As a national organisation that supports young people in their transition from education to meaningful employment, Beacon Foundation is pleased to have had the opportunity to present its experience to the National Youth Commission, when it visited Hobart on June 4th.
The Commission, into Youth Employment and Transitions, is making its way around Australia over 18 months, hearing from organisations and individuals. It says it “seeks to bring together the expretise, ideas and experience of young people and the whole Australian community, to build a reform agenda for education and the preparation and support of young people for work now and in the future.”
After 30 years in this space, Beacon Foundation knows about the challenges facing many young people as they try to navigate their way from education to employment.
Tasmanian State Manager, Nick Probert, told the Commission that that there is no level playing field in this area.
“Many schools simply don’t have the resources to spend on effective career awareness activities. This means that students don’t get exposure to real life work situations and examples.”
“At Beacon Foundation we know the value of starting career conversations in schools and connecting students to mentors in the worlds of business and industry. We’d like to see more of this happening around the country.”
Mr Probert told Commissioners – Lisa Paul AO PSM, Major David Eldridge AM and Finbar Piper – about Beacon Foundation activities that aim to support young Australians into further education, training or employment. He said that these are taken up by many schools, which see that the activities can be linked to the Curriculum, and provide opportunities which students would otherwise be unable to access.
He also explained Beacon Foundation’s desire to reach more young people, particularly through its online work readiness and mentoring programs, MyRoad and Industry Live.
Beacon Foundation’s collective impact initiative, Collective ed., which is finding and testing ways to increase Year 12 attainment in six Tasmanian schools, was also discussed.
“Beacon Foundation hopes the National Youth Commission’s hearings really shine a spotlight on as issue so important to Australia,” Mr Probert said.
“Young people, no matter where they live, or in what circumstances, deserve the opportunity to have a productive working life, and we should all be supporting them to get there.”
The National Youth Commission will release its findings and recommendations publically.