I use to operate a training school where we would work with high school students as well as the unemployed, pushing certificate and diploma courses. Having been an employer and hiring many people my comments are based on my own take.
Reality high school students are told that marks from their final year are important to land a good job as well as marks into university.
These days unless you are going into a profession that requires a University degree then possibly the hype over a university degree is maybe not that important.
I am a great believer in the gap year when a student leaves school. I think that a person needs that break to find out who they truly are and what they really want to do with their lives
If a person later on decides to go into a university degree then perhaps wait until they are 21 and go into a degree as a mature age student. I see many kids these days leave school and do a uni degree who are unemployed or not actually working within their field in which they spent years learning. Instead they have a Hecs debt and nothing really apart from a certificate to show for it. Whilst its great to have a number of courses under your belt actual work experience is preferred.
When I hire people I rarely look at their degree or certificates I look at their enthusiasm. Reality once you leave school anyway your really left on the bottom of the pile no employer I have worked with look at higher school certificates or marks. Generally a student will come out of school with have done a cert 2 or 3 which these days are normal for everyone including the unemployed. So reality is experience is preferred.
This isn’t to deter you but maybe look at getting into a career and from there if you are required to upskill yourself then you can choose to once you are in the job. I do think that EVERY small business owner should undertake a business course as this will assist you with the day to day of running and operating your business.
As this is an opinion and what I have seen in the workplace I think if you have kids at school who I would certainly talk to them about what they want to do, give them the gap year to allow them to travel, take an entry type job and allow them to find themselves, make a few mistakes and encourage them to find a career and allow the workplace determine if training and upskilling is required, then that could be the more sensible thing remembering as I let the students go into university if required at 21 as a mature aged student.