Career News

We have many guest speakers already booked in for this term. QTAC is presenting an ATAR information sessions to our Year 10s and interested parents Wednesday 22nd May 10am.  We have WEP exchange coming to speak to students on 23rd May. Our Year 10s are going to attend the BLA Youth and Career Expo 28th May.  Peter from Union College will be at St Mary’s on 23rd May to meet with students from Year 11 and 12 who are considering living on UQ Brisbane Campus.  Liam from Student One, another residential option in Brisbane for those considering university down there, is coming to St Mary’s on 24th May. 

Jessie from Lattitude Global Volunteering came to speak to interested students and our Year 12 cohort in Week 2.  Lattitude is one of the largest international volunteering organisations, supporting around 1000 young people globally every year. They are a non-profit organisation and have 45 years of experience. Lattitude offer volunteer placements in 13 countries, lasting between 6 weeks and 12 months and departing throughout the year. For more information visit


Term 2 is when our Year 10 Work Experience program takes place. Students will be receiving their paperwork in Week 5 during their SEL lesson. Those who require White Cards will be advised of this – White cards are required on construction sites and this year the laws around the white card has changed to face to face training with no more than 10 students per class. More information will follow on the white card training. All Year 10 students will be undertaking Work Experience in Week 8 of this term – it is an exciting and challenging week which is a memorable part of the school experience.

Apprenticeship Support Australia

Apprenticeship Support Australia was formed in 2014 to deliver the Australian Governments “Australian Apprenticeship Support Network” under a contract from the Department of Education and Training. Their services are focused on lifting apprenticeship commencement and completion rates through the provision of support at every stage of the employment cycle. Job-seekers, school students and apprentices can all receive ongoing support including career advice, job matching, and ongoing mentoring. Visit the Apprenticeship Support Australia website to access more information on Apprenticeships by clicking on ‘Apprentices’. Here you will find information about apprenticeship wages, qualifications, registered training organisations, school-based apprenticeships, how to get an apprenticeship and how you can access mentoring support. On the site, you can also schedule a free career consultation with a career adviser.  

The website contains specific information for parents regarding:

You can also access Apprenticeship Support Australia information specific to Queensland.

Registering with a Group Training Organisation (GTO) is one strategy to try when looking for an apprenticeship. GTOs employ apprentices and trainees and place them with a host employer until the apprenticeship or traineeship has been completed. For more information about GTOs, visit the Group Training Australia website. The website has a section with short videos of apprentices and trainees talking about their training. Their website includes information on:

Aviation Australia

Aviation Australia provides world class aviation training that has created partnerships with over 150 industry organisations including airlines, aerospace companies, governments defence force and regulatory authorities.  It is now offering the School to Work pathway 2019 VETiS two year - MEA20515 Certificate II in Aircraft Line Maintenance for Year 11 students . For more detail visit their website or see our Trade Training Centre Manager/VET Coordinator, Mr Breck Nielson.

VET for secondary school students: Acquiring an array of technical and non-technical skills

The role of vocational education and training (VET) in preparing students for employment, further training and the changing world of work has long been a topic of interest among employers, educationalists and policymakers. More recent attention has also been on VET’s role in assisting in the development of non-technical skills (for example, employability skills), with employer groups vocal about the need for potential employees possessing these skills. Click here to access this NCVER research report.

Career planning tools

CAREERinsite is a Canadian website that has several free career planning tools. A way to use this site and tie it into Australian occupational information is:

  • Scroll down to ‘Get started’ and sign up
  • Do the ‘Know yourself’ quiz. The quiz can help you identify the job activities you like. The report at the end of the quiz summarises your current preferences and links these to a list of jobs. Select jobs from the list you would like to explore further
  • The ‘Explore options’ section encourages you to:
    • read about the jobs you have selected. For Australian content, go to Occupations on the myfuture website (sign up if this your first visit to the site) or Explore Careers on the Skillsroad website
    • talk to people already in these jobs
    • try the jobs (e.g. do work experience or follow someone already in the job for a couple of days).

Through these activities, you can narrow down your list of jobs, retaining those you most like.

  • The ‘Get ready’ section helps you compare the remaining jobs on your list
  • The ‘Take action’ section helps you develop an action plan for your next step which could be to apply for a course or to find a job.

How to make better career decisions

myfuture has a resource called ‘The Adventures of You’ executive function guide. Executive functions are the mental skills needed to make decisions, including career and course decisions. These include planning, reasoning, prioritising, problem solving, task flexibility, execution and monitoring actions. The Adventures of You site includes three animated videos that will help you understand these skills.

Job Jump Start – Ways to explore careers and prepare for work!

The Australian Government, Department of Jobs and Small Business manage a website called Job Jump Start, to provide tips and ideas about jobs and careers in the one spot. You can start your search from a range of platforms including:

  • I’m at school
  • I’m on a Gap Year
  • I’m at Uni or in Training
  • I’ve just graduated from Uni or a training course
  • I’m looking for a job
  • I’m already working

The website contains a range of useful articles under the categories of:

  • Looking for a job – Resume, Cover Letter and Interview Tips
  • Building a career – Choosing the right field of work or study
  • At work – Connecting with employers

One of the articles highlights how to make a great first impression on employers. According to the article the Department of Employment regularly surveys Australian employers. They ask them what young job seekers can do to make a good impression at interview.

Employers said that they are impressed by job seekers who: 

  • are punctual
  • dress appropriately
  • offer a firm handshake
  • smile and are friendly
  • make eye contact
  • have good posture (it makes you appear more confident)
  • are well presented

As well as this, consider the following ways to show an employer you really want to work with them:

  1. Be your best self. Employers will use a range of information to form an impression of you. They will look at your social media profile, observe your conversations with other people and your personal presentation. They will be looking for an indication of your personality, abilities and your values, such as respect for others and yourself, reliability and trustworthiness.
  2. Show them you understand their business. Doing some homework on employers so you understand their business challenges and priorities will help you explain what you can offer them.
  3. Ask interesting questions. If you have a genuine interest in a specific brand, business or industry then demonstrate this to the employer by asking questions about the company’s business strategy, products and services or upcoming projects. Ask employers questions they want to answer. They’ll remember you for it.

For more information on what employers look for in young workers, see the fact sheet 'Looking for a Job Employer Advice for Young People' on the Labour Market Information Portal. 

Skillsroad – a career exploration website

The Skillsroad website has many activities that can help you get started on your career exploration. They include:

  • Career quiz – learn more about yourself, your strengths and talents and the jobs you might be attracted to
  • Job fit Test – are you job ready? Find out by doing this test
  • Explore careers – comprehensive information on over 350 jobs
  • Industry videos – listen to the stories of people already on the job
  • Training and study options – information about apprenticeships and traineeships, university, Vocational Education and Training and SkillsRoad Online Courses.

The site also provides information on job seeking skills such as finding a job, preparing for interviews, resume builder and a jobs board. A Work Readiness course can be accessed for a fee from the site.

What is ICT?

How do you communicate with your friends – SMS, Twitter, Google Plus, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, Pandora, Facebook, Instagram? When you use any of these channels of communication, you are using Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

As tomorrow’s ICT professional you are likely to be working with technologies that do not exist yet. You will have your choice of industry – banking and finance, health, insurance, defence, manufacturing, telecommunications, agriculture, environment, hospitality – you name it. Here are a few examples of the careers in the many ICT pathways available.

  • The Dreamer – Designer, Developer, Programmer, Systems Analyst
  • The Team Player - Account Manager, Support Technician, Computer Engineer
  • The Inventor – Network Administrator, ICT Architect, ICT Consultant, Programmer
  • The Constructor – Database Coordinator, Network Administrator, Security Analyst
  • The Big Thinker – Business Systems Planner, ICT Trainer, Project Manager

You can find this information and much more on the I Choose Technology website. The site provides information about the ICT industry in Australia, ICT jobs and salaries, courses, and the profiles of people with ICT jobs.

Why ‘worthless’ humanities degrees may set you up for life

When deciding on a pathway after school many students immediately think of a university degree as being the best option. If you are thinking seriously about a University pathway after school Amanda Ruggeri has written an interesting article outlining the value of a humanities degree that provides a broad range of learning experiences and skill development sort after by employers. This challenges the common mindset that a degree should directly link to a job, however this does not support current employment/hiring trends where employers are looking for recruits with high level social skills and creative problem solving.

A career path you may not know about:

Office Managers organise and control the functions and resources of offices such as administrative systems and office personnel.

Main tasks performed:

  • contributing to the planning and review of office services, and setting priorities and office service standards
  • allocating human resources, space and equipment
  • assigning work to and monitoring work performance of staff
  • managing records and accounts of the office
  • liaising with Professionals to coordinate office business and to facilitate resolution of problems
  • ensuring office equipment and supplies are maintained

Check out myfuture for more information about this job and others

Considering a career in Insurance?

Earn while you learn. No special qualifications are required to get a start in the industry. As your skills improve the qualifications follow. Graduate programs are available for those interested in a specialist field.

 Job roles in Insurance can include:  Broking; Customer Service; Claims; Loss Adjusting; Administration; Underwriting; IT; Sales & Marketing; Finance; Human Resources; Legal.

Visit the Council of Queensland Insurance Brokers website to find out about some of the specialist fields in this industry.

The informational interview: what it is and why you should do it

Seek recently published an article titled Informational interviews 101 and observed that you can often get a chance to ask questions about a particular job, field or company when we sit down for a job interview. But there’s a way you can gain insight into a career and even potentially tap into the job market, minus the pressure of going for a particular role. It’s called an informational interview. They outline why and how you might want to do one, covering the following topics:

  • What’s an informational interview?
  • Why have an informational interview?
  • How to organise an informational interview
  • Once you have secured an informational interview
  • When you are at the interview

The most stressful and least stressful jobs of 2019

The CareerCast team ranked jobs according to 11 core factors – amount of travel, growth potential, physical demands, environmental conditions, hazards encountered, meeting the public, competitiveness, death, life of another at risk, deadlines and working in the public-eye. The following are the top most stressful and least stressful jobs they came up with.

Most stressful jobs

  1. Enlisted Military Personnel
  2. Firefighter
  3. Airline Pilot
  4. Police Officer
  5. Broadcaster
  6. Event Coordinator
  7. Newspaper Reporter
  8. Public Relations Executive
  9. Senior Corporate Executive
  10. Taxi Driver

Least stressful jobs

  1. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
  2. Compliance Officer
  3. Hair Stylist
  4. Audiologist
  5. University Professor
  6. Medical Records Technician
  7. Jeweller
  8. Operations Research Analyst
  9. Pharmacy Technician
  10. Massage Therapist

How you cope with stress is probably something you need to think about when exploring jobs. Read more about the CareerCast research on their website.

Top 20 most and least applied for jobs in your State has a tool to use to find out the most and least applied for jobs in your state. Whether you're actively looking for a new job or you're just keeping your eye on the market, it's always good to know what your competition looks like. Click here to access the tool and to find our more.

Want to work with animals? Six ways to get a job on the wild side

Most animal jobs are competitive. To gain entry to these occupations, you need to have a plan. An article in the Australian edition of ‘The Guardian’ offers six strategies to help you gain a job in this field. The following is a summary of the strategies.

  1. Volunteer – Begin by volunteering at a local kennel, animal charity (e.g. RSPCA, Animal Rescue Qld.) or zoo/animal attraction (e.g. Australia Zoo, Sea World, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary). This will give you an understanding of the day-to-day tasks of the work. Volunteering is also a good way of showing that you are committed and willing to go the extra mile.
  2. Make the most of your volunteering – Document it. Make opportunities to learn new skills that could help you in the future. Talk to people working in the field to find out how they got their jobs and about the options out there.
  3. Get qualified - Find out the qualifications, work experience and other things that employers, education and training providers require.
  4. Don’t limit yourself - Keep an open mind. You may find something on route to your original goal that you had never thought of and love.
  5. Don’t forget your people skills - Any employment within the animal-based industry will require clear communication skills and the ability to work in a team.
  6. Persevere - You need perseverance if you really want to work in a specific job. It may take longer than you want, but the job satisfaction and rewards are worth it.

Bursaries for Female Students

The National Council of Women of Queensland has launched its 2019 bursary program for female students. A few of the bursaries are for secondary students. These include:

  • Elsie Byth Bursary for Year 12 students planning to study teaching at the completion of Year 12.

Visit the website for more information and to download the application form. Applications close on 20 May 2019.

Taking a Gap Year: The Pros and Cons

An article published on the Good Universities Guide website highlights all people are different. Some like to jump straight into tertiary study after finishing high school, whereas others might want to start working immediately. Perhaps they want to travel or maybe they have no idea what they are going to do. Taking a gap year can be a fantastic option but there is no denying that it comes with a unique set of pros and cons. We’ve had a look at the best and worst aspects of spending a year away from the books. Their article discusses the Pros and Cons of taking a Gap Year which include:

Pros: Gain experience, Revitalise, Make new friends

Cons: Getting side-tracked, Financial Strain, Wasted time

Visit their webpage to read the full article and access links to more information that you may wish to consider if a Gap Year is what you are considering.

Study Habits for success: tips for students

Thinking about and managing your study is the key to stress free, well managed, balanced and successful life while completing your school and life commitments.

Some suggestions put together by The Conversation, that you should find helpful are:

  • Focus! And don’t multi-task – we should to direct our attention to just one or two tasks at a time.
  • Sleep well, learn well – Get a good night’s sleep to feel fresh and attentive the next day.
  • Test yourself – We learn much better when we test our own knowledge
  • Space out (your learning) – Space your learning over days, weeks and months.
  • Use memory aids – Linking information to another experience in any way helps us recall information

To see more ideas and a detailed explanation of each point, go to their website.

The top 4 ways to stop stressing and actually start studying

This article from the Foundation for Young Australians website starts with the following question:

Question 1. So, it’s exam period, what do you do?

  • Freak out?
  • Pull your notes together from the year and cram?
  • Forget to sleep?
  • All of the above?

If you answered yes, then you probably need the following tips from the article.

More sleep, less screen time and more studying - The average Australian teenager spends 9 hours a day surrounded by media and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter top the list.  Often this gets in the way of our studies, regardless of it being the night before a test or exam!  The best way to achieve good results during our exam period is balancing out our studying and relaxing with sleep, to refresh our minds and bodies for the strenuous day ahead.

Take a break - Late night attempts to try and finish your essay that is due tomorrow, or in this case, last second revision for exams, is hardly healthy.  But we’ve all been there.  Instead of leaving it to the last minute and becoming scattered the following day, maybe make a timetable for your study and take regular breaks every few hours to keep you focused and still engaged on the task at hand.

Don’t cram! - It’s understandable that going out with friends is way more fun than studying.  Maybe a sleepover or an invite to a trendy hangout space after school will come up when you’re supposed to be working.  Now, whilst it doesn’t hurt to take a break, the excuses “I’ll do it later” or “I’ll just read over my notes the night before the exam” do not work!  To be able to obtain information, the brain needs continuous exposure to a fact or figure.  This pretty much rules out pre-exam cramming leading to good results.  Instead, during the lead up to exams spread out your studying by making a timetable to ensure everything is covered.  A+ all around!

Personalise your study - Everyone learns differently.  Whether it be visually or hands on, there is a method for everybody.  Find a way that suits you!  Perhaps you could put your notes into cue card form and get a family member to test you, or make a flowchart or a diagram of all the concepts you need to remember and picture it in your mind when you are testing the theory.  There is no limitation when it comes to how you learn.

Okay, you have the strategies, get to it!

Rebecca Ambrose

Careers Counsellor



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