Jobs expo inspires children

20 September 2012
Sunbury State School students meet Tyson the drug dog

Nurse, mechanic, waiter, horticulturalist, engineer, hairdresser, fitness instructor or drug dog handler – these were just some of the exciting careers presented to young minds at USQ Fraser Coast in September.

About 500 Year 4-6 students participated in the activities during the second Smart Steps: Jobs to Go Expo run by USQ, TAFE and local employers.

Students learnt to braid hair, treat wounds, carry trays of drinks and mix a mocktail.

Bunnings Warehouse horticulturalist Michelle Hall taught how to pot plants and Bayside Radiology medical imaging technologists Tracey Thompson and Graeme Cashin talked about careers in radiology.

Maryborough Correctional Centre Dog Squad Supervisor Peter Baumanis and seven-year-old drug dog Tyson turned the students’ thoughts towards dog handling careers.

There was also an interactive display for those looking for careers in the field of fitness and exercise.

Students also got beneath the bonnet of a vehicle to learn about computerised servicing under the instruction of TAFE automotive teacher Jeffrey Morris.

‘We’re reinforcing that automotive engineering is not all about spanners and oils,’ Mr Morris said. ‘A lot of schooling and intelligence is also needed as it involves high-end computerised mechanics these days. Students still need to work hard at school to get into the trades.’

Smart Steps Project Manager Graham Young, from USQ Fraser Coast, said yesterday’s expo was inspired by the success of the pilot event in May.

‘The program is designed to intervene at an early age to raise students’ aspiration levels and their drive to achieve at school and beyond,’ Mr Young said. ‘The Smart Steps goal is to build a ‘culture of possibility’, allowing students to ‘dare to dream’.

‘We hope it will build awareness of the variety of careers that potentially lie ahead for students, reinforcing the value of both school education and further learning or training beyond school.’

Mr Young said students from the Fraser Coast region had a low participation rate in post-school education and training.

He said there were significant levels of social disadvantage in the region and one of the highest levels of youth unemployment in Queensland.

Smart Steps is funded by a three-year (2012-14) Federal Government grant ($546,000) under the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP), administered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

Mr Young said Smart Steps: Jobs to Go expos would be held again next year, with more schools participating.


Alyssa Staples (left), Isabella Gordon-Horne and Dylan Tralau from Sunbury State School with Maryborough Correctional Centre Dog Squad Supervisor Peter Baumanis and 7-year-old Tyson (drug dog).
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