Making career planning as real as possible for Willetton Senior High School

As a teacher of Career and Enterprise delivering to 160 Year 11 and Year 12 Willetton Senior High School students, the challenge has been to provide educational opportunities to assist students in making a successful transition to employment, education or training. It needs to be real for each individual student.

In developing teaching and assessment programs, we have considered that:
• Everyone leaves school

• Further education and training improves opportunities for employment

• Current generations will change their job and / or career between 5 and 15 times, depending on the research read

• If a student is skilled enough to organise to attend the school ball, then they have the transferable Employability Skills to seek information to plan their first career!

In making it real and relevant for our students they have been set a challenge to arrange and participate in a career guidance session at the Career Centre in Perth, a State Training Provider (TAFE) or a university. To support their participation in the exercise, students were introduced to the education and training alternatives through class work. Students brainstormed career possibilities, others pondered possibilities. The appointments were made and the reflections followed:
• Ashlee : “ I needed to communicate with Rebecca…. But I get nervous speaking with new people”

• Ashlee : “ I came into the interview with an open mind….was given some websites to look at…. They contained so many different careers that I had never heard of before!”.. “ Now I have a clearer idea of maybe what I want to do as a career : Legal clerk”

• Julian : “ I learnt lots about doing the interview itself but also learnt heaps about different occupations and the money earnt.”

• Julian : “ I need to apply myself at school….to get good grades in the right subjects, that get me into this type of education and then a job.”

• Aaron : “at the Career Centre the counsellor helped me with back up options or something to do with sport”…

• Kate : “ I learnt that I am now responsible for my future, making phone calls and appointments that I really don’t feel comfortable making or attending, will help me. I need to get out of my comfort zone of people doing things for me. I also learnt that I definitely want to pursue my nursing career in the future because there are so many opportunities in the nursing industry.”

• Jessica : “ I also learnt that my communication skills have become better as well. For me when talking to someone that I have never met I can be quite shy and not say much but at the interview it showed me that I can be more confident and talk to others without being shy.”

• Brian : “ I had to take responsibility by calling up the Career Centre and book my appointment. I set an alarm on the day to remind my self and then another alarm for when I should leave my house to get there on time.” … “I want to be an electrician. I learned that it is competitive. I will need to pick up my motivation, especially in my final year of schooling when it counts the most. I need to learn not to leave things to the last minute … I just need to push through, knuckle down and see out this year. This is only a tiny period of my life and it’ll be gone in the blink of an eye.”

Our students have tools for life. The information they gained in preparing, arranging and participating in the career guidance sessions, knowing where to go for career advice throughout their working life, through their personal reflections and identifying some surprising strengths as well as needed attitudes and behaviours to make the career dream a reality.

The Career Centre would like to thank our guest blogger:
Ruth Barratt – Teacher in Charge: Career and Enterprise – Willetton Senior High School