Cassowary Coast Regional Council

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September 16, 2020 COUNCIL PARTNERSHIPS INSPIRE CAREER PATHWAYS FOR REGIONS YOUTH

Mentoring programs and local career connections have become a focus for Council through partnerships to inspire pathways for the region’s youth.

With a focus on transitioning youth into local employment, Council hosted two year nine students this term as part of the Innisfail State College Connect Mentoring Program.

The Connect Mentoring Program commenced in 2018 and since that time Council has provided opportunities for students to work in a number of different areas of Council, including working with its tradesmen to gain work experience. 

A keen advocate for youth initiatives Cassowary Coast Regional Council Mayor, Mark Nolan congratulated students, Joshua and Dylan on their achievements working with Council’s field crew.

“Josh and Dylan have had a very unique experience with our teams from carpentry to mechanics, and the supervisors have indicated they are learning a lot and enjoying the experience,” said Mayor Nolan.

“This mentoring program shows that council is not just about roads, rates and rubbish as our core business, but social justice programs to assist and nurture our youth.”

Innisfail State College Principal, Kate MacDonald is pleased to see Council is still committed to this partnership and invites other organisations throughout the region to offer a mentoring program through vocational experience to student.

“It is important to note that this is not a work experience program, but it does take place through the medium of, and in the environment of work.  

“It is more about the mentoring of young teenagers, having them reflect on their progress and growing into valued and productive members of the community. 

“Staff and students are carefully matched so that the students are exposed to solid role modelling by being immersed in an adult work place with tradesmen, professionals, and the wider community. 

“Students will spend one day per week over a 10 week period working closely alongside their mentors, setting personal goals and reflecting on their own growth and development. 

“Every student has different ambitions in life and we’re always looking for hands-on opportunities to receive real world experiences with solid role modelling, which can offer meaningful pathways into the workforce as well as an appreciation of the opportunities a solid education can provide our students,” said Ms MacDonald who also thanked Council for staying true to its commitment through this mentoring partnership.

“We hope to see it continue for many years into the future.”

Additional to mentoring, Council is also a sponsor of the annual Careers Day held at Innisfail State College for public high school students from Babinda to Tully, which this year received 320 students who were connected with training and employment opportunities in the Cassowary Coast.

“Through supporting the Careers Day we hope to create linkages between real industry opportunities and students, and I believe we’ll see some great outcomes from this year’s Careers Day,” said Mayor Nolan who also acknowledged Council’s support for an innovative agriculture education program with Innisfail State College called the Archibull Prize.

The Archibull Prize program is supported by Council’s Regional Skills Investment Strategy which connects students with agriculture industry.  The students interpret their learnings of agriculture into artwork which they draw on a life sized fibreglass cow which will be showcased for National Ag Day, Friday 20 November. 

High School Students of the Archibull Prize program will mentor their primary school counterparts who will be participating in a similar program called Kreative Koalas.

“Agriculture is our major industry and it’s important that our youth are inspired to connect with the many opportunities it presents for career pathways,” said Mayor Nolan.

“I encourage every organisation and business throughout the Cassowary Coast to join us in the effort to help kids create a future here by opening their doors for work experience, creating trainee and apprenticeships or any other way that they can.”

For further information about Council’s work experience and traineeship opportunities call 1300 763 903.