School leavers plan their futures
AS the shock of finally finishing school slowly wears off, many of 2011's graduating students will be thinking about their futures.
If they're not already, it will only be a matter of time before mum and dad start dropping hints.
For today's graduates the choices are many and varied.
Around 20% of Australians aged 15 to 64 were enrolled in a course of study in 2011, according to a report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Of those enrolled in a non-school qualification, 39% were undertaking a Bachelor Degree, with the most common field of study being Management and Commerce (27%).
But university isn't for everyone, and luckily there are other excellent options available not only in cities, but also locally.
TAFE enrolments have increased over 6% since 2006, with many students choosing it as a more practical way to gain skills.
Our very own North Coast TAFE has been recognised by the Institute for Trade Skills Excellence, and judged best raining provider in NSW.
They offer courses including fashion design, automotive, building, ceramics, clothing production, plumbing, bricklaying, office administration and retail.
It seems that good old fashioned learning on the job is still a very popular choice, with the ABS revealing that in 2011 there were 226,500 people employed as apprentices or trainees as part of the Australian Apprenticeship Scheme.
The highest number of apprentices and trainees worked in the construction industry (90,700) - so if you're considering being a brickie, chippy, or sparky, you're in good company.