Inspiring the Future launches targeted young women campaign

On June the 12th 2018 Inspiring the Future launched it’s brand new sub-campaign Inspiring Futures for Young Women! The Hon Natalie Ward MLC officially launched campaign at the event held at Brigidine College St Ives on behalf of the Minister for Women Tanya Davies. The event was attended by community members, business professionals, educators, Brigidine students and parents and friends of the campaign. STZ_9598

The evening was an inspiring event hearing from women with unique stories and insights. As well as hearing from Natalie Ward, Dianne Mills gave an intriguing presentation on the new work order, presenting new ideas for how we think about communicating careers and educating young women to navigate them.


The main event was a panel discussion involving Cayleigh Hosking, Solutions Specialist at Microsoft; Lee Ussher, Co-Founder of Buzz Web Media; and Julie Clifford, Industry Engagement Broker for Inspiring the Future AU. The women shared their insights on what challenges they’ve overcome, how their industry has changed for women and what they hope to see in the future. It was particularly inspiring to hear how each different woman had exceeded others expectations and bias in their career and pushed through challenges to be respected and successful in their own right, while also still being mothers, daughters, wives and friends.

Thanks to all those who came along, and a special thanks to Brigidine College for their work in making this event happen. We’d also like to extend another big thank you to our speakers The Hon. Natalie Ward MLC, Dianne Mills, Cayleigh Hosking, Lee Ussher, Julie Clifford, Di Lawrence and Michelle Cooper.


Starting out? Our job coaches share their expert advice

Our Youth Transitions service helps hundreds of young people make a plan for their future and take essential first steps into employment. We have a wonderful group of experienced job coaches who work hard to support and empower their young people every day!

We asked for some of their sage advice for you to get a jump-start too

Be as honest as you can about your lifestyle

Be honest with yourself (and/or your coach) about what motivates you, your interests, challenges or barriers and daily routines. This will help to find the right match and pathway for you to ensure they are on the right track to work towards a successful future whether it be through employment or further education. If it’s important to you to walk your dog every afternoon – working at a restaurant from 2pm until Midnight wouldn’t be a good fit!

Set little, achievable goals along the path of your employment/education journey

Make sure you celebrate the little wins of the journey, as this ensures you remain motivated and always have something to work towards. Setting small goals along the way gives you a sense of achievement even if you’re not yet at the stage of being employed or starting your course, stopping you from getting disheartened.

Take action

Success only comes through consistent action. We have all heard that “the end” only arrives when we stop trying, the same applies when job searching. You may call 25 employers before you get a lucky break, a family member may connect you with someone after you contact them numerous times or you may apply for a number of jobs before you get a call back. The secret is in taking action.

Always follow up your applications

When applying for a job online or via email, ALWAYS ring an employer to make sure they received your resume and know you are interested. It’s the first way to make a good impression.

Trust in the process

If you come to our Youth Transitions service we have a variety of different stages, workshops and resources you could be involved in. Even if you believe you’re ready to just get a job – trust in the process it takes to get job ready. Our coaches know where you’re at and they want to make sure your chances of success are as high as can be before you go for your dream job.

Looking for more personal support to get employed and create your own sustainable future? Call us on 1800 912 611 or contact us on Facebook for more information.

Meeting a potential employer for the first time? Here’s how to make a good impression

We all know first impressions count, and we’re all guilty of judging a book by its cover when it comes to relationships or picking a place to eat or especially where we’re going to work. This is true for employers as well and the first impression you make has a significant impact on the rest of your interactions with them. Whether this is going for an interview, handing in a resume or even doing a voluntary work placement in their workplace; no matter the situation considering how you come across is an easy way to start ahead.

But how can you make a good impression no matter what? Check out our simple tips and try them out!

  1. Seek out the right person straight away

While when you go into a business to hand in a resume it seems easier to drop it into whoever is at the counter, asking for the Manager, Owner or Supervisor to hand it to them leaves a lasting impression. This also gives you the opportunity to talk about your availability or even say something short about why you’d like to work in this particular business. If you’re heading to the site for an interview or work placement, don’t just expect whoever you see first to know who you are or why you’re there. Make sure you introduce yourself and say why you’re there. If you know the name of your interviewer or supervisor tell them that also! Sound scary? Try starting with “Hello, My name is Adam and I’m here to see Jodie for an interview for the carpentry apprenticeship.”

  1. Greet with a handshake, a smile and eye contact

Want to come across confident and warm even if you’re not feeling it? This is the way! Greeting people you meet with a handshake and a smile, and comfortably looking them in the eye starts things on a professional level and is always a respectful way to introduce yourself. Generally, you’d exchange name over the handshake, or perhaps if you’ve just been introduced go for a ‘nice to meet you’ handshake.

  1. Be on time

Simple but massively impressive, turning up not only on time but 5 minutes early shows that you care about the opportunity. If you’re late to the interview or to your placement, the association is immediately made that you will be late for work if employed. Ensuring you leave extra time to get to a place for a first appointment, trial, interview or the like will put you in better stead that turning quoting a late bus or traffic – even if these things are the true reason you’re late.

  1. Dress appropriately and professionally

This doesn’t mean going out of your way to become a different person, but simply adhering to the dress standard of the place you’re visiting or job you’re interviewing for. Try speaking to the reception before your interview to ascertain the dress code, or call your placement supervisor for a guideline or even visit the shop or café to see what their staff wear.

There are many other ways to make a great first impression, but starting with these simple tips will get you in the door and give you a positive platform to win that job.

3 Resume Gaps and How to Explain Them Better

So you’ve got some gaps in your resume? Maybe you had a false start after graduating school, or you had to drop out because of family issues, or you lost your job and found it hard to pick right up again. Whatever the reasons we drop off for a little while, they can impact our confidence as we search for a job. Having gaps doesn’t necessarily make you worse off than the other candidates, but you can be smart about how you address these gaps in an interview.

1. You lost your job, and it wasn’t amicable.

It can be really difficult and embarrassing to talk about getting fired, but no matter what happened there, there are positive lessons you can speak about to show your future employer how great you’ll be for their company. Make sure not to badmouth your previous company, boss or coworkers, but focus on what you achieved or learnt while you were there. You can do this even if you left on bad terms!


Don’t Say

“The work sucked and my boss had it in for me from day one! I would’ve left anyway, they didn’t deserve to have to work for them”

Do Say

“Unfortunately I was laid off from this job, due to changes in the company structure. While I was there, I learnt a variety of skills that will help me in this role [the one you’re applying for]. This included [insert relevant skills] communication with other team members, managing an individual workload and being punctual to work and meetings.”

2. You had health issues and had to take time off

Your future employer doesn’t need a play-by-play of how your mental health prevented you from working or why a stupid accident left you needing surgery. It’s not that they don’t care where you’ve come from, but that they need to know where you’re at now. Prepare a concise and straightforward explanation that you are comfortable to share with them. Make sure you speak about how proud you were to overcome these health issues but don’t dwell too much on what was and move on to what you can bring to their business now.

Don’t Say

“Yeah stuff was really bad, I had depression and couldn’t leave the house, I attempted suicide 5 times and I really didn’t want to do anything. I’m still struggling with this.”

Do Say

“I took some time out [or ‘I was slow to get into the workforce’] to focus on my health and [learn strategies to manage my mental health/go through rehab after an operation]. Now I’m ready to get [back] into the workforce. The challenge to overcome these health issues has made me a stronger and more resilient person, so I know I can tackle the challenges in this role and achieve.”

3. You had to take care of your family or had family pressure to stay out of work

Family is a huge thing, and helping them out is a tough job that builds a huge range of skills you can now use in whatever job you get! No future employer should fault you for taking care of your family or sticking by them. The loyalty to put others before yourself only reflects well on you. Make sure you tell your interviewer how excited you are to commit yourself to your job now that you can.

Don’t Say

“I was forced by my family to stay home to look after my Dad after the accident. It was a pain cos I only had to cos no one else wanted to.”

Do Say

“Due to the situation with my parent/grandparent/child, I decided being home to care for them was my top priority. I learnt lots of skills during this time, including how to push through challenges and get things done. Now I’m in a position to move into work and I’m looking forward to applying these skills and experiences in the workplace.”

Don’t forget – it’s never a good idea to lie on your resume and pretend you haven’t been out of work for a period. Embrace your history with grace and be positive about how you are moving forward!

Work Placement Project Blitz at SIP

At Schools Industry Partnership (SIP), in mid-March, 11 Year 12 Work Placement students from various schools came to be involved in an exciting new initiative – Project Blitz. The large group of students were hosted altogether by SIP to simulate a small team-based workplace. Students were given different task lists relative to their different disciplines and assigned a supervisor for the week from the SIP staff.

Students were instrumental in clearing a large volume of work that had been pushed back many times due to other priorities. Projects included such things as updating and configuring all staff computers and tablets, creating a 2019 calendar for our Work Placement management, updating the staff phone list, coming up with designs for our expo stalls, doing IT testing and designing T-shirts for job seeking.

DSC_0365As a part of Project Blitz, SIP also hosted 3 ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions with Inspiring the Future Australia speakers. We were privileged to hear from Amanda Jackson from LG Electronics, John Matthews from I Finance and Scott Knight from Classic Home Improvements.

DSC_0392All speakers came from different backgrounds and shared different stories and experiences. The students especially appreciated hearing about Amanda’s experience failing school and how that hasn’t stopped her from hearing big money and travelling the world now; how John helps his clients invest their money and move from Pizza delivery guy to millionaire investor and the pros and cons of contracting versus being an employee from Scott.

Thanks to all the students and speakers involved in our first ever Project Blitz! We look forward to having an even bigger and better Blitz next time.

Inspiring Career Talk for Youth Transitions

Last week ITF volunteer Shane Hickey, Head of HR at Flower Power, came and spoke to our youth transitions participants about his career journey and some tips for getting hired. He shared insightful knowledge about his own hiring process, what happens when you submit a resume for a job and what he looks for in an interview.
Shane especially emphasized being teachable, he said “It doesn’t matter if I’m interviewing for a senior management or for a retail assistant. There’s only 2 things I look for; that they’re going to have respect for the people they work for and that they turn up on time. Everything else I can teach people.” This was an important lesson for everyone in the room, as it showed how no matter where you’re starting from your can achieve and move forward.
The young people attending shared the kinds of industry they were interested in, and he was able to give them more targeted advice, as well as encourage them that getting there takes time.


“Maybe the job isn’t 100% what you want but you can work that to your

advantage as the first step.” Shane also emphasized the need to find your passion, saying, “Find that thing inside that spurs you on and it’ll take you places. You might want to make jewellery but if you start working in a jewellery shop, that will take you onward.”

Thanks very much to Shane for coming and sharing his wisdom and experience with the young people at SIP.

Finding career inspiration with Skillsroad

Last week the organisation Skillsroad came into Schools Industry Partnership, and worked with a group of our young people on a career exploration activity. Skillsroad is an initiative of the NSW Business Chamber that aims to help Australia’s youth; their parents and teacher, to navigate the career planning process and foster a meaningful transition into work or further study. In this particular session, they helped our participants go through their great Career Quiz, that helps young people choose a job that matches them!
The intention of the session was to assist each participant in exploring different career ideas, giving them some inspiration for what their goals could be. With the help of Skillsroad, each participant did the Career Quiz that assessed their working styles, strengths and motivators to find out what type of working personality they have.
img_1919.jpgUsing this information, they searched through a number of careers that matched their personality to see what kinds of careers they might enjoy and be good at. Many young people discovered new career paths they had never heard of with this activity, broadening their horizons to the possibilities of their future. This was especially helpful for participants who were struggling with direction, as there were clear recommendations for them to explore or reflect on further.
For many of our young people, it’s not that they are not motivated to start, but that they’re unsure of what to start and this, coupled with other barriers, can be very crippling. Our coaches work with young people both one-on-one and in group workshops and sessions to help overcome these barriers and discover the right path for every young person.
From this Skillsroad exercise, the attending participants were able to set a few individual goals for what they hope to achieve in the next couple of weeks. During the session, Skillsroad gave out prizes to those young people who identified a possible career goal, reinforcing positivity around work and careers! The session was a great opportunity for our young people, and we were so pleased to see they got so much out of it.
15-24 and looking for work? Youth Transition at Schools Industry Partnership has personal coaching, job skills, application support and more just for you! Contact us to find out more or come into one of our shops today.

Stuart Ayres, Minister for Western Sydney Launches Employment Service

On the 8th of January 2018, NSW Minister for Western Sydney the Hon. Stuart Ayres MP officially opened our new Smart, Skilled & Hired (SS&H) employment service. Both young people involved in the program and their job coaches took part in the ribbon cutting ceremony with the Hon. Stuart Ayres MP. The launch took place in our newly renovated SIP shop in Penrith, one of three sites that help young people get full-time work through personal coaching.

After busily finishing the refurbishments on the shop last week, we’re excited to have had the Minister come and help us make it official! He was excited to share that “good things are happening in this part of the world” and “programs like yours will help young people make the transition, while on our side we’re driving growth and development to create more jobs.“


The Smart, Skilled and Hired – Youth Employment Program is a $65 million NSW Government Program to address youth unemployment by assisting young people (15 to 24 years) to help them overcome employment barriers, and get them into sustainable jobs. This includes assisting them in overcoming a variety of difficulties such as mental health or transport; as well as helping them in gaining skills and experience that will improve their long-term job and living standard prospects.

SS&H was created by the NSW Government to fill the gap for many young people outside of benefits, struggling to get a job or get enough hours, due to a variety of issues. The NSW Government saw a unique opportunity to help bridge the gap between school and greater employment and assist young people in getting the skills to build their own sustainable future.

This service is perfect for school-leavers (even HSC graduates) who just need a helping hand to get into the full-time workforce – and it’s all completely free!

As a part of the service we have three different sites where we facilitate training and coaching for young people, Penrith, Windsor and Springwood.

All sites are open Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm and walk-ins to the service are welcome!

5 Actionable Steps to Becoming a 5-Star Employee

  1. Watch other employee behaviour and be discerning

    While often the behaviour of more established employees can teach you lots about what needs to be done and how to overcome obstacles in a workplace, often this can teach bad habits as well. Be mindful when copying the methods or taking the suggestions of other employees. If you have a gut feeling that something might not be okay – don’t do it and find another way!

  2. Ask for opportunities to learn more


    If there’s something you don’t know that it would be useful for you to know, don’t be shy about asking how to do something. By learning every process and job you can, you increase your flexibility to get things done quickly and without intervention in the workplace. Be mindful of when you ask, however, quiet times are generally times for learning and busy times are usually times to do what you can to help.

  3. Take note of every answer and instruction you get

    Never have to ask the same questions twice and you’ll learn how to work autonomously very quickly. Don’t just ask what is next to do, ask how you do it best and make sure you understand the whole process.

  4. Don’t be afraid to suggest ideas, even if they’re not chosen

    Being a 5-star employee means being willing to try and fail. When a problem is being solved within your team, be bold in suggesting ideas! Even if your idea doesn’t get selected, taking the initiative and thinking of an option is a worthwhile part of the process, and demonstrates your willingness to get things done and solves issues quickly.

  5. Take opportunities to be invaluable

    Don’t be afraid to take on a role or job that makes you invaluable to your employer. Being profitable and productive means that letting you go would damage the business! Take on new responsibility if it’s offered or invent something you can be an expert in that helps everyone!

Youth Transitions Early-School Leavers Program

Our combined Youth Transitions service is well and truly underway, with the launch of a 7-week employability program to help school students transition. Our team is working together with four local schools; Glenmore Park High, Xavier College, Cranebrook High and Kingswood High. The intention of the program is to help students transition from school to work life. All those a part of the current group are in Year 10 or 11 and looking to exit school.

The program involves learning different skills and situations that will build employability skills, confidence and develop each young-persons understanding of work and their role within it.

As part of the program, the students also complete the ‘Love Bites’ program which teaches them about healthy relationships and the Blue Datto program educating them on road safety.

They will also be doing work experience as organised by SIP at the end of the program.

Youth Transitions at SIP services unemployed 15-24 year olds who need extra help getting full-time work. Whether you need a little help or a lot, we can help you with personal support catered to your goals and skills.