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School-based traineeships create youth career pathways

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Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, with trainee Lakota Coleman, Lakota’s manager Hanan Etri, and Regional Operations Manager Allison Baker at NAB Parramatta.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, with trainee Lakota Coleman, Lakota’s manager Hanan Etri, and Regional Operations Manager Allison Baker at NAB Parramatta.
10 Dec 2015

High school students often take part time jobs as a way to gain workplace experience and earn some extra money, but imagine if that job could count towards your HSC too?

That’s the idea behind school-based traineeships, providing students with quicker pathways to fulltime employment by allowing them to complete their training while they’re still at school.

National Indigenous organisation, Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES), has been running school-based traineeships for the past 12 years, with more than 150 young people currently participating.

Among them is Lakota Coleman, who started her traineeship with National Australia Bank (NAB) Parramatta Branch in February.

“I’d never had a job before this; being a teller at a bank is a pretty cool first job,” Lakota said.

“It was hard at the start, especially only working one day a week because there was so much to remember. Now I work in the school holidays too.

“It’s easy to fit in with school. I work at NAB on Wednesdays and don’t have many classes then anyway so I can catch everything up.”

The traineeship runs for two years and is considered the equivalent of a two unit Year 11 and 12 subject.

School-based traineeships do not form part of a student’s Tertiary Entrance Rank score, however they are often undertaken by student’s not intending to go onto tertiary study as a pathway to employment.

Now halfway through her traineeship, Lakota still isn’t sure exactly what she wants to do when she finishes school but she said working at the bank was definitely a good start.

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AES administers school-based traineeships with funding from the Australian Government.

Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to transition from school to work will help increase Indigenous employment rates.