Job Jumpstart has advice for school leavers

Three smiling young men, crouching in front of a grafitti wall.

Jermain Walford, Jacob Stanton and Maene Trindall participated in a recent Job Jumpstart youth collaboration activity, helping produce images for the website, at Tamworth Skate Park, New South Wales.

This story was first published on Monday 17 December 2018. If you wish to use this content, please contact to confirm that the information is still current.

The advice from Job Jumpstart to school leavers is there are alternative pathways to take if you don’t get the year 12 results you hoped for.

This week many year 12 school leavers across Australia will receive their ATAR results—or Overall Position (OP) in Queensland.

While many school leavers will be pleased with their results and be assured of getting into their chosen university course, what are the options for those who don’t?

Job Jumpstart is the Australian Government’s one-stop-shop for young people seeking employment planning and job search information.

The site is designed to help young people better understand their work preferences and strengths to confidently take action towards their employment goals.

For young people feeling disappointed in their high school results, Job Jumpstart urges them not to get disheartened and to look at the alternative pathways available.     

Tips and ideas for young people to move forward with their career goals - regardless of their result:

  • Call the university you want to attend and ask if there are other course admission tests, interviews or work experience that you can complete to gain course entry.
    • Many universities will take into account any hardships or disruptions to study faced over the past 12 months. Other commitments such as being an elite athlete or performer may also enable school leavers to gain special consideration for admission.  
  • Enrol in a bridging or preparatory course.
    • Bridging or preparatory courses are short intensive courses that help school leavers meet the admission criteria for undergraduate degrees.  
  • Study a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification.
    • VET courses can offer excellent pathways to university or into jobs. There are over 1,200 VET courses available in Australia.
  • Look to get entry level work in the field you are interested in.
    • Entry level jobs (even if it’s not initially in the field you are interested in) and apprenticeships can help school leavers build transferable skills and knowledge that will help them to move into the field they are interested in or to gain admission into university courses at a later date.

Read more from Job Jumpstart:

Job Jumpstart also has videos to help school leavers find their next steps, such as Got a goal? Got to find a pathway!

Correct at time of publication.