Engaging school students

Young people in school today will make up the future workforce, so it is important to consider strategies that target students, their family and support networks, and career advisors. Actively promote skill needs, required qualifications and career pathways. Offer education to employment pathway programs that provide students with equal opportunities to access genuinely meaningful and productive work experience. The following are examples of strategic initiatives targeted at school students that could potentially be tapped into or tailored to grow a sustainable, inclusive local workforce.

Mabel Park State High School’s Health Hub

Throughout Queensland, a growing number of secondary schools have established themselves as Health Hubs and are working with multiple stakeholders with a common agenda to address the projected workforce shortages in health and the high youth unemployment rate. One of these schools is Mabel Park State High School, which offers an innovative school-to-work transition program that includes career talks, Health Inspiration Days, practical work experiences, school-based vocational training and traineeships for students.

Health Inspirations

This program is modelled on a successful UK business-led initiative called Work Inspiration, which enables businesses to engage with the future workforce and showcase their work and employment opportunities. It aims not only to motivate the students to consider a health career but also to inform their decisions about their senior subjects or school-based apprenticeship options that will support their future health career intentions.

Beacon Foundation initiatives

The Foundation focuses on bringing schools, community and local businesses together to support young people to successfully transition from education to meaningful employment. It does so through a variety of programs including its Real Futures Generation initiative, which includes exposure to organisation-relevant career knowledge, a visit to a work site, work experience in school term or holidays, and interviews for available roles that hopefully lead to employment.

AllevE8

This initiative aims to improve opportunities for the successful transition of students from school to work by creating stronger links between industry, schools, students, parents and vocational education and training. Targeted at year 12 students, it creates entry-level pathways by offering students the opportunity to obtain a nationally recognised Certificate II in Health Support Services and structured workplace experience that enables them to gain meaningful workplace knowledge and employability skills.

First Peoples Aspirations to Health Program

Designed to raise awareness about career pathways in health, this program is specifically targeted at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Set up by Griffith University’s First Peoples Health Unit (FPHU) and Connect ‘n’ Grow, the program initially targeted students from around Queensland however more recently the focus was shifted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students within the university’s catchment area of South East Queensland.