Preparing Secondary School Students for Work

Implementing career education and vocational learning programs in your school can help students gain lifelong skills to navigate the world of work. 



All secondary students should have access to quality vocational learning to equip them with the skills to meet the higher demands of the future workplace.

The Preparing Secondary Students for Work framework encourages schools to integrate vocational learning and vocational education and training (VET) into secondary schooling. It provides resources and tools to implement and enhance career education and vocational learning programs.

In this section


Understand the framework and why tailoring vocational learning and VET programs to secondary students improves their transitions into the future.

VET for secondary students

Hear about how other schools successfully offer tailored vocational learning and VET programs to their students, and the benefits of Australian School-based Apprenticeships (ASbAs).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander post-school transition program

How flexible approaches to vocational learning and VET programs better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Partnering with others

Building partnerships with parents and local business provides better work and career opportunities for secondary students.

What is vocational learning?


Vocational learning helps secondary students explore the world of work, identify career options and pathways, and build career development skills. Supporting vocational learning and VET in secondary school ensures that students are equipped with the skills to meet the needs of our future workforce.

Why is career education important?


A successful career education program helps students develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to make informed decisions about their study and work options.

Supporting students’ career development in school helps young people make effective decisions about:

  • subject choices
  • pathways through school
  • post-school destinations including further education, training or work.

Bringing schools and employers together through quality vocational learning and VET programs can help school graduates meet the higher demands of the workplace and a globally competitive environment.

Future Ready


Future Ready is a student focused national career education strategy that was developed with a national group that brought together the voices of education, business and industry, parents and carers, career advisors and youth.

The vision of Future Ready is that every student in every school has access to high-quality career education to help them make a successful transition from school to further education, training, work or a combination of these.

Learn more about the Future Ready Strategy (PDF - 2.92MB) 

Case studies


The following case studies highlight initiatives in schools that show how your school can implement successful career education programs.

Wooden blocks with the person icon on each, on a pink background. All connected by a web-like string. Hand is holding one of those blocks.

Belconnen Schools Network – partnering to deliver career services

How schools can benefit from partnerships with other schools, employers, parents and carers, and the local community 

A female pupil is sitting behind a computer receiving help with her work from a male teacher

CaTS Plan – improving monitoring, measurement and evaluation

How schools can use a strong evidence base to support students’ career education

Six students listening to mature female lteacher with laptop in classroom

Making learning relevant and fun to help students develop transferable skills

How schools can help every student develop transferable skills to prepare them for work 


Illustrations of best practice


Australian Curriculum – Illustrations of best practice(External website, Opens in new window)

Learn how schools have used the Australian Curriculum to develop career education programs.




Creating an effective career education plan

What to consider when creating an effective career education plan.


What are the outcomes of career education

Quality career education helps students to make informed career choices throughout their lifetime.


What do students want from career education

Students want more information and advice from schools to help them with making career decisions.