May 5 2022
Student Work Experience at Sunshine Coast BDI
Experiential learning is an integral component to a Vocational Education and Training Certification. At Mountain Creek State High School, an authentic day’s on-the-job training comes around every year when the Australian Computer Society Foundation’s BiG Day In comes to the Sunshine Coast. In 2022, over 200 Sunshine Coast students spent the day listening to emerging and established tech leaders talk about their journeys and the benefits of a career in technology.
Mountain Creek is a foundation member of the ICT Gateway to Industry Schools project, an initiative of the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training. The ICT GISP connects students with the tech industry to promote careers and develop work place skills. The Cert III in IT is a popular course at Mountain Creek and the student ambassadors who worked at the BDI learned new and valuable skills.
Student Kyle was appreciative of the experience. He remarked that ‘It enables you to get used to the environment and other people, learn their capabilities and allows you to see what potential opportunities there may be in the future. Great to speak to people face to face who are actually working in the industry and learn from their experience.’
Fellow ambassador Kynnan is interested in a career in the tech industry and got an insight through his activities on the day. ‘IT captured my attention from a young age, and I have always been interested in gaming and game design. I love learning and developing new skills related to IT. Work experience gives you a good opportunity to learn about the job before jumping into it. You get to learn the requirements of the job ahead of time, which helps you make informed decisions about careers choices.’
Supervising teacher Stuart Greenhalgh said, ‘Getting students into the workplace to practice the technical and professional skills that we study in class is the best way to develop desirable workplace attitudes and abilities.’
ICT GISP Project Coordinator Jason Cooper works with Industry Partners to provide opportunities for students to participate in the work place. ‘Our Industry Partners are committed to increasing the pipeline of IT and tech workers locally and in Queensland. Getting students in the workplace is crucial to our project but also the hardest activity to deliver.’
When asked why he would host work experience kids in his workplace when he has a career in tech, Samuel was adamant; ‘To give them an experience of what the work is like and understand the requirements of the job. It will help them build relationships with prospective employees and customers as the students will understand what the company does as well as the values.’
Find out more about the Gateway to Industry Schools Program at https://desbt.qld.gov.au/training/employers/gateway-schools. This Gateway to Industry Schools program is proudly supported by the Queensland Government. If your company can contribute to the ICT GISP by hosting work experience and traineeships or excursions, please contact Matthew Jorgensen (firstname.lastname@example.org)