2021 - another challenging but successful year for the program

With 2021 offering more challenges for the Educational Pathways Pilot Program team across our 24 original schools, everyone has flexed their delivery modes and stepped up, creating significant opportunities for our students and young people. Have a look at the top 10 moments from the year across all program initiatives.

Image: A selection of the students and parents we heard from during the year

We have collated a list of the important achievements and inspiring success stories across 2021 from each of our initiatives. We hope you all enjoy revisiting these wonderful examples of the positive impact of the Educational Pathways Pilot program this year.

  • SBAT Engagement Officers, (historically known as SBAT Mentors), receiving wonderful messages of support from students, with one particular student calling after finishing their HSC to say “thank you for all the help you’ve given me, and for helping me prepare for my interview - they asked me the questions you helped me with!” And the two had never had the opportunity to meet in person!

  • During the year, more than 350 students from EPP schools attended TAFE NSW one day per week, participating in vocational tasters in diverse industries such as aviation, animal studies, plumbing and nursing. The TAFE NSW YES+ program continues to help students identify career pathways that suit their strengths, skills and aptitudes.

  • We saw an 87% take-up of the allocated student places in our fee-free test and try VET subjects initiative during 2021, with a host of wonderful success stories emerging, including 11 students who went on to undertake SBATs with GJ Gardner Homes. This particular success story, on the back of contributions from the local Educational Pathways Pilot Program team, even made it into the Sydney Morning Herald!

  • Chelsea McInnes, the wonderful winner of the NSW School Based Apprentice/Trainee for 2021 is now also joining the ranks of our Educational Pathways Program Ambassadors! Given Chelsea is doing her SBAT with an employer who also attended Alstonville High School and completed an SBAT himself before opening the Trident Fish and Grill, it’s a terrific ‘generational’ story.

  • The team managed to squeeze in a few EDGE workshops “in real life” and having Sharna and her team doing such terrific work with students, (like the one we visited at Campbelltown Performing Arts High School), was amazing to see and evidently quite inspiring for the students in attendance.

  • Connect Northern Rivers continue to do amazing work with North Coast students through the Regional VET Pathways (RVP) Program. Daina's story of the work she’s done with her Youth Engagement Coordinator Trista Blanford is yet more evidence of the power of connecting students and young people with the right opportunities and supporting them through the process.

  • Thanks to the work being done under the TAFE NSW targeted wrap-around services for under 17 year olds initiative, we had a chance to speak to former Mullumbimby High School student Zarlia. We learnt of her challenging story and importantly her supported transition to studying for the HSC outside of the high school context.

  • And, to round out the list and bring us home, we have two terrific examples of the kinds of opportunities our Head Teacher Careers team have been able to create during the year. In south-west Sydney we had more than 200 students from across our pilot schools in the cluster attend a seminar at Ashcroft High School, giving students a taste of the various career pathways on offer in aviation. Add to that the Careers Fun Day organised on the North Coast of NSW, with more than 500 attendees, and it’s easy to see how the work of the Careers Immersion Team helps our pilot schools showcase what Vocational Education and Training has to offer.

With any list like this, for every one success story or case study highlighted there are another 10 that we can’t fit in. It’s been a challenging year, but they say pressure creates diamonds. We look forward to uncovering the sparkling jewels that are scattered about the Educational Pathways Pilot Program schools!

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