Exploring Future Pathways: Years 11 & 12 Students Embark on Work Placements

Indi (Year 11) did her work placement at Ascot Equine Vet

Over the past three weeks, our Years 11 and 12 ACCESS students have embarked on an exciting journey of exploration and learning through a wide variety of work placements. From aged care to hospitality, marketing to interior design, our students have dived into different industries to gain firsthand experience and a taste of the workforce.

Diverse Work Placements

The work placements have provided invaluable insights into various career options. Here is a look at some of the placements undertaken by our 60 Year 11 placements and 55 Year 12 placements:

  • Aged care
  • Agricultural services
  • Architecture
  • Auto electrician
  • Beauty therapy
  • Childcare
  • Dental centre
  • Dog daycare
  • Education
  • Equine
  • Events
  • Fashion
  • Financial planning
  • Floristry
  • Hairdressing
  • Health & fitness coaching
  • Hospitality
  • Interior design
  • Lisa O’Malley Office
  • Marketing
  • Naval base
  • Pathology
  • Perth Wildlife Encounters
  • Physiotherapy
  • Real estate
  • Veterinary
Makayla (Year 12) did her work placement with Balshaws Florist

Selecting and Matching Work Placements

Our approach to selecting and matching work placements is student-centric. During the interview process, we emphasise that a career encompasses all life roles, including paid and unpaid work, learning, and community service. We prioritise the student’s first preference and ask them to list the types of jobs they envision in their preferred workplace. This helps set realistic expectations and ensures a more meaningful placement experience.

Preparing Students for Success

Preparation is key to a successful work placement. Our Workplace Learning Preparation Day (WPLPD) equips Year 11 students with the necessary knowledge and skills to thrive in a professional setting. The day included activities such as:

Beauty & Makeup for the Workplace: Chelsea from Rocabella Beauty led this session, which focused on professional grooming.

Hair for the Workplace: Hairdresser Joanne Srhoy provided tips on workplace-appropriate hairstyles.

Dress for Success: Careers Teacher Lisa Shelley offered guidance on professional attire.

Mindfulness Activity: A session aimed at reducing stress and promoting wellbeing.

Giselle (Year 11) did her work placement with Warnbro Dental Clinic

Skills and Knowledge Gained

Work placements are a powerful tool for helping students identify their strengths and areas for improvement. These experiences can confirm a student’s interest in a particular career path or inspire them to explore alternative options. Key skills gained include:

Navigating the World of Work: Understanding workplace dynamics and expectations.
Interacting with Others: Building effective communication and teamwork skills.
Planning and Organising: Developing time management and organisational skills.
Creating and Innovating: Enhancing problem-solving and creative thinking abilities.

Tracking Progress and Development

We track students’ progress through a detailed logbook where they record their hours and the skills they demonstrate. Categories include navigating the world of work, interacting with others, planning and organizing, and creating and innovating. These competencies are vital and often reflect workplace selection criteria.

Patricia (Year 12) did her work placement with Lisa O'Malley MLA

Our students have made a positive impression on their employers, who have consistently provided glowing feedback. Employers have praised our students for their strong work ethic, eagerness to learn, and ability to follow directions. Many have highlighted the students’ exceptional problem-solving skills, reliability, and capacity to work both independently and collaboratively. The warm rapport our students have developed with their colleagues and clients has been particularly noted, with several employers expressing their delight in having our students as part of their teams and their willingness to welcome them back in the future.

If you own a business and can support one of our students for a two-week period during the next work placements in October, please get in touch with Maryanne Hughes, Head of VET, WPL, and ACCESS, via [email protected]

These experiences are invaluable for our students as they explore future career paths and prepare for life beyond school. We are proud of their achievements and look forward to seeing how these opportunities shape their futures.

Ava (Year 11) did her work placement with the Community Relations Team at Santa Maria College

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At Santa Maria College, we believe that leadership is a journey of learning, not just a title or position. For over 80 years, our Year 12 students have been at the forefront of shaping our school’s culture through their leadership. As one cohort graduates and another takes the helm, the baton of leadership is passed, igniting the potential within each new group of young women.

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