The positive results of a Beacon Foundation pilot program to increase “career confidence” of young Tasmanians were presented to a recent international conference.
Beacon Foundation chief operating officer Kath McCann said the Tasmanian paper delivered at the conference – OECD Disrupted Futures hosted in Paris but delivered online via Zoom – was one of 30 from researchers and policy and practice experts from around the world.
Ms McCann said the pilot program – funded by the Tasmanian Government – was delivered in Tasmania at Kingston and Kings Meadows High Schools for Year 10 students over 12 sessions across two school terms.
“To be seen as best practice internationally is a credit to the work of Beacon,” she said.
“It is also great recognition for the organisation, our industry partners and volunteers, the schools involved and the students we work with.
“The benefits from being invited to present are potentially significant – fundraising opportunities, new partnerships, expansion of the program to other jurisdictions, collaboration opportunities and input to other research.
“This in turn allows us to improve the outcomes for the participating students which is clearly one of our main goals.”
Ms McCann said several Kingston High students would graduate from the pilot program next week.
“Participating students met several industry volunteers, participated in site tours at businesses and undertook work experience in career areas they were interested in,” she said.
“This impressive group of Year 10 students has been on work experience across a range of industries including construction, automotive, tourism and hospitality, law, media and creative design.”
Ms McCann said the career readiness program Beacon created was delivered through expert facilitation and involved the presence of multiple industry volunteers.
“Through the program we have worked to assist students understand more about themselves and applying that to a work context,” he said.
“The feedback received from students was very positive.”
Comments received when asked “…what did you find useful about today’s session?” included:
“Going to different work sites to get an idea of how many different jobs there are and how you can get into that work area.”
“The career exploration was useful for me to find out more about my job interest and find out more about them.”
“It was amazing getting to know everyone and work on my social skills. i feel like i also learnt a lot about myself.”
“Learning about the different paths you can take after school and how to get to them.”
“Identifying what careers might be suitable for someone due to their passions, experience and personality.”
“Exploring the future careers that could be possible for me.”
Ms McCann said Beacon was planning on offering the program in other Tasmanian schools.
“We are also keen to explore opportunities interstate in regions when there is a need to create maximum impact,” he said.
“The program is aligned to the Australian Curriculum so it has relevance across the country.”