Here at Year13 we’re dedicated to helping young people get through the hurdles of life, especially those associated with the final years of high school and transitioning into work or further study. However, unlike your regular career advisor or school principal, we’re less about marks and ATARs and more about helping students find their purpose; we want young people to lead fulfilling lives that are aligned to their actual strengths and interests, and not just according to other people’s expectations.
Amongst all of this, we tend to forget that there are other people involved in the whole process. Most of our efforts are focused on the students themselves, and rightly so, but it’s important to remember that parents also benefit from some support and guidance during this period.
Throughout our research, we found that the majority of youth get the most trustworthy career advice from their parents – 56% in fact. Comparatively, only 40% say they get it from teachers and 38% say it’s from career advisors. Now that students have received their ATAR results and are trying to figure out what it means for the rest of their lives, it’s crucial that parents use their influence positively.
To assist with this, we have created a guide that outlines how parents can support their kids during this tough transitional period. We’ve taken a strong data-driven approach to our advice and draw from our own research, industry leaders, government bodies and external reports.
The pertinence of a guide like this stems from our discovery that only 12% of young people in Australia believe schools successfully prepare them for the real world. On top of this, students are struggling to finish university and find work after graduating. All of this suggests that somewhere along the way we’ve failed to give our young students all the support they need and deserve. Here’s how you can help as parents.
Show support: 68% of youth have struggled with their mental health, but only 36% talk to family about these issues. Be prepared for these kinds of conversations and provide a supportive environment that encourages them to reach out to you.
Look at the data: You can’t base your advice on what worked for you when you were that age. Look at data to get a better picture of the job market today and what industries will look like in the future and your insights will be more useful to your children.
Embrace the gap: Gap years are becoming more common among high school leavers – and for good reason. They are being recognised as useful tools for the overall development of young people and research even suggests they can improve academic performance. Embrace it.
Recognise future skills: A degree no longer guarantees employment and the imminence of automation means there are a handful of skills necessary to succeed in the future job market. No matter your child’s ATAR result, it’s important to recognise these.
Encourage diverse exposure: Understanding of future pathways other than university is alarmingly low for students and parents alike. Diverse exposure can introduce young people to options that are more aligned with their strengths and provide them with rewarding experiences.
Download the full Parents Guide To Life After The ATAR here.