The Department of Industry engaged The Customer Experience Company as the NSW Government aspired to increase enrolments in Vocational Education and Training (VET). Generations of entrenched negative perceptions of VET from students, parents and teachers have resulted in many students going to university, when they would get better outcomes from VET. Good design and behavioural insights techniques were needed to overcome the lack of quality information available and large cognitive barriers that stopped students from exploring VET as a viable first-choice option. (Note: LifeLauncher now resides within the Department of Education)
Through empathetic research, we identified school-leavers:
- Found it difficult to manage overwhelming amounts of information.
- Found available career resources were disjointed and ad hoc.
- Procrastinated in their decision making due to fear of the future.
We designed and tested LifeLauncher - a personalised digital experience that enabled students to make informed decisions about career choices. LifeLauncher addressed these insights by providing a single source of truth for tertiary education and a way for students to manage their research in one place. In doing so, it has prompted more students to explore and consider VET options.
LifeLauncher is designed to complement the way young people browse their career options and supports the two main browsing approaches of prospective students:
- Exploratory approach: This enables users to research broadly within the defined categories of industry, career or courses.
- Guided approach: For those who seek more direction, quizzes create a personalised feel and surface the most relevant information. The information is also presented at a level that encourages further exploration.
In doing so, LifeLauncher supports students who already have ideas about their career path and provides a guide for those who don’t know where to start.
LifeLauncher is the first platform in Australia that matches jobs agnostically to a tertiary education course (i.e. VET or University) without favouring a specific education sector. This empowers students to decide on the pathway that is best suited to their individual interests and needs. Life Launcher is a free to use government-funded platform for students in NSW to explore the pathways available to them.
As of July 2022, with over 93,000 unique users, LifeLauncher has become the “go-to” for high school Career Advisors as a starting point for career exploration. In a survey, 56% of students used LifeLauncher to find a post-school option. It exists to help young people simplify their career choices by taking the guesswork out of what to do when they finish school. It encourages students to find the best pathway for them, and links them to provider sites for them to progress their chosen pathway.