By Ron Maxwell - CEO

With most Year 12 students studying online, and constant talk of an uncertain future and rising unemployment, preparing to enter the workforce now can be daunting. If you haven’t taken a closer look at apprenticeships, now could be a great time to explore your options to build a career that allows you to earn while you learn and develop nationally-recognised qualifications.

Often, when we talk about apprenticeships, many people's thoughts turn immediately to traditional trades, like electrical, construction and plumbing. And while there certainly are some great opportunities in these fields, with over 500 apprenticeship and traineeship occupations, the opportunities are far wider than many imagine.

Today, you can complete an apprenticeship in a wide variety of fields, from arts and culture to healthcare, community services, media and engineering. There are so many options that the challenge often lies in determining which one best matches your skills and interests.

Finding the right apprenticeship is key

If you're a recent or soon-to-be school leaver, it's likely you haven't experienced life in the workforce beyond your casual after-school employment, so it can be hard to know how your existing interests can translate into a career.

Certain industries and career paths are better suited to some than others. For those who want to become an electrician, for example, an interest in mathematics is helpful, as there is a technical component to the field. In contrast, something like healthcare or community support is about being a people-person who is also happy to help with the physical and personal care requirements of the job, which isn’t for everyone.

At VERTO, we see this often; school leavers who are eager to try their hand at what's next, but don't know where to start. Choosing a career path is a big decision and finding one that suits your interests will give you the best chance of starting on the right track from the very beginning. And it's not just about knowing what fields suit you; it’s about finding the right employer, who will be the best fit to mentor and support you on your journey to qualification.

That's why VERTO recently launched CareerGate, a free online tool that helps school leavers and those looking to transition careers to find an apprenticeship option that matches their skills and interests.

Through online assessments and profiles, we get to know what drives you, so we can suggest career pathways that work for you. CareerGate can also help you explore new industries and career options that you may not have considered before. Even better, once completed, you can upload your resume and begin applying for vacancies immediately – or whenever you are ready to take that next step.

It's simple to use and takes around 35-40 minutes to complete, so if you are wondering where to start, CareerGate may be the right place.

An interest and a can-do attitude is a great start

It's often said that if you find a job you love, you won't work a day in your life. While this may not ring true every day, working in a space that aligns with your passions will make for a fulfilling long-term career. With many apprenticeship qualifications, there are no set ATAR requirements or pre-required knowledge, so having a passion for or interest in the field and a can-do attitude are all you need to get started on your chosen career path.

You'll learn on the job and earn while you learn, so while your mates may be balancing study and part-time jobs to cover their fees, you'll be bringing in an income, building your career and working towards a nationally-recognised qualification.

You will also experience life on the job from the outset, so you can be sure you've made the right choice, rather than completing three or even four years of study before finding out if it's right for you.

Excellent job prospects

With so much talk about ongoing unemployment, it can be overwhelming to think about your own job prospects when you finish school. One of the great things about an apprenticeship is that it matches you with an employer from the very beginning.

Many apprenticeships are also on Australia's National Skills Needs List, meaning we were already in or about to experience a skills shortage. Despite a change in economic conditions, most of these industries will still require the same number of qualified workers in the years ahead.

If the occupations on this list aren’t right for you, it’s important to remember we will still have a need for qualified people in a wide variety of industries. Think about healthcare and community services, for example. We will still have a percentage of the population that need care and support, and this need may only grow as a result of today's situation.

If you or your child is exploring their post-school options in this challenging time, I encourage you to take a look at apprenticeships. VERTO CareerGate is an easy-to-use, free online platform that helps you or your child find and get started on the next step in their lives. It's also supported by our experienced team who can answer questions and provide personal support to get you on the right track for a fulfilling post-school career.

If you're ready to get started, you'll find all you need at www.careergate.org.au or you can contact our team on 1300 4 VERTO or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more.