Guidance needs to be at the High School level with flexibility. Support and encouragement and school staff helping and supporting that and challenge their own indifference toward kids in care.
I agree that encouraging and assisting students to pursue PSE needs to start when they are younger. Often, high school courses decide what types of programs a student can apply to, and whether they can attend college or university. Guidance counsellors pushed them to take applied math because they were doing poorly in academic math. However, the guidance counsellor didn’t inform them that bumping down to academic math would severely limited where they could apply after high school graduation.
The income of a family should not determine a student’s access to grants, as the student’s family may or may not be financially willing to support the student. All students should have access to grant-subsidized education. Additionally, adult learners should have access to grant-subsidized continuing education regardless of income/assets to encourage upskilling and a highly skilled workforce.
Rather than looking at HOW to get youth there, perhaps you should be looking at HOW to keep them there. I am an Indigenous youth, getting into PSE was a breeze I had amazing support. Unfortunately, the education system sucks. They want us to memorize dates, when we should be instead engaging with context. Its not the date of the theory, its the actual theory that should be important but that’s now what my exams were filled with. Exam marks make or break you, not an acceptance letter.