Hayley believes in a school where every child gains skills for sustainable employment, however the reality in Australia is that 1 in 3 young people are unemployed after leaving school. Further complicating the preparation of young people for a future of employment is the fact that the average 12 year old today will have 10 different jobs in their lifetime across 5 different industries, making it equally challenging and imperative that schools are providing opportunities for students to develop skills that promote their chances of successful employment.
In Hayley’s experience, young people at her school lacked exposure to and education about the world of work.
Hayley decided to develop an interactive school and community ‘hub’, where she could engage students in skill development for the world of work, and discussions about career pathways and employment opportunities.
To get the Career Connections Hub up and running, Hayley followed the steps below..
- The Year 11 students were surveyed to find out where they currently go to get career advice.
- The students were then interviewed about their wants and needs for career advice.
- A pilot program was developed and the idea for a ‘hub’ that addresses the concerns and challenges raised by students in the surveys and interviews was born. The learners wanted information about resume writing, subject selection and career identification, school-based apprentices and traineeships and a place they could go for all of this information.
- Ten students were identified for the pilot program. These ten individuals met specific criteria, being at risk QCE, having a cultural background, with limited literacy and numeracy skills, and causing teachers concern for their behaviour.
- Partnerships with outside agencies were formed to support the hub with resources and a physical space was set up – The Career Connections Hub.
- Students were taken through The Hub in a step-by-step process which allowed for feedback from students at each step, making changes to the process as feedback was given.
- Each student was then put on an individual plan for their identified career needs, and data was collected about their subsequent learning outcomes.
- The Principal was then ‘pitched’ The Career Connections Hub, and was asked for support by employing a teacher aide for The Hub.
- The Career Connections Hub is now open two days per week for the senior students to use as a drop in centre for career advice, and to work through the step-by-step process again.
At least 160 students have been positively impacted by The Career Connections Hub, and Hayley’s school has seen an increased number of VET placements for students (TAFE, courses, SATS).
A number of students with poor attendance and behaviour concerns have actively engaged in the steps throughout The Hub to secure a school-based apprenticeship in their identified area of employment. For these students, academic achievement in school subjects improved as well as their attendance.
Like the idea?
Hayley would love your support for The Career Connections Hub, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and she’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where she can. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch with Hayley and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well.
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