Young Industry Ambassadors are young people in the workforce (apprentices, recently qualified trades people, or university graduates) nominated by their employer to engage with school students and share their personal experiences about the transition from education and training to employment.
Participants in the YIA program undergo two half-day training sessions with an experienced facilitator, focusing on verbal and written presentation skills. They plan and prepare the material they will use in school presentations.
Newly minted Ambassador Chloe Burton has benefited greatly from the training provided in the YIA program. It has allowed her to hone her public speaking skills to connect with students who may be unsure of what to do in the transition from school to work.
“I was really confused going into Year 12 and didn’t know what I wanted to do, so to be able to help young people realise there are other study pathways and training options is great,” said Chloe.
Chloe recently completed a Certificate IV in Business Administration with a private Registered Training Organisation, whilst serving out an 18-month traineeship in Organisational Development at the Mount Alexander Shire Council.
Fellow Ambassador Dougie Elliot’s employment journey is a very different one. His Year 10 work experience with the Shire Council’s Parks and Natural Reserves led to full-time employment. He is currently finishing a 3-year horticultural apprenticeship.
By sharing his vocational training journey Dougie aims to motivate local young people. His message is that with consistent hard work and the relevant industry qualifications you can succeed in the workforce.
Former teacher and YIA program facilitator Chris Coughlan has been running the YIA training for 5 years. Chris sees the program as having a highly influential role in shaping the motivation of the students who will enter the workforce in the coming years.
“Students are used to hearing from teachers and older authority figures but I think there is a real advantage in hearing from their own peers, people just a few years older, about real-life experiences. We hope it strikes a chord with young people and help them to make the right career decisions,” he said.
He explained that the program provides a platform to profile the diverse pathways young people can undertake to achieve their career goals. “When I was a teacher, I had students in Year 12 who should have undertaken VET studies to give them a head start with vocational education. This program might have guided them to this pathway earlier,” he said.
The program doesn’t just benefit the students and Ambassadors. Employers benefit from the professional development of their young employees, as they learn the craft of public speaking and gain confidence in their leadership abilities.
“If an employer is thinking about a pipeline to a future workforce, having a young employee speaking in schools could lead to him or her to being an advocate for the business, the occupation and the industry sector,” said Chris.
With its success in Bendigo, the GLLEN has partnered with Mount Alexander Shire Council to extend the program in Castlemaine.
The next training session for new Ambassadors will be in Bendigo on the mornings of November 15 and 29, with an option to conduct training in Castlemaine.
To nominate a potential Ambassador or for more information, please contact Anne Brosnan, Executive Officer, Goldfields Local Learning and Employment Network. firstname.lastname@example.org