Broadening Horizons

For Industry And Community Partners

Work with youth today for business success tomorrow!

Industry and community organisations engage with the Broadening Horizons program for a range of reasons. This includes providing the opportunity to get their message into the school and enrich the school cirriculum together with providing an avenue to reach an audience they wouldn't normally have access to. They recognise they can no longer work in isolation in a globalised and connected society and that they have a role to play in shaping the future employees of their organisation. They also acknowledge the skills

Broadening Horizons is seeking to develop in students are also the skills their employees need an opportunity to develop and refine. Industry and community organisations whether publicly or privately owned, all spoke of their commitment to giving back to their community both now, and into the future through partnerships. Staff have the opportunity to develop themselves in the areas of communication skills, public speaking and team work. The community becomes more aware of the organisation in the community.

What is a school industry partnership?

A school/industry partnership is an unique opportunity to access untold resources which stand to benefit students and industry mutually. When a school partners with a local industry, everybody wins! The organisation has a chance to give back to the community, and the students get to experience a whole new type of connected work/learning education.

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What can an Organisation contribute in a school/industry partnership?

There are industries that like to offer a mentorship program, where they send employees into the schools to work with students individually, or in small groups. Schools are always happy to have some additional help, and many professionals are thrilled to have the chance to make connections with the local youth.

What does a successful partnership look like?

One of the most important things about brokering a successful partnership between a school and industry, is making sure that everyone is clear about expectations. The local business is the one offering the goods or services, the school should be respectful of what they are willing (and not willing) to contribute. It should be very clear to both parties what the school is getting, how they are getting it, and what the timeframe is. Both the school and industry need to lay the framework with partnership planning. This includes work programs, strategic planning documents, capacity building performance plans and mission statements. These partnership plans detail the overarching purpose of the partnership and values, context, goals and strategies of each organisation. The plan also highlights key contact people and the contact points and level of commitment required at key points throughout the delivery program. The above foundations are extremely important to make sure that the experience is a positive one for everyone involved

What can a business gain from a school industry partnership?

At first glance, a teacher would probably wonder why in the world an industry would agree to partner with a local school. But the arrangement can actually be beneficial to the industry as well. First of all, in any niche market, it can be difficult to find employees with a certain skill set. If an industry deliberately sets up a program in the local high school which helps students develop these particular skills, and then helps them transition into the workforce, they can create exactly the kinds of employees they need.

Additionally, it always looks good for a local business to give back to the community. When people hear that a certain business is donating time or other resources to the local school, they will feel more positively about that company, and maybe even patronise them more.

BH Gabo Mallacoota (5)

How can I start a school industry partnership?

School industry partnership initiatives can be truly transformative, when managed correctly. There needs to be a point person (Broadening Horizons Project Manager) that is the conduit for school and industry who ensures that things are running smoothly, and that both sides are honouring their commitments. While it may take a significant effort to get a partnership started, a successful relationship has the potential to transform a school and its students for many years to come.

Mutual benefits are:

  • Building local business and individual capability in mentoring
  • Unlocking innovation and creativity that could lead to specializations, expansion and excellence
  • Piquing young people’s interest in certain careers, and consolidating that with their participation directly with industry
  • Engaging the attention of young people who will be the future workforce, lifting aspiration for employment
  • Linking community, industry and education more closely for longer term community benefit and economic prosperity
  • Establishing communities of practice
  • Socializing careers in the community
  • Developing awareness of diversity in careers – e.g. a career in dairy does not only mean milking cows, it may involve research, breeding, etc.
  • Promoting creative design thinking and contemporary practice – young people often think more broadly and creatively around solutions – reengaging this in the workplace
  • Implementing co-design practices that promote community involvement and ownership of outcomes
  • Mirroring industry practice in project management
  • Potential for casual and part-time employment of young people
  • Developing the skills of both industry and student participants that will be required to participate in the jobs of the future
  • Increasing the capabilities of the future workforce
  • ‘Future-proofing’ the workforce
  • Building local capacity and capability and investing in the future of Gippsland
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