A program to improve education and career outcomes for high school students will be expanded to schools across NSW over the next two years, thanks to a $13.5 million investment from the NSW Government.
The Educational Pathways Program (EPP) introduces students to different post-school study and employment options, and will expand from 24 schools to up to 139 public schools across NSW from next year.
The program has been extremely successful since it was introduced in 2020, with the number of students enrolling in school-based apprenticeships and traineeships tripling across the schools participating in the pilot.
Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said investing in career education and skills training for young people was key to keeping the NSW economy strong into the future.
“Encouraging the next generation to consider an apprenticeship or traineeship through this program will help to reduce future skills shortages and create a highly employable workforce,” Mr Lee said.
“Through this program, a growing number of Year 10, 11 and 12 students are earning and starting their career in industry while learning new skills in the classroom.”
“The program is about exposing school students to the different directions they can take in their career so they can make informed and confident decisions.”
Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the NSW Government was supporting high school students looking to take the first step in their career.
“Greater Year 12 retention, increased completion of school-based apprenticeships and traineeships, and increased participation in post-school education are just some of the benefits of the program,” Ms Mitchell said.
Secondary public schools in the Illawarra, New England and North West, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter Valley, Central Coast, Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven, as well as Western Sydney suburbs of Parramatta and Blacktown, will have access to the Educational Pathways Program in 2022.
The NSW Government’s investment in the Education Pathways Program will fund:
· Strengthened career guidance and support for school students under specialist teachers for school based apprentices and trainees.
· Immersion programs with Registered Training Organisations, including TAFE NSW, to give high school students ‘vocational tasters’ of different industries.
· Workshops to teach students employability skills, such as how to prepare for a job interview, how to communicate with employers, and how to manage their online presence.
· Dedicated careers support to connect students to local employers and jobs.