Thousands of high school students will be encouraged to explore exciting career opportunities through the expansion of the Educational Pathways Program to an additional 120 NSW schools.
Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the NSW Government will invest $16.5 million in the expansion of the successful program which was piloted in 24 high schools across South-West Sydney and the North Coast.
“The Educational Pathways Program is designed to improve education and career outcomes by introducing NSW public high schools students to a range of post-school training and employment pathways,” Ms Mitchell said.
“The program will also help to broker relationships between schools, local employers and industry leaders, which can lead to jobs and further training for these students.”
Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens said the program’s pilot phase over the past two years successfully introduced thousands of students to different training and career pathways.
“The program has already seen the tripling of the number of students across the 24 pilot schools enrolling in school-based apprenticeships and traineeships,” Mr Henskens said.
“The expansion of the program to an additional 120 schools means the program now spans 144 public high schools in nine NSW regions, which is a real win for students, schools and local employers.”
Features of the Educational Pathways Program in 2022 include:
· Fee-free apprenticeships and pre-traineeships, allowing students to ‘test-drive’ different vocational education and training courses;
· Specialist head teachers and teams to work with careers advisers to create more engaging opportunities and pathways for students; and
· Dedicated staff to promote awareness and engagement in school-based apprenticeships and traineeships, and offer tailored support and mentoring for students exploring these pathways.
Prairiewood High School Principal Belinda Giudice said career education and counselling is crucial in assisting students to find the most suitable post-school pathway.
“This program helps connect students with school-based apprenticeships and traineeships as we work to establish industry partners to provide guidance, work place tours and work placements for our students,” Ms Giudice said.
“These experiences open student’s eyes to a broad range of job opportunities and career pathways available and give them the tools to get started on their journey.”