Growing team of Ambassadors inspiring young people

The Educational Pathways VET Ambassadors have been busy since the program expansion, visiting over 50 schools and engaging with thousands of students to help inspire and encourage them to consider a VET pathway.

With the number of school visits and careers days the team of Educational Pathways VET Ambassadors have completed, you would be surprised to know the team consisted of just 14 ambassadors at the beginning of the year. So the addition of 6 more ambassadors to the initiative, and more to come in 2023, can only mean positive things for our Educational Pathways Program students.

Hailing from different parts of the state and representing a wide range of vocational education and training (VET) pathways, the ambassadors are central to helping inspire our young people and encourage them to consider a VET pathway.

“The ambassadors can connect with students on their level. Being able to hear from their peers and be inspired by people who they can relate to is such an important part of the initiative,” says Eduardo Carvallo Carrera, the initiative’s lead.

The program’s ambassadors are handpicked from finalists and winners of the NSW Training Awards. The ambassadors are not only selected for their achievements in VET, but for their common belief in the value of a VET pathway and the opportunities it can provide to young people.

Once selected as ambassadors, they complete a comprehensive Professional Development week including workshops in media training, wellness, and deep dives into all things VET.

“We don’t simply throw them in the deep end! We make sure they are well prepared and trained for the different types of engagements they do as an ambassador,” says Eduardo.

Hitting the ground running after her Professional Development week was new ambassador Ammaleah Astruc, who shared her VET story to 80 students at Arthur Phillip High School in October, together with her employer KFC, at a ‘Casual Careers Day’ organised in partnership with Head Teacher Careers Mark Nicholl and RIEP Officer Jane Artup.

A month later Ammaleah was back on the road at Pendle Hill High School for a Career Conversations Day with Year 10 and 11 students. Joined by another of the new ambassadors Taylor Vandijk, and familiar faces Arcadia Meldrum and Tyler Pockran, the students had the opportunity to hear their inspiring stories and receive informal mentoring and advice about their own career pathways.

These are just two examples of the 50 school engagements the team of ambassadors have completed so far this year. Amongst all these school visits, the Educational Pathways VET Ambassadors initiative also trialled a roadshow in August.

Tyler Pockran and Ethan Zammit travelled to Goulburn and Mulwaree High Schools in the Southern Highlands group of schools. Organised in collaboration with Head Teacher Careers Jennifer Kennedy, with SBAT Engagement Officer Pauline Leighton on hand to showcase the employment opportunities in their region, the roadshow was a huge success and Eduardo Carvallo Carrera hopes to do more next year.

“Visiting multiple schools in the same region gives the ambassadors the opportunity to tailor their advice and engagement with students. It’s a win for the students and our ambassadors.”

A major highlight this year for some of the Educational Pathways VET Ambassadors was the opportunity to get back on the stage at the NSW Training Awards, this time to present awards to the 2022 winners.

With some of those 2022 finalists and winners set to become Educational Pathways VET Ambassadors, it will be our young people who benefit and that’s what it’s all about.

The 6 ambassadors joining the team are:

Ammaleah Astruc: 2022 NSW Trainee of the Year finalist

Mathew MacGregor: 2022 NSW Vocational Student of the Year finalist

Sara Morgan: 2022 NSW Vocational Student of the Year finalist

Lucinda Shilcock: 2022 NSW Women in Trades winner and 2022 Apprentice of the Year finalist

Nathan Turner: 2022 NSW VET in Schools Student of the Year finalist

Taylor Vandijk: 2022 NSW Trainee of the Year finalist

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