NUMURKAH Secondary College (NSC) senior students were given some more food for thought about their futures last week, as they took their second tour of local industries this year.
Students visited Graincorp Oilseeds, Yarroweyah Engineering, Booth Transport and Numurkah Home Timber and Hardware to find out about thriving industries in their own area, and what employment opportunities are available.
The industry visits were organised by Goulburn Murray Local Learning and Employment Network (GMLLEN) in partnership with Moira Shire Council’s economic development team.
GMLLEN project consultant Kristen Elliott said that it was a chance for students to see what employment opportunities were available in their own communities.
“Students often don’t realise how much industry there is within just a few kilometres of where they live, and how many people those industries employ across a huge range of roles,” she said.
“These tours are a chance to open their eyes to that, and to raise their aspirations a little as to what they can go on to in their own district when they finish school.”
NSC careers advisor David Kelly, who accompanied students on the tours, alongside VCAL teacher Keith Ward, said the program exposes students to career opportunities in the local area they may nor have thought of.
“Students don’t necessarily realise what is available locally beyond traditional roles like nurse, lawyer, builder, teacher,” he said.
“These tours plant a seed about other things they might want to consider. The tours allow then to get really direct feedback from the employers about what they need from employees and we can come back to school and look at pathways, and work on employability skills.”
Ms Elliott said the industry tours give students an opportunity to visit medium to large local and regional workplaces and see first-hand what it’s like to work in different industry areas.
“Students are given an opportunity to speak with professionals about their job. The tours also provide a key opportunity to open students’ eyes to new possibilities and showcases the great array of different job opportunities that are available in their local region,” she said.
“It also gives students some insights into employer expectations and advice from potential employers about what could make them stand out in a job interview and criteria they are looking for in employees.”
Ms Elliott said all of the industries involved had been extremely supportive of the program, a sentiment echoed by Mr Kelly.
“We’re very grateful to the local businesses who give up their time to support the school,” he said.
“The tours are a great opportunity for the students and give them a lot to think about.”
Ms Elliott said that the program is also a way to ensure that local school staff have current knowledge about the opportunities for students in their area, so they can show them the pathways to employment locally.
“We really want to maintain a strong connection between schools and industry, because that really works to everybody’s advantage,” she said.
“Local industry needs employees, and they are keen to encourage young people to stay in the local area and be part of local industry. Young people need jobs so they can build a strong future here and this is a way for local industries, and local schools, to show them how they can do that.”