Youth key to unlocking regions future

Career ServicesNews

Youth key to unlocking regions future

Stopping the brain drain of our young people from the region is fundamental to our region’s prosperity.

These young men and women are our future business leaders, instigators of change, and key decision makers for generations to come.

It is with their input that the Murraylands and Riverland will become the best it can be.

The population of secondary schoolers and young adults aged 18 to 24 decreased by more than 3% over the five years to 2016, according to Census data.

The vision outlined in Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland’s 2020 Strategic Plan includes providing “an inspirational living, investment and working environment”.

While I’m confident we have the projects and programs in place to achieve this, many of our young people feel they need to leave the region and head to the ‘big smoke’ to pursue their career aspirations or gain a tertiary education. In many cases, that’s untrue.

History suggests that the kids will take over from mum and dad and work the family’s farm, but there are careers in our region that aren’t just a case of following in footsteps.

Pathways to employment and higher education – especially in regional areas – are far better now than they used to be. As demand grows, supply will follow.

Every young person can live, work and study without firstly leaving the Murraylands and Riverland.

To help stem the flow of youths leaving the region, RDAMR has piloted a career development counselling program called CDC in Schools.

CDC in Schools provides transitioning students – generally in year 11 or 12 – with free career development counselling services at school, to show they can both earn and learn in our region.

It includes one-on-one counselling interviews that help identify the student’s work ready capabilities, improve their presentation skills and motivation, and address the skills required for the entrepreneurial future.

By undertaking the CDC in Schools program, students have:

  • An increased understanding of their current and transferable skills, including skills that have been taught and skills acquired through volunteering and community involvement
  • Learned the key capabilities local employers require in potential employees
  • Gained confidence and become empowered about their career planning
  • Learned about potential personal career pathways and how to pursue their options
  • An updated professional resume
  • Direct links to local employers and industry

As part of the pilot program, CDC in Schools was trialled at Waikerie and Renmark High Schools.

More than half (60%) of participating students were placed onto a career development pathway which will help them secure real jobs.

Meanwhile, nearly 30 students prepared a professional resume which was distributed to local employers, seven students secured work placement, and 28 students, who had previously considered otherwise, made an independent decision to complete their high school education.

RDAMR, together with the Department of Education and Child Development, will present CDC in Schools to career counsellors at the Career Development Association of Australia’s 2018 national conference in May.

If you are principal or teacher in one of our regional schools, or a student or student-parent, and are interested in piloting the CDC in Schools program we encourage you to contact the RDAMR today.

We are eager to help our region’s youth identify local opportunities to pursue their dreams and ensure they make better informed decisions about their futures.

With collaboration from industry, education and government stakeholders – both at local and state levels – we can ensure this program is delivered across the region successfully.

Contact Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland (RDAMR) on (08) 8535 7170 or in person at 137 Adelaide Road, Murray Bridge.

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