Young starting out

If you're considering getting into the workforce, we're here to help — just bring your life experience, and we'll help you turn it into a career! Your future is waiting for you, and we're here to help you make it awesome.

We believe you have so much to offer – more than you may realise.

Free and friendly advice

A friendly careers specialist at your local Jobs and Skills Centre can help you get searching for a job, into study or training, and even help you with job applications and career planning. 

No judgement, no criticism — just free, friendly advice and assistance.

If you 're not sure how to take the next step...

Reach out to a Jobs and Skills Centre today. We can help you feel more confident and well prepared for your future, and ready to take the first steps!

There's no limit to what you can achieve!

WA Training Awards School-based Apprenticeship of the Year 2021
Commercial Cookery apprenticeship

"Through high school I assumed that I would complete ATAR. At an information night, I heard about the success of a Year 12 student completing a school-based apprenticeship. I was intrigued; could I really complete Year 12 and start my career as a chef?
My apprenticeship has allowed me to find myself and continues to push me, not just as a chef, but in everything that I do. I could not be happier with the decision I made."

Completed the Infrastructure Job Ready
training program
Traineeship in civil construction

"I had no previous experience with this kind of work and the Infrastructure Ready skill set course provided me with the basic knowledge of how to use various types of machinery, how to work safely on a worksite and what to expect when working on infrastructure projects.
That got me a traineeship, now I'm working as part of a crew preparing sites for the installation of mains gas lines, using hand tools or small earthmoving equipment, and I get to work all over Perth"

WorldSkills Western Australia gold medal
winner 2019
Trades qualified bricklayer at 21

"I had always felt a pull towards the construction industry; I was looking for a career that provided a challenge, was team focussed and outdoors.
Bricklaying ticks all of the boxes!
I’m loving my trade and looking forward to working in my profession for many years to come, and perhaps one day supervising a team of my own. "

Ready to make it happen?

As a first step, it's worth taking the time to work out what skills, abilities and experience you already have — you may have more than you know! 

You bring your life experience, we'll help turn it into a career!

Skills can come from all of your life, work, learning and leisure activities  –  and many of the skills you have are exactly what employers are looking for. Even skills that you may not think are work related, can be directly transferrable to a job or occupation. These are called employability skills — a set of skills that are needed in all industries and types of work — things like communication, teamwork, and problem solving.

And even if you haven't got the skills right now to get your dream job, you can always skill up.

Here's just a few examples of how your life experience translates directly to employability skills.

Jobs and Skills WA: Support for young people.
What you've been doing What skills and knowledge you could have 
Travelling Flexibility, planning and organising, time management, budget management, language/s, communication skills, negotiation skills, decision making
Leisure activities (sports, gaming etc) Physical flexibility; creative thinking; teamwork; problem solving; communication skills; decision making; negotiation skills; conflict resolution; analytical skills; leadership; initiative
Computing Digital literacy; technical skills; decision making; problem solving
Hanging out with friends Teamwork; listening skills; verbal communication skills;  negotiation and conflict resolution; decision making; problem solving;  leadership; interpersonal skills
Cooking and home duties Food preparation and safety; nutrition; kitchen and cooking skills; cleaning; maintenance; planning and organising; time management
Being a parent Communication skills; listening; negotiation and conflict resolution; problem solving; decision making; creative thinking; first aid; time management; planning and organising; leadership; teamwork
Volunteering Depending on the type of volunteering you have done, this could be a long list! Think about teamwork; communication skills; time management; decision making; negotiation and problem solving; business documents; business practices; customer service and leadership

There are just a few examples, but never think that you have been "not doing much" because you haven't been in paid employment... think about all aspects of what you do, and what you know, and how they relate to the kind of skills valued in the workplace.

Useful resources

To help get you take stock of your life experiences and how they relate to employability skills, the following resources may be useful. You can find them all here

Template: Recognising skills and abilities Discover the skills and abilities that you already have
Checklist: Personal and transferable skills This checklist will help you identify skills that are transferrable to the workplace
Fact sheet: Employability skills Discover what skills you already have that are important to most employers
Template: Your action plan Get started on your own career action plan and start setting goals for your future

Supporting your goals

It's exciting to think about all of the opportunities ahead! It's important to set yourself up for the best chance of success, and feel confident about planning for the future — you may need a little support to reach your goals.

  • You may feel that your English reading and writing skills aren't quite as strong as they need to be to get a job or get into training.
  • Or maybe you would like to boost your maths skills?
  • Are you confident using digital technology?
  • Perhaps you need some support to be able to access training?

We offer Foundation Skills and Equity courses; which focus on language, literacy and numeracy, and employability skills such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, self-management, digital literacy and using technology – all key skills requirements for success in both training and the workplace.

We also offer a range of support options available through our Participation—Equity programs, to help make it easier for you to get into training. You may be eligible to receive:

  • assistance with language and literacy;
  • assistance with translation and language;
  • mentoring and counselling; and
  • assistance with things like meals, transport and child care.

Find out more about our learning support programs

Jobs and Skills WA: Support for young people.
Jobs and Skills WA: Support for young people.

Funded through the Australian Government, the Foundation Skills for your Future program is 100% free for eligible participants. It offers flexible training in reading, writing, maths, English language, and digital skills. 

The program is available at North Metropolitan TAFE, and at South Metropolitan TAFE. It is also available in regional Western Australia, through selected training providers. Follow the links below, to find out more.

Browse our occupation profiles and see what jobs interest you

We have hundreds of job profiles you can browse through, and find out about job responsibilities; working conditions; and training you may need.

Use the keyword search below, or you can go to our main Occupational Profiles list and browse through the list from A—Z here

Please note that the impact of COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation that will impact our ability to report accurate course information and employment trends at this time. Some employment trends and course availability information provided in occupation profiles may not be current.

What the workforce can offer you

Being part of the workforce here in Western Australia offers you many advantages, but there's also some great reasons why we would love to see you get into it! Right now there's a whole load of fantastic opportunities out there for you, in a range of exciting jobs. There's really no barriers when it comes to your career options.

Jobs and Skills WA: Support for young people.

A few reasons why employers need you...

  • Fresh ideas — It's easy for a business to "get stuck" doing things the same way, but younger people look at things differently and see opportunities for change and improvement
  • Tech power — You've grown up with digital technology and can more easily learn and use business systems and programs, and use technology for problem solving
  • Customer connections — You know what younger people want, you have connections and networks that older people may not, and you can help a business engage with the youth market
  • Willingness to learn — You're less "set in your ways", your mind is open to new ideas, and you're flexible in your thinking
  • Energy — Younger people bring a different vibe and energy to the workplace, and this can help to improve productivity and boost morale for the business

Financial independence and less money worries

Being employed means more financial independence for yourself, and less money-related stress overall. Whether you want to work part time to help with bills or spending money, or get into a full career with a nice salary, it's a great feeling to have that financial support!

Support and mentoring

Many workplaces offer fantastic support for new employees, especially if you're not very experienced in the world of work. You might even have a workplace mentor — like a coach — who will help you get settled in your new job and show you how things are done. 

Flexibility friendly

More workplaces than ever are now embracing the idea of flexible work environments and when, where, and how your work is accomplished. This is really useful if you are trying to combine working with study, or if you have other responsibilities such as family or sports that you need to fit in around your work schedule. 

Diverse and inclusive workplaces

Many businesses celebrate diversity and inclusivity; and welcome people of all ages, gender preferences, cultures and backgrounds. Diversity enriches the workplace, and brings different experiences and perspectives to the business.

Learning new things

Getting into work opens up a whole world of learning — new skills, new experiences, new people — it can give you a whole new energy! 

Gaining new skills and developing your knowledge through training is another great way to progress towards a career. If you're skilling up, most TAFEs and training providers offer delivery options to suit all kinds of schedules. These include on campus, full or part time, flexible delivery outside of business hours, online learning, or via virtual classrooms so that you can combine study with your work schedule. 

Social benefits

We sometimes don't really think that work equals friends, but most people have at least one friend at work. Some of us even have a workplace best friend! Getting into the workforce will introduce you to new people, who can enrich your life. You'll also have opportunities to build professional networks, which can be very important for future career moves.

Sense of accomplishment

Being part of the workforce can give you a fantastic feeling of pride and accomplishment. Even if you just start with small steps — maybe a low stress part time job — it feels good to know you're moving forward in a positive direction. 

Personal wellbeing

Unemployment might be ok for a little while, but when it stretches out over longer periods of time it can start to mess up your mental health and personal wellbeing. It can also affect your self esteem, and you start to lose confidence in yourself. 

It takes just one step to change your future — that first step, and you're on your way. Working keeps your brain active — you're learning new skills, meeting new people, and  your brain and body is active. This makes you feel good in yourself, and about yourself! 

Beyond Blue has eight tips for looking after your mental health through unemployment and offers a range of support services through their website, if you would like to explore this further — and remember, always ask for help if you need it. 

Options to skill up

If you need to skill up and build some confidence before you're ready to get into the workforce, we've got some great options for you! 

We have free short course skill sets, targeted to specific job ready skills that can give you a head start on getting a job; free job ready programs that include work experience so you gain real hands on experience; pre-traineeships and pre-apprenticeships to help you get an apprenticeship or traineeship; and full qualifications with course fees reduced by up to 72 per cent.

Plus we have support available to help you get into training, and specialised support programs if you would like to build some job ready skills. You can also get free advice and information about training at your local Jobs and Skills Centre.

Free short courses: Skills Ready skill sets

Our range of Skills Ready skill sets have been developed in consultation with businesses and employers to deliver fast track training that will get you skills ready for jobs. They are available in areas including including hospitality, aged care, healthcare, retail, business, cyber security, green jobs, pool lifeguard, small business, agriculture, heavy haulage driving, mental health, construction.. and many more!

Jobs and Skills WA: Support for young people.
Jobs and Skills WA: Support for young people.
Jobs and Skills WA: Support for young people.
Jobs and Skills WA: Support for young people.

Whether it's a refresher or an introduction to a new field of work, these skill sets will bridge any gaps in your knowledge without too much of a time commitment — most run for only a few weeks and are available part time, and some can be done online. 

These courses are 100% free for 15—24 year olds!

That's right... completely fee-free — you can't get a better deal than that! They're also free for jobseekers; people receiving Youth Allowance, AUSTUDY or ABSTUDY, and persons holding  a pensioner concession or Health Care card.

Show me all the free Skills Ready training

Job Ready Programs — Pathways to employment

Are you looking for work, but need some skills and experience? How would you like to get on a pathway to employment, through a program that combines training and on the job industry experience that provides opportunities to connect with a job, an apprenticeship, traineeship, or further training and employment? Right now there's many new programs and projects all across Western Australia, creating a pipeline of work and fantastic job opportunities in a range of industries. There's never been a better time to get on a pathway to employment, and we want to help you take advantage of all these opportunities!

Jobs and Skills WA: Support for young people.
Jobs and Skills WA: Support for young people.
Jobs and Skills WA: Support for young people.
Jobs and Skills WA: Support for young people.

Our Job Ready Programs are short courses that combine training at a TAFE college or private training provider, with a period of industry placement where you'll gain real hands on experience in the workplace. They're currently available in a range of industry areas where the jobs are — including aged care, disability support, bricklaying, and civil construction.

These programs are 100% free for 15—24 year olds!

They're also free for jobseekers; people receiving Youth Allowance, AUSTUDY or ABSTUDY, and persons holding  a pensioner concession or Health Care card.

Find out more about the Job Ready Programs

Qualifications with course fees reduced by half or more

For some jobs or career goals, you'll need to have a full qualification. The good news is we have reduced the course fees* by up to 72 per cent on 210 qualifications for areas where skilled workers are in demand, to help you take advantage of these job opportunities!

Course fees are capped at only $400 annually for eligible students!

That means that concession-eligible students won't pay any more than $400 in course fees*, no matter what they actually add up to — this can save you hundreds of dollars! The $400 annual fees cap is available for people aged 15—24; jobseekers; people receiving Youth Allowance, AUSTUDY or ABSTUDY, and persons holding  a pensioner concession or Health Care Card. The annual course fees cap is $1,200 for non-concession eligible students.

These reduced-fee qualifications are part of our Lower fees, local skills program, and they're available from selected TAFE colleges and private training providers across Western Australia.

Jobs and Skills WA: Support for young people.
Jobs and Skills WA: Support for young people.
Jobs and Skills WA: Support for young people.
Jobs and Skills WA: Support for young people.

With 210 qualifications to choose from, there's something for everyone — from automotive to aged care, tourism and hospitality to information technology, childcare to agriculture, pastry chef to viticulture, building and construction to electrical engineering, science, veterinary nursing, web design and development... too many to list here! 

These are all nationally recognised and accredited qualifications. And remember, eligible students won't pay more than $400 in course fees for any of them! We have details about these reduced-fee Lower fees, local skills qualifications and how the annual fees cap works, plus a full list of what's available, on our Skills Ready page.

Show me the reduced-fee courses

*The fee reduction and annual fees cap applies to course fees only — other fees may apply. Please visit the Skills Ready page for full details.

An early start to a great career

Kara had a passion for travel and tourism, and knew that was the industry she wanted to be in. To make a move towards her career goals, she completed a Certificate II in Tourism while she was still in highschool.

Kara is now completing her Certificate IV in Travel and Tourism qualification at TAFE, and is well on her way to that dream job!

Watch this short video to hear more about Kara's story. 

Apprenticeships and traineeships

Doing an apprenticeship or a traineeship enables you to earn while you learn — you work and get paid, just like a regular employee, but you also complete a vocational education and training (VET) qualification. 

Apprenticeships focus on licensed trades areas such as bricklaying, engineering, plumbing, hairdressing, mechanical, electrical etc.

Traineeships are generally for non-trade areas such as information technology, business, aged care and retail. 

Pre-apprenticeships and pre-traineeships are designed to give you introductory-level skills and experience, to help you get into a full apprenticeship or traineeship. 

The training component is delivered through a mix of on the job learning, and formal training with a TAFE college or training provider.

You can find out more about apprenticeships and traineeships here

Free advice, information and support

If you're motivated to make a move, but need some friendly advice around getting into training or a job — in a way that works for you — our Jobs and Skills Centres can help.  They can also help with decisions about training options, if you need to skill up.

If you're not sure how to take the next step – reach out!

JSCs are located across Perth and throughout regional WA. The best part is, all the services they offer are free! From information and advice about training courses, through to help with job seeking and career planning, they are ready to help. Call your local Jobs and Skills Centre for a chat, or find your nearest centre and stop by.