Pakenham Secondary College views Careers, Pathways and Transitions as an integral part of student learning. Following the Victorian Careers Curriculum Framework, all students from Years 7 to 12 are involved in this program that provides vocational guidance and awareness.
Commencing in Year 7, students are encouraged to discover their strengths and interests to develop a positive self-image which will provide a foundation for future pathway planning. In Year 8, students further explore the influence of positive self-image and good learning habits, as well as the nature of work and the skills that they will need to be successful.
In Years 9 and 10, students combine their personal attributes with effective communication skills so that they can focus on future life and work roles. The program is designed to develop their knowledge and skills in relation to the world of work as well as further study. It also endeavours to further improve the students’ self knowledge in relation to skills, interests and abilities. This is used as a building block for the following year levels.
Year 10 students complete a Vocational Education program where they focus on planning their pathway to achieve broad career goals. They complete a one week Work Experience placement which further develops their knowledge of the workplace. By facing the realities of the workplace, students are more aware of the competencies required to succeed in the world of work.
In Years 11 and 12, students begin to apply this knowledge so that they can make informed choices when determining their pathway. They further examine their career goals before making an application for the next stage in their career transition.
As pathways include employment, further study and training, the Pathways team promote a range of activities for students aiming to move directly into employment, as well as for those who are tertiary bound. These include Information Evenings, Interview programs, a Careers Expo, the Defence Force lecture team and various guest speakers from a range of institutions and industries.
Students in Years 10 and 11 are assisted by a counselling team in relation to subject selection. Students in Year 12 are also assisted by counsellors in relation to tertiary placements. They also attend a Tertiary Information Session run by the tertiary institutions. A ‘Pathways Newsletter’ is regularly produced which provides students with a range of information on university and TAFE updates, as well as employer and industry information.
All students from Years 10 - 12 have a careers interview with a member of the Careers and Pathways team, where they develop a Career Action Plan (CAP). This is updated on an annual basis. The aim of this plan is to help students make a smooth transition from school to further education, training or employment through self exploration, interests and future aspirations. It also helps the students develop skills that will help them manage their career pathways in their future lives, as well as broaden their knowledge and understanding of future opportunities.
The Pathways and Transitions centre has a range of comprehensive resources for students, as well as an extensive range of materials. A qualified team member is available throughout the day to assist students with their enquiries and provide any information that may be sought. All information is independent, accurate and up-to-date to ensure the student can make an informed decision in relation to their pathway. It is hoped that the knowledge gained from Pathways and Transitions will provide the student with lifelong learning and help with future transitions throughout the students’ lives.
Lesley McKay and Jennie Bruce