Dealing with issues of independence, bills, savings and stress are just some of the things set to be tackled in the new Life Ready program.
Education Minister Rob Stokes today launched the course aimed at helping students in years 11 and 12 avoid the most common traps of young adulthood.
“I want to ensure that schools adequately prepare students not only for work and further study, but for the particular challenges they may face in the first few years after school,” Mr Stokes said.
A central issue the Life Ready program hopes to address is financial responsibility. Figures released by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in early July revealed Australians now have almost $45 billion outstanding in personal credit card debt, with approximately one-in-six Australians struggling to pay their bills.
“By being forewarned and forearmed with financial knowledge, we can help students plan responsible budgets and avoid personal debts that could keep them trapped well into their thirties,” Mr Stokes said.
Other lessons include learning about liberal democratic values, citizenship and voting, road safety, mental health, domestic violence, substance abuse and volunteering. The lure and danger of online gambling will also be part of the conversation. There will also be instructions for safe travel overseas, mainly due to the increasing popularity of schoolies celebrations abroad.
“High school graduates are still teenagers. We have unfortunately seen too many times where being naïve while travelling abroad has had fatal consequences.”
The Life Ready program will be taught over a 25-hour period in senior years.
“Life Ready is not about stressful assessments or hard work. It’s simply an opportunity to share with students some simple commonsense lessons the rest of us were forced to learn through years of bad mistakes,” Mr Stokes said.