Bendigo primary schools are teaching students that education leads to achieving lifelong carer goals through the Passions and Pathways program.
Originating in Bendigo, Passions and Pathways is a program for Year 6 students from Eaglehawk Primary School, Specimen Hill Primary School, Lightning Reef Primary School and independent schools to get a taste of the workforce. The program is extending to more schools in the Central Goldfields and Mount Alexander areas in the future.
The Goldfields Local Learning and Employment Network, in partnership with local schools and businesses, created the Passions and Pathways program to address students' disadvantage and disengagement from school.
A research study by La Trobe University had found that Grade 6 and 7 students in Bendigo from disadvantaged backgrounds believed that getting a job was "luck" and they would have little chance of achieving a career.
Passions and Pathways shows students all the possibilities of work and empowers them to pursue their own career goals.
'At first, I was completely oblivious about workplace and on what skills are actually needed to get into working in a trade, but this program has taught me so much,' says a Lightning Reef Primary School student.
Student from Eaglehawk Primary School told Passions and Pathways that she enjoyed the program so much that she didn't want it to end.
'I learnt that you don't even have to be amazing at what you want to do. You can just learn and get better,' the student says.
The program begins with learning about workplace health and safety with Safety Systems, a local business. The next step is a visit from young industry ambassadors – people under 30 who work for local businesses come to share their stories of employment success with students. The students go on a workplace tour to participate in a real workday, from making products to meeting CEOs. They finish the program by creating a project about what they learned, and present it at the Passions and Pathways Expo.
Specimen Hill Primary School teacher, Scott Pysing says he can see many benefits in the program.
'Passions and Pathways is giving the students hope, aspirations and inspirations for the future,' Mr Pysing says.
Education Week: Careers
Education Week 2019 celebrates the strengths and achievements of Victoria's government schools.
Career Education in government schools ensuring students have the skills and capabilities to navigate multiple careers and meet the challenges of the changing world of work. Career Education helps students make improved career and pathway decisions to prepare them for life beyond school.
Find out more about Education Week 2019.