It’s hard enough being a teenager without the pressure of choosing a career for life. But it doesn’t have to be so hard.
Young children dream of becoming astronauts, firemen, adventurers and princesses. In primary school, they imagine themselves as movie stars, elite athletes and brain surgeons. By the time they turn 15, job titles become less defined as the fear of how to acquire them kicks in.
Prestige Service Training CEO Tracy Kearney says choosing a career pathway can place a lot of pressure on high school students, often resulting in teens pursing courses that do not reflect their true interests, personality traits or strengths.
“Often high school students are told to pursue their passions, but how can you pursue your passions if you don’t know what they are yet?” Tracy says. “School-based traineeships can open students’ minds to opportunities they may never considered and give them a taste of working in the real world. Hands on experience is incredibly valuable.”
Like many Year 11 students, Saskia Vreeken had no idea what career path she wanted to follow. The prospect of selecting subjects to get her into a university course that could dictate her future career, was stressful. Saskia recalls the day Southport-based training provider Prestige Service Training visited her school.
“I had no idea what I wanted to do and felt daunted by the thought that if I chose the wrong subjects I could end up in an unsatisfying job that didn’t excite me,” Saskia says. “The trainers from Prestige visited my school, along with representatives from a number of the organisations that hire their school-based trainees. This enabled the students to get a feel for the culture of the organisations and a better understanding of the job opportunities that were out there.
“Prestige facilitated some invaluable introductions and I was actually selected by a representative from Turtle Beach Resort who saw potential in me for an administration role. This was not an area I had ever considered but it sparked some enthusiasm in me because, for the first time, I could see myself working in a specific industry.”
Saskia enthusiastically commenced her school-based traineeship in December 2014. Excited by the opportunity to complete her Cert III Hospitality Traineeship with Turtle Beach Resort, Saskia worked hard to develop the necessary skills to succeed in her role. She is now in her final year of a Bachelor of Business, majoring in HR Management at Griffith University.
“I found a career that I love and I am working hard to achieve my career aspirations,” she says. “I didn’t really consider that a school-based traineeship would lead to a university degree and a long-term career but my traineeship helped me to achieve a stronger OP and the support of my trainers motivated me to achieve my dreams.”