Eyre Peninsula programs aim to connect students to employers

Department for Education and local employers are working together to map out career pathways to help guide students to career opportunities in targeted industries.

As part of the state government's repositioning of Vocational Education Training within secondary education, Flexible Industry Pathways are being developed for school students which will combine combine SACE, VET study and industry immersion, while meeting industry needs.

Three are being developed on Eyre Peninsula, targeted at hospitality, agriculture and a broader area partnership across the Eyre Peninsula with a focus on cyber security.

In Port Lincoln a Hospitality Industry Advisory Committee has been established to provide an industry voice for hospitality programs at Port Lincoln High School.

The committee is a collaboration between the high school, the department, employment groups, the Port Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and Tourism and representatives of the hospitality industry.

Committee members recently came together for a breakfast at the high school on October 22 with food prepared by food and hospitality students, followed by presentations.

High school food and hospitality teacher Monique Rogalski said it was about having a pathway for students who identified early as wanting to pursue a career in hospitality.

"We want to connect with industry to make sure the curriculum we deliver is properly suited for the industry, and having that connection to work experience and employment opportunities," she said.

"It's a new pathway for VET courses to really streamline pathways for students to employment."

Mrs Rogalski said a pilot class with this specific curriculum would start in the second semester of 2021.

Meanwhile another Flexible Industry Pathway is coming together at Cleve Area School targeted at agriculture.

A similar event took place at Sims Farm at Cleve on October 27 involving representatives from the agriculture industry, Cleve District Council, the department and the area school.

Breakfast was prepared by food and hospitality students from the area school before a presentation about industry engagement in the program.

Department for Education vocational pathways consultant Eyre Peninsula Dianne Fitzgerald said Regional Development Australia data showed agriculture was the biggest employer and the biggest growth area in the Cleve area.

"It's important for this program to be further developed with industry connections and industry voice in the students' learning so young people are better equipped for employment," she said.

Mrs Fitzgerald said while targeted at Cleve students at the moment there was the potential of students across Eyre Peninsula engaging in this pathway program.