Students learn on the job

Article image - Students learn on the job The four 2016 scholarship winners: Zacheriah Simunovic, Aliesha Gates, Ezekiel Woof, Joseph Avia.

Central Coast Council in New South Wales is granting young residents with valuable on-the-job training.

The Council’s annual scholarship program is open to local university students and provides participants with paid work placements and mentorship at the Council.

Council’s Executive Manager People and Culture, Kellie Reeves, said the program is designed to inspire young people to continue their education.

“Currently less than 11 percent of our residents have university qualifications, compared to 24.1 per cent for Greater Sydney and 18.8 percent across Australia,” Mrs Reeves said.

“Through this program we hope we can positively change these statistics by motivating students to continue with their studies and by giving them paid work experience in their chosen field.

“During this time students work alongside and are mentored by professionals, which help them to develop skills and give them an edge on the competition when they enter the workforce. It’s also a great way to make professional contacts.

Scholarships are available in a range of undergraduate degrees, including business, social science, natural resources, environmental management, engineering, water/sewer operations, communications, human resources, finance and information technology.

Community and Recreation Services 2016 scholarship recipient, Aliesha Gates, found the scholarship program to be a worthwhile and enjoyable learning experience.

“I originally thought I’d be stuck in the office, but was actually able to work with the community, which I absolutely loved.

“The staff were great – so friendly and knowledgeable, and they even helped me to discover the direction I want my own career to take.”

Successful applicants receive $2500 paid in two instalments – $1250 is presented on admission to the university or commencement of the second year, with the remainder provided after successful completion of the program, which includes 140 hours of paid work placement.

Ms Gates said the financial assistance was a huge help, “mainly going towards the cost of textbooks, which are really expensive,” she said.
To be eligible students must be a resident of the Central Coast and an Australian citizen.

Council’s Administrator, Mr Ian Reynolds, said the scholarships represented an exciting opportunity for young Coast residents.
“Council is committed to creating jobs and opportunities for our community, which means investing in the future of our young people.

“We want to empower young students to study and gain entry into the workforce, and this program gives them the tools they need to succeed.”