Inspiring Apprentices pilot success

On the 25th of August 2017, Inspiring the Future Australia held a pilot event called Inspiring Apprentices, that sought to help students connect with potential employers and learn more about apprenticeships, school-based apprenticeships and traineeships from industry professionals and young apprentices. Over 100 students, teachers and volunteers attended the event at the Blacktown RSL, every table was crammed with chairs of eager students hearing about different industries and pathways. Representatives from the automotive industry, hospitality, construction, printing and design, metals and engineering, electrical and plumbing, hair and beauty, business services and schools-based apprenticeships. Students who attended were from a variety of schools in and around the Western Sydney area and were selected to attend due to their interest in a particular industry or interest in alternative pathways in general.

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Overall the event was a huge success, with 100% of teachers and volunteers believing it was a good opportunity to inspire young people. Even better, 87% of students said that the event gave them increased confidence about their future. The event was done in a speed career networking format, where volunteers rotated around the room speaking to different groups of students from Year 9 – Year 12. Following this activity students had the opportunity to talk to presenters that interested them through a mini-career expo. This enabled students to get different information and advice that was relevant to them personally.

83% of students who attended said the event provided useful information to help them decide their next steps after school. This wonderful response reinforces the value of Inspiring the Future as a whole, at inspiring and empowering students around Australia to make educated and informed choices about their futures.


The passion and enthusiasm of the volunteers to share their experience of careers and their industry was commendable to see, as they eagerly answered student questions and asked them questions in return.

We want to express our thanks to Apprenticeships Are Us, Hospitality Training Network, Master Builders Association, Signarama, MIGAS, Hix Electrical and Data Services, Hair & Beauty Australia, NSW Department of Education and TAFE for being a part of the wonderful day and giving up their valuable time to inspire and inform students.

The sub-campaign for Inspiring Apprentices will continue with additional events next year, if you’re interested in being involved in future events or running an ‘Inspiring Apprentices themed’ event yourself, please contact us!  

Work Placement helps develop respite care at Cherrybrook Village

Work Placement provides students with varied experiences in the industry they’re studying, solidifying their classroom knowledge and helping them learn new relevant skills. For a group of over 10 students at Cherrywood Village in Llandilo, this involved working across a large site to prepare different areas for newly developing respite care. Students from Chifley College, Evans High School, Wyndham College, Mitchell High School and Jamison High School did tasks in different areas including preparing garden beds, trimming hedges, clearing the driveway of mud and cleaning out the interior rooms.

Host Glenn Mulligan highlighted the importance of keeping the large group of work placement students occupied with different tasks throughout the week and giving them incentives to get the job done. “We’re doing lunch for them on Friday,” he explained. “It gives them a reason to come back.” Work Placement student young people learning work skills

Cherrywood Village has been operating as a residence with a variety of services for disabled people since it opened in 1968. Owned by organisation AFFORD, the work currently being undertaken is a revitalisation of some of the facilities, as well as a development of new adult respite care. This will provide opportunities for a change of scenery for many people as well as a day off for their carers or family. Those who book in for respite care at Cherrywood Village will have lots of opportunities to engage in fun and different activities like gardening, creating artwork or simply relaxing by the pool.

Students who spent the week at Cherrywood Village were undertaking a compulsory placement for their Construction discipline. For all students who study a VET subject in Year 11 and Year 12, they have to do 70 hours of work placement in their industry. This helps them understand the application of the knowledge they’re learning in class, as well as gain practical skills as a step into their studied industry.

Work Placement student young people learning work skills

VET subjects serve as an excellent capture of what it’s like to work in a certain area and help young people make more informed choices about their career and future. For many students, their work placements teach them more than they could learn in the classroom. For the work placement students who worked at Cherrywood Village, their work will have a lasting impact not only for them but for the lives of many.

Are you interested in being a work placement host? Call us on 02 4725 0300 or email us now


Make me money or make me happy, tips to being a profitable employee

With a multitude of career advice around and young people more concerned than ever about the job market, some advice and practices cut through the noise and make simple and effective sense. For employers, employees are their assets or their liabilities. Any worker has the ability to exceed the expectations or requirements of their role or decrease company productivity and in turn profit with their work or attitude.

What does a profitable and productive employee look like?

Profitable and Productive employees are 5-star employees, who make their employer money or make them happy! This involves time management, problem-solving taking initiative, as well as working hard within the parameters of the role. In order to better understand the power of a 5-star employee, let’s look at 1-star and 3-star employees as well.

1-star Employees

Employees who do the bare minimum and never step outside their specific task or job description are often 1-star employees. 1-star employees can be seen finishing their task and simply waiting to be asked what they’re doing. They generally don’t ask for clarification, but simply sit quietly without action when they don’t understand something or can’t quite recall the instruction. These employees take more time to do things, simply because they do not begin or move between routine tasks with their own initiative.

3-star Employees

After 1-star employees there are 3-star employees. These are employees with more drive, who seek out the next task once they’ve finished one and always ask questions when they’re unsure. 3-star employees will often ask first, try second, as they’re unsure about their own initiative but know things need to get done! 3-star employees are generally good workers that are solid staples in a workplace and provide good work for their employer.

5-star Employees

The top of the rank is 5-star employees. These people take the time to learn while they’re a 3-star employee and quickly move to taking their own initiative and working outside the box. 5-star employees are the most profitable and productive for their employer, as they require little to no intervention to get the job done – especially when it comes to routine tasks. 5-star employees use problem-solving to move through obstacles or anticipate needs, only needing to consult with the manager or employer once they’ve exhausted their own ideas and options.

Much like many career skills, being a 5-star employee can be learnt! Everyone starts at 1 or 3 stars and it’s up to them to be the best they can be in their role. Want to learn how to be a 5-star employee and make your employer money AND make them happy?

Download our free sheet 5 Actionable Steps to Becoming a 5-star employee.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

 As children we are filled with dreams and idealistic ambitions, we want to be astronauts or knights or flowers! We tell our children now to dream and explore, but somehow take this away when they’re teenagers. While our children want to win the Nobel Prize or be a famous adventurer, our teenagers face the world with apathy and resentfulness.  Where are we going wrong, when and how are our young people losing their spark and enthusiasm for work?

One school of thought comes from research that indicates advertising is changing adolescent values and perceptions. This has resulted in high school students being highly materialistic but without the drive to work hard to earn the money they need to buy all the things they want. This theory, however, is fairly limiting to the intelligence and capacity of young people, and perhaps boxes them into a stereotype that further diminishes their opportunity with employers.

For most young people, they are largely driven by seeking autonomy and forging their own identity and goals separate to their parents. For the current generation of young people, this is coupled with a scepticism and impatience that has manifested through awareness and skills developed through technology. Changes in society and technology make manoeuvring this life stage particularly difficult for young people today.

While dreaming of being a flower or a professional friend to dogs isn’t achievable or realistic for a young person looking to make their way in the world, idealistic aspiration often sees much success when coupled with determination. In order to break through the apathy many young people are developing due to fear and scepticism, we need to inspire and trust.

How can we inspire young people to be determined?

Often feelings of apathy stem from a fear of failure or the unknown. With a wealth of career options and paths to get there, it is harder than ever for young people to know what direction they should go and where to start. Often, jobs and sectors that need staff, Odoo text and image blockare the least visible and most convoluted, making the only choices for young people the careers of those who they know.

In order to help young people understand why their schooling is important, and get some inspiration for their path, we need to share our own career experiences and passions. A person’s journey, passion and success are more motivating than any poster, video or article about careers that a young person could read.

There are various ways to get involved with young people and share your career experience and passions.

  1. Speak in schools to share about your career and industry with students, help broaden their horizons and make informed subject choices, understand the application of their studies and develop a focus.
  2. Host year 11 and 12 students studying your industry in your business or workplace for week-long blocks and show them your passion! Show them what working in that industry is realistically like and help them improve their skills for the future. Learning hands-on skills help young people concentrate better when learning the theory in the classroom.
  3. Provide work experience or a job for young people who lost their way when leaving school. By taking a chance on a young person trying to create their own future after a hard start, you not only inspire confidence and improve self-esteem, but contribute immeasurable value into a young person’s life and their future.
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