Next steps for your school leaver

So, you have a child leaving school this year? Congratulations! We know it has been a long and sometimes hard road for both of you.

There’s a few things to think about as they take their steps into the big wide world beyond school.

Making the leap

  • Trying to decide what to do after school can feel overwhelming.
  • Try to empower your child to have the confidence to explore their options, and understand that there is no single right answer.
  • Research shows that most people change career anywhere between 3 and 7 times in their lifetime!

Play to your strengths

  • Encourage your child to think about what they like doing the most (but caution them that going to the beach doesn’t count – unless they have potential as a professional surfer!)
  • Understanding what drives them and what their goals and aspirations are can help give their thoughts some direction when it comes to deciding what they might want to do after school.
  • The Department of Employment’s career quiz may give them some good insights and perhaps steer them in a direction they hadn’t previously considered.
  • They can also use the myfuture website to learn about different careers that might be right for them.
  • From there they can work out if they need to do further study after leaving school, complete an apprenticeship or are ready to enter the workforce.

Decisions, decisions!

If some further study is direction your child is headed in, there’s lots of different options open to them.

  • Got uni in their sights? Universities Australia has links to all of the tertiary institutions and university admission centres across Australia.
  • Or check with your local TAFE for information about course and applications.
  • An apprenticeship will give your child the opportunity to train, study and earn an income across a range of trades.
  • If an apprenticeship is in their sights, head to the Australian Apprenticeships website for info on over 500 occupations.

Ready to get to work?

  • If your child is ready to get to work, they’ll need to get their resume in order.
  • It’s also a good idea to register with an employment agency or recruitment company.
  • They can also start job hunting on Jobactive. This great site also has some good hints and tips about preparing your resume and putting your best foot forward at interviews.

So, what’s next?

While your child is considering their options, it’s important that you understand how your Centrelink payments might change as they are leaving school.

Family tax benefit entitlement

  • Children aged between 16 and 19 years old are only eligible for Family Tax Benefit while they’re in full time study towards Year 12 or an equivalent qualification.
  • Once your child finishes Year 12, they’re no longer eligible for Family Tax Benefit.
  • So that you avoid an overpayment and a Centrelink debt, be sure to notify Centrelink when there’s any change in circumstances like this in your family.

So what payments can they get?

  • Your child could be eligible for Centrelink’s Youth Allowance payment if they plan to study, start an apprenticeship or look for a job.
  • They need to be aged 16 – 24 years old and studying or undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship full time, looking for work or sick.
  • Apply now! Your child can submit their Youth Allowance claim up to 13 weeks before they start their new course or activity.
  • Youth Allowance will replace any Family Tax Benefit payment you receive for your child.

What other support do Centrelink offer for older children?

Best of luck to you and your child as they take these important next steps on life’s journey!