It’s hard to know what job or career to choose in year 10, which is why hundreds of students from Shalom College have taken part in Bundaberg Regional Council’s Jobs Commitment Program.
The program is a close collaboration between Council and schools in the region, along with a range of local businesses.
Around 250 year 10 students facing the choice of senior electives tuned in to a live stream on 24 July, and listened to café owner Mat Grills, Council Marketing officer Amber Lutter, co-owner of Queensland Computers Geoff Augutis, and Council officer Alvin Scott as they unravelled the complexities around choosing a career.
For Mat Grills choosing a career didn’t come easy, and in speaking to students he drew on his own struggles.
“There’s been many different jobs and careers,” Matt said.
“From starting with my dad in concreting, to factory work, to a band, to even the bank.
“My first career job was in the police and I did that for nearly 5 years in town and then eventually got into our own business.”
In each job, he gained a bit more knowledge and experience that he said helped him on his journey to becoming a café owner in Bargara.
Speaking to Bundaberg Now he wanted to ensure students understood that there were various other alternatives available to students other than university.
“I often think of myself as a student and I found that when I was in school it was university or nothing, and I guess when I was approached for this, it was a little way that I could help offer an alternative perspective, because today, if you don’t know what you want to do at the end of school that’s not the end of the road.
“I wish I would’ve had this opportunity to hear from career professionals as well.”
The Bundaberg Regional Council Jobs Commitment Program is aimed at addressing long-term youth unemployment in Bundaberg by connecting disengaged youth with local employers.
An estimated 10,000 Bundaberg residents are recognised as disengaged and over a third of these (3500) are youth aged between 15 and 24.
Queensland Computers Co-owner Geoff Augutis said this program gave young Australians the opportunity to meet and connect with industry role models, which they otherwise would not be given.
“We’ve been actively working with kids in the job search space for quite some time, and that’s not something we set out to do,” he said.
“We started looking for young people who would have potential to grow into roles, and what we found is there’s a lot of questions out there and not a lot of answers.”
“So, over the course of a few years, we’ve put our hands up when we found opportunities whether it be career days or events like this.”
Supporting future youth professionals
Bundaberg Regional Council Executive Director of Strategic Projects and Economic Development, Ben Artup said the purpose of the Jobs Commitment Program was to inspire and connect high school students with business leaders, right here in Bundaberg.
“Bundaberg Regional Council’s Jobs Commitment Program is aimed at high school students, to help expose them to the options out there about their future and what others, like them, have gone through and the decisions they had to make, to get where they are today ,” Mr Artup said.
”Business representatives are encouraged to share their real-life experiences and to give an honest representation of what professional life is like in Bundaberg, as well as detailing practical information on how to obtain employment and the necessary study required.”
He invited businesses to tell their story and, in doing so, support future young professionals
Employers can apply to tell their story as part of the Jobs Commitment Program by visiting https://www.bundaberg.qld.gov.au/us/economic-development/9 or contacting Amber Lutter at Amber.Lutter@bundaberg.qld.gov.au.