Schools alone can't prepare young people for life after education, a new report says.
The Mitchell Institute at Victoria University claims that while some students get the benefit of industry mentoring and entrepreneurship programs, it's not the case for all students.
A report released on Monday found young people are spending longer in formal education, the current generation of school leavers are likely to have multiple careers, and the new work reality is education alone isn't enough to secure full-time work.
Institute director Megan O'Connell says some young people aren't connecting with the world of work until their twenties.
She believes something has to be done to ensure they have meaningful experiences and connections with people outside school and family networks.
The report suggests school and industry partnerships would smooth the transition from training to careers and help increase national productivity.
While vocational training courses offer industry training, participation rates are falling in favour of more academic-based university courses.
Ms O'Connell says barriers are preventing schools and industry partnerships.
"Currently there are complex administrative requirements getting in the way of the partnerships working - we need to do more to simplify these across the country," she said.
As well as real world learning programs embedded in school curriculums the report also recommends activities ranging from coding clubs to industry-run professional development workshops for teachers.