Preparing kids for their working lives

Kristin Casey presents the Skillsroad Show to an audience of senior students at Narrandera High School last Thursday.

The Skillsroad Show came to Narrandera High School last week, with advice and activities to get Narrandera’s senior students ready for the workforce.

Kristin Casey led the students through a presentation and then a series of workshops designed to get her audience thinking about life after school.

“The Skillsroad Show is about preparing kids for career readiness, for finding a career – and a career they really enjoy,” Ms Casey said.

Ms Casey uses her own job history to illustrate how the job industry has changed significantly in recent years.

At only 29, Ms Casey has already worked in hospitality, film producing, and now presentation, living and working in Hong Kong, Thailand, Sydney and her native Perth.

“I think it’s important that they understand the job they do straight out of high school may not be the job they end up in forever, and to know that the skills they get in one job will benefit the next one.”

As well as workshops, the Skillsroad Show uses tools to help students establish what kind of careers they want and what skills they already have to get them there. Its website has these tools available for students to access outside of the workshops, such as the Career Quiz and the Job Fit Test.

“Success is unique to everyone. There’s no correlation between academic ability and success in life,” Ms Casey told the students in her presentation.

“You have to be prepared to approach things with a bit of work ethic.”

As the students are in their senior years, many of them balance their HSC studies with part-time work. Around half the students in the room put their hands up when asked if they had a job.

Ms Casey also asked the students how they went about finding and applying for their jobs. One student mentioned that their employer had approached them and asked them to work.

“You are very lucky to be living out here. People will still ask you to work for them. In the city, you can have over 200 people applying for the one job,” Ms Casey said.

The most important thing is to accept that a career could be varied and interesting. While the odd person may find their dream career in high school and stick to it, they are no longer the norm.

“Gone are the days where you get one job and you do it forever. The best thing that you can do now is get a really solid and varied skill set, and use that to apply for a lot of different jobs.

“I don’t know what I’ll do next. It’s always interesting when you talk to the kids and they gasp ‘are you going to do this forever?’ It’s impossible to do any job forever,”Ms Casey said.

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