Education Initiatives in WA - Finding Employment Prospects for Students
Genevie Baker is the coordinator of Vet/Careers and Arts at Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA). CEWA is a State-wide system of 163 schools, colleges and early years learning and care facilities. They are also an Affiliate member of CDAA.
There are exciting initiatives presently available to the educational systems and sector in Western Australia. COVID-19 has impacted all of Australia and there is a need to be able to respond to the impact to find employment prospects for school students to address the skills shortage. The collaboration between the stakeholders in planning and working on these various projects is to be commended.
Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation recently held a State STEM Skills Strategy Forum to maximise the impact of industry’s involvement and investment in STEM skills development from schools, universities and then into industry as per the Government’s Future Jobs Future Skills.
Breakout sessions were held and the three listed strategy goals targeted throughout the sessions were:
- Ensure students have STEM skills for the jobs of the future.
- Reskill the current workforce with the STEM skills required to embrace technological future.
- Break down barriers and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in a STEM future.
- STEM Skills strategy – Preparing ourselves for future jobs and growing new jobs to ensure Western Australians are equipped with the right skills to grow the State’s economy and participate in our future workforce.
Diversify WA, an economic blueprint for collaboration between government, industry and the community supports the government’s focus on creating secure, quality jobs, growing and diversifying the economy and attracting investment. This document supports the State Government’s strategy and was referred to during the forum.
Industry Training Hubs
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA have secured the Federal Government tender for the Industry Training Hubs developed in Armadale and Wanneroo. These Hubs are funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment to improve opportunities for young people in regions with high youth unemployment, targeting Year 11 and 12 students.
A steering committee has been formed to provide information and connection to local industry, offer support, guidance and assistance; provide ideas and suggestions for projects; and assist with concepts to overcome local challenges.
Two Career Facilitators have been hired and the Steering Committee’s formed. Schools have been engaged in discussions and are excited about the new Hubs that are being formed to assist school students.
Career Development is Everybody's Business
Career Development is Everybody’s Business is a State Government initiative and is being led by the Department of Education WA with assistance from many stakeholders which included Catholic Education WA Ltd and Association of Independent Schools WA.
Career development professional learning and community events were delivered across Western Australia in Terms 1 and 2, 2021. School staff and parents attended the forty sessions offered and they were well attended within the metropolitan, regional and Kimberley regions.
The growing complexity of the labour market and the impact of COVID-19 has escalated the critical need to provide students with opportunities to develop the career management skills, capabilities and attitudes required to navigate the world of work.
The cross-sectoral events provided high quality, up-to-date career pathway and labour market information and gave attendees the opportunity to hear from education, training and industry representatives on how to best prepare students to transition beyond school.
Resources were prepared for teachers and parents and industry engagement was a highlight at the events and thank you to Linda Winter from CCIWA for her links in selecting industry personnel from the regions.
This initiative is being carried forward for parents in 2022 and the Department of Education WA held the first stakeholder meeting in September in preparation for next year.
Year 9 Career Taster Course
The Department of Education and Training are meeting another WA Government’s election commitment to develop a Year 9 Career Taster Program with stakeholders from Education, TAFE and industry. The Stakeholders have met regularly to prepare the curriculum, design resources and select trial schools for Term 4 in 2021 and Terms 1 and 2 in 2022. This is a very exciting commitment by the State Government and will be available for school or TAFE delivery and relevant for the Aboriginal community within our remote schools.
Extra VET Funded Places for Year 11 and 12 School Students
The Department of Training and Workforce Development is to increase the number of students being able to access VET places under profile funding. This will meet the needs of all students within Western Australia and whilst they attain their Western Australian Certificate of Education it will also assist their post-school prospects in employment and further training.