Presentation on theme: "New workplace savvy school students Erica Smith Charles Sturt University."— Presentation transcript:
New workplace savvy school students Erica Smith Charles Sturt University
Body of research School students’ learning from their paid and unpaid work (fieldwork 2000) with Annette Green & Ros Brennan Kemmis CSU and Steve Keirl & Sue Erickson, Uni of SA Learning and training from school-based new apprenticeships (fieldwork 2001) with Lou Wilson, Adelaide Uni The development of employability skills in novice workers through employment (fieldwork 2002) with Paul Comyn, PhD student UTS How workplace experiences while at school affect school leavers’ pathways (fieldwork 2004) with Annette Green & Brian Hemmings, CSU All funded through NREC/NVETRE - NCVER
Teenagers at work 60% of years 10 to 12 students have part-time work (Smith & Green, 2001) Most teenagers go to work straight after school rather than to university or full-time TAFE Most university and TAFE students also work part-time
Engagement with workplaces Work experience Part-time work VET in schools Other (volunteer/voluntary, sporting, parents’ work etc) School enterprises
Work experience The Cinderella of workplace experiences Important career sampling role Wide range of industry areas Opportunity can be squandered
VET in schools Rapid growth: approx 40% of Year 11 and 12 students are now doing VET programs Generally less academically-inclined students More common in government schools Now a mainstream option instead of a pioneering activity. In the process of ‘shifting gear’ from a development phase when the enthusiasm of individuals carried it along, to becoming a normal part of the school curriculum.
School-based New Apprenticeships Have grown phenomenally; 7639 commenced in Most students’ experiences of SBNAs is positive Concentrated in the same industries as ordinary part-time student jobs, although not to the same extent SBNAs often work few hours Some quality problems with off the job training, and some evidence of poor linkage between off the job training and work A few students see SBNAs as a ‘training course’ or a ‘program’ rather than a job
Employers’ reasons for hiring novice workers Low cost Enthusiasm Mouldability Technology skills/up to date knowledge New ideas Community obligations Require low skilled labour force Tradition & industry obligations Physical fitness Operating hours Staff development for existing staff
Positive outcomes of VIS and SBNAs Seen as more rigorous than work experience and employers generally prefer them; Can aid retention of students including (but not only) students at risk; Less-academic students find that they validate their practical skills and generally increase their confidence; They give access to a wider range of industries than part-time work; Allow students who would find it difficult to access paid part-time work on their own to experience workplaces and thus improve their chances of finding work when they leave school; Can encourage students to enter industries which are unpopular with school-leavers and have severe skills shortages
Follow-up study Participants in first two projects: most left school 2001 and 2002 Survey (92 so far) and telephone interviews (12 so far)
Preliminary findings All except five finished Year 12 One-third of all continued with school-time part-time job for more than 2 years and almost half for more than one year Finding alternative paths to uni eg via TAFE qualifications At least half now have VET qualifications Very diverse experiences
SBNAs SBNAs less likely to do work experience SBNAs very favourable about their SBNA SBNAs more likely to be in full-time work or study than others High rate of change of career plans in the first year after school
If I hadn’t had workplace contact… Work experience gave me a fixed standard or gauge to aim for by working with professionals, rather than just knowing that I had to be better than I was. I wanted to do graphic design but during the work experience I decided it didn’t suit me. It was good to know this as I nearly did it at uni. It would have made it difficult for me as I wouldn’t have had a job to fall back on when I left uni. I would probably have stayed at uni in that course which wouldn’t have been good and I’d still have been living at home. Some people have chosen nursing and did not do work experience in that area at school. They have found the course a culture shock and some have left the program.
…contd I probably wouldn’t have gone to uni. The school based traineeship was an eye-opener and showed me a different field. I’d liken to get a job in a place like that and you need a science degree. If I hadn’t had a traineeship in hospitality I would have done childcare, and I wouldn’t be happy with that now so am very glad I did the traineeship Riviera mostly get their people through SBNA’s, so if I hadn’t done that I wouldn’t have got my apprenticeship after school. BUT…. I suppose I might have put more into my school studies if I hadn’t been working so much. Maybe I’d have got into teaching.
Implications for VET Importance of the part-time job Development of employability skills Awareness of VET sector Familiarity with intermediary bodies such as GTOs SBNAs may not fix skill shortages