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New workplace savvy school students Erica Smith Charles Sturt University.

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1 New workplace savvy school students Erica Smith Charles Sturt University

2 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


4 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

5 Engagement with workplaces  Work experience  Part-time work  VET in schools  Other (volunteer/voluntary, sporting, parents’ work etc)  School enterprises

6 Work experience  The Cinderella of workplace experiences  Important career sampling role  Wide range of industry areas  Opportunity can be squandered

7 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.

8 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

9 Part-time work

10 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

11 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

12 Follow-up study  Participants in first two projects: most left school 2001 and 2002  Survey (92 so far) and telephone interviews (12 so far)

13 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

14 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

15 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.

16 …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.

17 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

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