent, government funded, not-for-profit employment rights community legal centre supporting workers with their rights at work. They have some great resources for young people who may be looking to get their first job, or have just started working. They currently some really useful on-demand presentations on their website to keep you informed about your rights.

The Young Workers Centre is a one-stop-shop for young workers who want to learn more about their rights at work or who need assistance in resolving workplace issues. Their team of lawyers, organisers, educators and researchers seek to empower young people working in Victoria with the knowledge and skills needed to end workplace exploitation and insecurity. Some great resources and fact sheets on their website.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is a federal government agency. They provide education, assistance, advice and guidance to employees, employers, outworkers, outworker entities and organisations. They also promote and monitor compliance with workplace laws and can inquire into and investigate breaches of the Fair Work Act. Lots of information and useful fact sheets on their website too.

Are you ready to earn and learn?


Traineeships and apprenticeships will see you complete nationally recognised qualifications while earning a wage. Traineeships last on average 12 months and apprenticeships up to four years. In 2021 there were 329, 585 apprentices and trainees in employment around Australia (  Many of these jobs are offered late in the year but group training organisations advertise all year, acting as the employer and co-ordinating your training and placement at a host company.

Apprenticeship Pathways

Going direct to further study?

ATARS and offers – Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC):

Information about key dates for ATAR results and offers. The Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) is a hub for tertiary course applications in Victoria. VTAC receives, processes and forwards course applications to universities, TAFEs and independent tertiary colleges in Victoria (and a few outside Victoria).


Didn’t get the ATAR for your course or no ATAR score?

TAFE courses can link directly to university through partnership pathways. Many Gordon diploma courses link directly to courses at Deakin and Victoria universities. You will gain a stand-alone qualification, hands on skills and often you may be credited with similar units from first year of your new course. You can then pursue skilled part-time work to support your studies. If you do this then industry experience will result in a superior graduate resume.

Need a pathway to uni? The Gordon can get you there.

Looking for a short course?

Learn local providers have low cost programs helping you learn new skills.

Geelong and surrounds comes under the Barwon Southwest category and the Outer Western Melbourne category covers Wyndham, Melton & Brimbank.

Looking for vocational training courses?

See all the accredited courses for vocational education in Victoria. Always check course fees and compare providers. Accredited education is a must to gain a recognised industry qualification. You can choose between TAFE colleges and both private and not for profit registered training organisations.

Victorian Skills Gateway

Local TAFE courses:

Thinking about a university course?

Course Seeker helps you make informed decisions about future study in higher education around Australia. Browse thousands of courses from more than a hundred providers including 41 public Australian universities.

Course Seeker

Compare undergraduate courses at 104 institutions, including 41 universities, which are independently rated by their graduates.

ComparED – Explore and compare institutions and study areas based on real life student experiences

Not sure you will enjoy university study? Search online for MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses) where you can complete a university unit in an area of interest for free. You can also pay to be assessed and gain a credit.

What about a gap year?

A well planned gap year with paid or volunteer work in a relevant industry, or studying a short course at TAFE can help you explore a future career. It’s also less costly than a HECS debt from a year of a course that you didn’t like.

Just want to pick up some new skills and help others?

Try volunteering to gain valuable employability skills like communication and team work and see what it is like to work in an industry before you commit to a qualification. For instance, try working in a classroom with or helping people with disabilities at Training will be given at most organisations so you need to commit for more than a short term.

Need careers advice or job seeking skills?

We can help at the Gordon Skills and Job Centre. Everyone in Geelong and Wyndham qualifies for our help, not just Gordon students.  Once registered with us, you can book for free workshops and appointments with our career advisors as well as check out our resources on our online Career Hub including templates, links and we have a jobs board too.

Skills and Jobs Centre | Jobs in Geelong (

If you haven’t already registered, call us on 5225 0700 to organise a user name and password link and chat about your needs.

Remember every journey begins with the first step so start exploring!