“You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test-drive, so why shouldn’t we do the same with our future careers?”
Across two years at The Academy, students can expect to complete at least 20 days of self-driven structured work experience with companies and organisations from a range of different industries. Facilitating work experience opportunities that complement Work-Related Skills (WRS) units and the Pathway Development Program is just one of the many ways The Academy prepares its students to graduate with a real-world education.
Work experience offers young people valuable insight into day-to-day realities of career roles and occupations. This is why The Academy encourages its students to align work experiences with the work they complete in the pathway discovery components of their WRS unit. By doing this, students “test-drive” or experiment with different career options, and make sure that it is the right fit for them.
Students use work experiences to practically apply knowledge of workplace occupational health and safety and what it means to be successful in the workplace. Students explicitly learn this knowledge in WRS. Year 11 students learn job hunting and application skills to help them find often their first experiences in the workforce, with Year 12s developing advanced employability and networking skills to learn how to advance their future careers. Increasingly, students are turning to the digital world, creating and curating their own LinkedIn profiles to network with potential employers.
But it’s not just about “getting” a work experience, it’s also about doing the work and positively responding to feedback. Work experience employers evaluate the students throughout the experience, providing feedback on:
- punctuality and presentation
- interpersonal and communication skills
- attitudes and willingness to learn
- quality of work achieved.
Students then reflect on their experiences, alongside this feedback, to evaluate themselves and identify successes to celebrate and potential areas for improvement.
Current and past students have experienced a range of interesting work experiences over the last few years, with some securing ongoing, paid employment with their work experience employers after they graduate.