TAFE NSW initiatives popular with EPPP students

Students at EPPP schools have embraced two initiatives run by TAFE NSW in partnership with NSW Education.

Image: TAFE NSW YES+ program was a success for EPPP students in 2020

It’s not always easy for students to identify career pathways that suit their skills and aptitudes. Many students are faced with what seems like an endless list of career possibilities, but they don’t know enough about the industries featured, or their own strengths, to decide which career they want to pursue after school.

The EPPP’s TAFE NSW Youth Engagement Strategy PLUS (YES+) initiative was designed to help students identify what kind of occupation might suit them. The intiative offers tasters of several different industries and gives students experience learning in simulated industry environments at TAFE NSW campuses. YES+ programs usually run one day per a week over six to ten weeks.

The program is targeted at students aged 15 and over who are undecided about what they want to do after finishing school, and who would benefit from an introduction to a vocational career pathway.

Every student enrolled in the YES+ program completes a TAFE NSW Statement in Youth Engagement. There is also plenty of support on offer in the form of TAFE NSW support services like career counselling and mentoring, and special EPPP local customisation funding to help with items such as boots or overalls, transport, or literacy and numeracy support.

The YES+ initiative has proven to be popular with students and EPPP schools in 2020. Around 560 students from the North Coast and South-Western Sydney undertook the YES+ program in 2020, trying out industries such as aviation, construction, health, IT and robotics as well as a host of other career pathways. TAFE NSW will offer 360 new YES+ places in Term 2 of 2021.

Supporting school leavers

Younger students who leave school before Year 12 sometimes struggle to adapt to the freedoms and responsibilities of an adult learning environment at TAFE NSW, putting them at risk of dropping out.

The Targeted ‘wrap-around services’ for under 17-year-olds at TAFE NSW initiative is designed to support students who have decided that they want to pursue vocational education full time at TAFE NSW.

Students from EPPP schools benefit from a supported transition from school to TAFE NSW, regular check-ins with their Student Support Officer; financial support for transport, study materials or a computer to address barriers to learning; and access to support services such as career counselling, Aboriginal or disability student support.

In 2020, the ‘wrap-around services’ initiative helped 71 students to transition to study at TAFE NSW, with around half choosing to take up an optional tutorial support course and a growing number accessing a scholarship or ‘big ticket’ item like a laptop or tools to help with their studies.

The initiative brings together a suite of much-needed supports in one package to help this vulnerable cohort transition successfully to campus life and hit the ground running in their chosen course.

Looking ahead, we’re excited to see what these two initiatives will achieve this year. For more information about the TAFE NSW initiatives, speak to your school’s Careers Adviser.

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