Over two and a half thousand students from secondary schools across the Latrobe Valley, Baw Baw, South Gippsland and Bass Coast Shire’s attended the biggest JobSkills Expo ever staged in the region.
More than 100 exhibitors provided a showcase of careers at Warragul’s Lardner Park with hands on activities in areas such as bricklaying, carpentry, hospitality, health, horticulture, agriculture, beauty, retail, electrical, engineering, automotive, emergency services and more.
The Gippsland Jobskills Expo was organised by Baw Baw Latrobe LLEN and the South Gippsland Bass Coast LLEN. Funding support from organisations throughout Gippsland including Local Governments, Monash University, GippsTAFE, Community College Gippsland, EIV, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, MEGT, Energy Australia, AusNAC, Lardner Park and Gippsland Trades and Labour Council. Their sponsorship enabled the provision for free transport to every student to and from the expo. This significantly increased student participation and removed any barriers students face because of distance.
Karena Kerr, LLEN Partnership Broker, said “This year’s expo had exceeded expectations; it was a great event with record numbers of students, schools, exhibitors, parents and community members attending”.
“The JobSkills Expo is a great opportunity for young people to view training and career options available and encourage them to start investigating their pathway. It also provides industry with a greater understanding of the aspirations of our young people”.
The JobsSkills Expo extended opportunities for students to see and experience a larger and diverse range of career and training opportunities available in Gippsland and further afield, with many young people electing to leave the area post school, it is important for us to facilitate networking between industry and education in the Gippsland Region
Students thoroughly enjoyed the ‘hands on’ activities, “it was much harder to lay bricks than I realised” said one student. “I was able to talk one on one with Career Firefighters and watch them operate the Bronto 42 metre-high rescue ladder platform” and “I was able to talk to people about training pathways in health which was a great help for when I make my subject selections.”
GippsTAFE hosted displays and hands on activities in areas such as sport and rec, hospitality, massage, and more, while Monash University showcased their nursing program.
Seven industry based seminars were also run on the day, guest speakers from each industry covered career pathways, training and job opportunities. The Conference facility at Lardner Park was the ideal location for the seminars. One of these seminars included the “LEAP into Health” program. LEAP seeks to engage students with universities and professional communities while demystify the links between school, higher education and professional careers.