What Parents Need to Know

Parents and caregivers play a key role in supporting their children with their career journey. They provide first-hand information, advice and guidance on career development. A parent’s attitude can have a powerful impact on a child’s career development and how they manage their careers lifelong. Having a positive attitude and being actively involved with their decision-making help to support young people prepare for their future and be adaptable to change.<br><br>A career is no longer one job for life. A career includes a lifetime of experiences including periods of education, training, paid employment, unpaid employment, unemployment, volunteer work and life roles. Young people need the skills, knowledge and capabilities to navigate through these various experiences, and use resilience to move forward when their preferred option does not follow a direct pathway.

South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE)

The SACE provides many options – dozens of subjects, hundreds of vocational courses, and the flexibility to help support SACE completion and broaden post-school options.

The SACE Board website has lots of information for students and families about the SACE.

The SACE is made up of two parts:

  • Stage 1 (which most students do in Year 11) and
  • Stage 2 (which most students do in Year 12).

Students need to get 200 credits to achieve the SACE, through a mixture of compulsory and free-choice subjects and courses.

Students’ work will be assessed using an A to E grading system in Stage 1 and an A+ to E– grading system in Stage 2. These systems are supported by rigorous quality assurance processes.

To be awarded the certificate, students will need to achieve a C grade or better for the compulsory Stage 1 subjects – the Personal Learning Plan and English and mathematics subjects. They will also need to achieve a C– grade or better in 60 credits of Stage 2 subjects and in 10 credits for the Research Project.

The other subjects and courses span a wide range of learning areas: Arts; Business, Enterprise, and Technology; English; Languages; Health and Physical Education; Humanities and Social Sciences; Mathematics; and Sciences.

Flexibilities in the SACE include cross-disciplinary subjects and recognition of community learning.

Career Conversations

It is helpful for young people to talk through the many options for further education, training and employment that are available to them following completion of school. They can have these conversations with parents, a careers practitioner, teachers and other trusted adults.

Most young people respond well to casual conversations about careers. Parents have lots of experience they can share about the world of work and their life experiences. Young people can be encouraged to reflect on their experiences with questions like:

  • What is it about _____ that interests you?
  • What did you learn about yourself from that experience?
  • How could you get experience in that field of work?
  • I wonder what qualifications might be required for that field of work.
  • Would you like to go to TAFE or university?  Have you thought about doing an apprenticeship?
  • What are you and your friends thinking of doing after school?
  • Who could you talk with to get more information or careers advice about that field of work?

The most important thing is to be positive about the ideas and choices made by your child and their chances of finding a satisfying career path. This needs to include a consideration of their aptitudes (what they are good at), interests (what they like or enjoy doing), values (what is important to them), aspirations (what they want to achieve) and skills (what they can do).

What will the future of work look like? How well are we prepared? It’s time to find out. The world of work is evolving. The jobs and careers of today are constantly changing, leaving us in uncertain territory when it comes to educating and preparing the next generation. So, how do we keep up with these changes so we can engage in meaningful careers conversations? We learn. 

Check out this video from Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA): What Parents Need To Know 


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Subject Selections

Choosing subjects can be overwhelming for some students and their family. The myfuture team has produced an article that may help parents and guardians understand and navigate the subject selection process with their child.

View the article Help Your Child Choose School Subjects.     

VET Toolkit for Parents and Carers

As a parent, supporting your child to decide what to do in life can be stressful and overwhelming. The world of work you grew up in is different to the one young people experience today. However, as some things evolve, your vital role in guiding and supporting remains unchanged. A tough part of the secondary school transition is knowing how to help your young person figure out their career pathway.

This toolkit has been created by the Foundation for Young Australians to give parents and carers the information and tools to have these conversations and support your young person. The toolkit is based on FYA’s New Work Order (NWO) report series. The reports show that:

  • we’re facing the biggest disruption to the world of work since the industrial revolution
  • this disruption brings opportunity for young people
  • we must invest to ensure they have the skills to overcome the challenges of change.

The Toolkit is available here.

More Information

For more information about the career options available for your child, contact the following:

Your child’s school, including:

  • Careers or VET practitioner
  • Year level coordinator
  • Year 11 or 12 coordinator
  • SACE coordinator

For further information:

For detailed information on different occupations:

  • myfuture – Online career exploration and information service useful for all students and adults
  • Job Outlook – Information on workforce and occupational characteristics including: future growth prospects, average weekly earnings, the skills needed to perform work tasks and typical work activities
  • Australian Apprenticeships Pathways Information about apprenticeships in a range of industries and how to find them (available in several languages)
  • Group Training Australia SA − Information about Group Training companies that take on apprentices and loan them to employers

For information about tertiary education:

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