Giving students the EDGE

COVID-19 restrictions haven’t stopped the EDGE workshop team from having a bumper first year.

03 December 2020
On Monday 16 March, 22 Ballina High School students attended the first ever EDGE workshop. An EPPP initiative designed to help students get job ready, the “Giving Students the EDGE for Work” workshops cover everything from hair and skin care tips to understanding the local employment market.
Student wearing a suit ready for interview
Image: Getting job ready covers more than you thought

The workshops help students to feel more confident in approaching employers about work experience, work placement, and School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships, (SBATs). Back in March the Ballina students participated in the workshop in the school’s gymnasium, but the mode of delivery soon had to change.

“We had to work with the provider to scope alternative offerings that could be delivered within the COVID-19 restrictions,” says Nick Minto, Manager Partnerships, Training Services NSW.

Within very short order, the EDGE team had developed an abridged webinar version of the workshop so that delivery could proceed in Terms 1 and 2. The webinar included both pre-recorded content and a live Q & A platform where students could interact directly with the facilitator. Eight webinar workshops were delivered in Term 2 with another four delivered in Term 3 after restrictions were re-imposed. 260 students attended the webinars at EPPP schools on the North Coast, while another 132 tuned in from South-West Sydney.

“The webinars were well received by students and teachers, but it's been great to get back into schools this term,” says Nick.

In Term 4, the EDGE team ran another five workshops across South-West Sydney, giving students at EPPP schools in the area the opportunity to develop some valuable ‘job readiness.’ The students gained an understanding of what employers are looking for, learned how to dress appropriately for interviews, and discussed the impact that their social media posts can have on their job prospects. Some of the students even enjoyed a free styling session.

All things considered, it’s been a hugely successful year for the EDGE initiative. The team had to think on their feet to ensure the workshops could proceed when the COVID-19 restrictions kicked in, but thanks to their great work, 685 students are now all set to go and get themselves some work experience or part-time employment, which is great.

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