Advantages of formal post-school study

Forum –

Congratulations TAFE and Central Coast’s Trilogy Disability Services for your joint initiative of a traineeship, possibly leading to a Certificate III in Allied Health, we need more such collaborative efforts. (“Career opportunity for 20 job seekers” Chronicle, p24 Sep 15)

There has been recent media questioning concerning formal post-school learning as a route to a well-paid, secure job.

A qualification, whether a bachelor’s degree, diploma or certificate is a signal that one is a capable learner at that level and has certain skills and knowledge.

Most employers will require confirmation of employability during a trial period, where selected applicants show they can fit in and adapt to the organisation’s culture and practices.

A traineeship develops these sorts of abilities because it involves applying in the workplace the things one is learning in class and informing one’s learning in the classroom by one’s experiences in the workplace.

Rapid increase in the proportion of people gaining a post-school qualification, if in the absence of a proportionate increase in demand, means a swelling in the number of applicants.

Hence, it can take longer to land that key job than it might have done hitherto.

Again, a traineeship, by having one already “in the door”, confers advantage.

Some businesses may not require a qualification, relying solely on workplace-based training.

The employee who does not complement this with formal study may lack the broad knowledge in which to set their workplace-based learning, so is less equipped to look critically and creatively at work practices, or how the newly-acquired skills might be adapted to the needs of another enterprise.

It is harder to progress within the organisation, transfer to a new employer, or set up one’s own business.

Career progression suffers.

One might have to perform low-skilled, poorly paid work while seeking one’s job of choice but one has a much better chance, with a post-school qualification than without one, of this being an interim measure while finding that first job on the career ladder.

On the issue of repayment of fees when they apply, chances are one will be better off because one’s income across life will be significantly larger, through higher pay, less under-employment and, shorter periods of unemployment.

When people refer to rewarding careers, they have in mind work that is interesting, varied and delivering a sense of achievement by contributing to a better world.

Most involve some formal post-school study.

Email, Sep 17
Sonnie Hopkins, Tascott

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