Work inspirations for students
For three days in September, Wodonga Council was the new workplace for 25 local Year 10 students.
The students swapped books for council roles as a part of the new Australia-wide, employer-led Work Inspirations program which aims to create exciting, meaningful and inspiring work experiences for young people.
Students were involved with a range of hands-on experiences at the council including participating in site visits, project work and developing presentations to share.
The program also allowed students to experience the many and varied roles and opportunities at the council through talks and presentations on career progression and how careers ‘happen’.
Feedback from the students was overwhelmingly positive with 95.7 percent of students strongly agreeing that the Work Inspirations program helped them to think about what they wanted in a career and all the students commenting that the program had expanded their understanding of local council roles.
Local newspaper and local television stations also featured stories in support of the new program.
Team leader of youth services Rachel Habgood said Work Inspirations had been successful due to its strong focus on providing a variety of work experiences for young people.
“We have found that by exposing students to multiple careers and a range of staff in many fields they can compare their experiences and find out what they most enjoy doing and start making future plans.”
“Work Inspirations also helps in breaking down the barriers many young people face when it comes to career direction.
“From the outside it can be very daunting thinking about how to get into the work-force and what study needs to be completed, but with the hands-on experiences and many chances to talk to staff during the program, students receive an insight into these realities and how to get to where they want to.”
People and workplace officer Marnie Teal said the council was planning on running the program four times a year during the school terms.
“This will allow us to accommodate nearly 100 students per year, which is fantastic as in the past we have only been able to accommodate approximately 20 students.”
There are also future plans to run Work Inspirations through the local flexible learning centre in March and the local special school.