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Year 9 Career Tasters

Michael McCann (Head of Pathways/VET)

Throughout Terms 3 and 4 the Kolbe Pathways Team have sent over 180 students to different North and South Metro TAFE or Registered Training Organisations Campus’ for the Year 9 Career Taster Program (CTP). The CTP is a State government initiative that helps students explore their interests and careers and see occupations in action. Through facilitating exposure to the world of work and training in an engaging way, the CTP helps students develop career exploration skills and stay motivated and engaged with their schooling.

The first program to kick off the Career Taster Program back in Term 3 was Landscape Design. Here our students took a tour of the SMTAFE Murdoch campus where they witnessed the difference between soft and hard landscaping and learnt how to plan and design landscape concepts. During the final session of the day the group made their own succulent bowl that they were able to take home and keep.

Next stop – Bentley Campus – where the pencils and paint pens came out. The students were shown the range of machinery used in the fashion industry from laser cutting machines, flat-bed printers, post bed sewing machines as well a huge range of machines for creating different stitches and finishes. Students then created their own fashion illustrations using figure templates and art equipment used by professionals in the industry.

Term 4 was the busiest for CTP opportunities where we engaged in 9 different opportunities in just 7 weeks across various locations stretching from Mirrabooka to Rockingham.

The Electronics CTP at SMTAFEs Thornlie campus was a fun filled day learning how science and electronics intertwine. Accompanied by Mr Stynes, students listened intently as the lecturers explained the way science and the electrotechnology industry are so closely aligned. In the day’s final activity, the lecturer sparked the interest of the group as he taught them how to wire an LED light.

A little closer to home in a multi stop excursion, the group of Naval Shipbuilding CTP students toured the facilities at Austal Ships, Civmec and SMTAFE Naval Base Campus. The tours had a focus on metal fabrication, however, the students quickly learnt that the Naval Shipbuilding industry is much more than just that. A common highlight of the day was using the Augmented Reality welding technology at SMTAFE. This state of the art piece of equipment is used daily to hone the skills of those who will one day be some of our best fabricators in the State.

For students whose future focus is on helping others, a group of prospective health care professionals took the long trip to Mirabooka’s Stanley College for the Health CTP. Learning how so many aspects of everyday life, link to the healthcare industry, our students were able to use basic instruments and techniques to monitor the vital signs of their peers as well as hear about the various avenues they can take within the realm of Health Care, all equally important as the next.

Out at the Kwinana SMTAFE campus a keen group of Automotive CTP students got to see first-hand just how many moving parts and pieces go into each and every car. In a fully operational workshop catering to Light and Heavy Automotive trades as well as Auto Electrical, the students saw a car that had been pulled apart and were able to inspect the engine parts. Later in the day, they got their hands dirty using a rattle gun to remove wheels and tyres and then there was the explosive experience of testing airbags. We look forward to a group of these students joining the KIC or South Metro TAFE automotive opportunities within Kolbe’s senior school offerings.

Keeping things diverse for the next CTP we coupled it with a Year 11 Workplace Learning experience. Kolbe’s HPE Workplace learning student Cierra accompanied Mr Celenza and 20 students out to North Metro TAFEs Leederville and Northbridge campus where they were all put through their paces in the ‘Buzzer Beater” Sport CTP. Here students experienced different ways to motivate clients and change up exercises for injuries and medical conditions. Back on the bus and across town to the second stop of the day, our students worked with sport lecturers, testing their own agility and speed then applying some coaching skills to a multi-sport session.

As more and more families are accessing child care across the nation, we know that there will always be opportunities for employment in the Childcare Industry. Lucky for us we had a line up of students hoping to secure a place on the Childcare CTP hosted by SMTAFE Armadale. With only 16 places available on the course, some of Kolbe’s most caring and gentle students were presented with the types of real life scenarios that childcare workers and educators are faced with. Throughout the day the lecturers emphasised the importance of activities in child development and learning through play. This is where our students had the opportunity to engage in sensory play through painting, making playdoh and conducting story time activities.

Just in case the world of childcare wasn’t noisy enough, our next CTP was about to get louder as Mr Gryl and a small group of Music Industry enthusiasts headed North to Leederville NMTAFE for the Music CTP. Wandering the campus and exploring the music department, including its live venue, rehearsal rooms, recording studios, editing suites and radio stations, the students learnt about the many aspects of employment within the Music Industry. Right after lunch it was time to get LOUD! Using industry standard equipment and technology the students were able to write, rehearse and record their own songs.

Finally, the Pathways Team are looking forward to sending 50 of our students (in 2 groups) across the oval to the SMTAFE Rockingham Trade Training Centre at the end of the Term 4, for a 3 day Career Taster in the Construction Industry. This program will give students a great introduction into trades in the building and construction industry, in particular the carpentry, bricklaying, tiling & plastering trades. It is also a great building block for students who are thinking about continuing their construction journey in our unique partnership program with SMTAFE, where a small group of year 10s will be invited to begin their VET for Schools journey.

The 2022 CTP experience saw over 86% of the Year 9 cohort opt in to at least one of the Career Taster programs and some of the feedback we have received has proven that it was, and will continue to be, a worthwhile investment in our students’ learning. For some students it was merely something different to the normal day to day school life, yet for others it was the beginning of a bright and exciting career. As staff, the Pathways Team value the enthusiasm we have seen from so many of our students and look forward to continuing the CTP experiences in years to come as we witness our students becoming more “career curious”.

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