Unity College students explore career options

​Unity College students check out Alliance Air's maintenance​ hanger

​THREE students from Unity College, Caloundra West, were part of a careers experience that took them out of the classroom and into factories, farms, helicopter hangers, mines, oceans and office spaces of the future.     

The Year 10 students participated in the inaugural Student Horizons Experiential Careers Program which connects students with employers across a raft of industries in regional and rural areas. 

During the three-month long program, the 15 and 16-year-olds attended online lectures and seminars, worked as a team to trouble-shoot real-world problems set by the program's industry partners, and submitted team project reports. 

At the core of the Horizons careers program is an 11-day field trip with participants travelling to outback and regional Queensland with Alliance Air – one of the program's industry partners. 

The students toured cattle and sheep stations, went a kilometre underground at the Glencore Copper Mine and lived like miners in their FIFO (fly-in, fly-out) village. 

They also visited an innovative aerospace technology company called HeliMods and snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef to gain a deeper understanding of the tourism industry. 

Unity College student participant Benjamin Bennett said the trip was action-packed with new experiences every day. 

“Joining the program has opened my eyes to a lot of interesting career opportunities across a range of industries I had never even considered," Benjamin said. 

“I had no idea that mining would interest me, but the trip to the mine exposed me to the multitude of career options in this area. 

“Most importantly, I now know that there is no pressure for me to pick just one lifetime career – instead, I need a skill set that I could take into any of these workplaces and that I could have multiple careers in my future," he said. 

Benjamin said his learning growth was further expanded through the skills he developed writing and presenting reports about issues and problems faced by the program's industry partners. 

“I certainly hope that our 15-year-old minds were able to help our industry partners solve their real-world problems," he said.   

Unity College's Career Pathways Leader, Amanda Paton, said as a supervising teacher on the inaugural program and a mother of a student who participated, it was amazing to observe the students grow in confidence. 

Mrs Paton said to watch the students thoughtfully and articulately provide feedback to the industry partners was inspiring. 

“They were inspired and gained clarity about future pathways all while experiencing things that most people would never get to see or do in their lifetime," she said.    

“What an unforgettable experience - one that is sure to set these students up for a bright future in their dream careers," she said. 

Mrs Paton said Unity College would definitely be part of the program again in 2022. 

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