Below are examples of BiS programs which assist to develop authentic partnerships between businesses and schools.
Guided tours of a business or workplace can generate interest in and understanding of an industry, and provide an experience for students which compliments and gives context to their studies. As informative, low cost and simple activities to establish, tours may be targeted to strengthen or develop partnerships between particular sections of the school community and specific industries which support student learning and projects.
School staff, students and parents can benefit by hearing from people working in local businesses, and by observing demonstrations of the skills used in the workplace. Speakers from industry can include business people with a varied range of skills who are at any stage of their career: owners, managers, senior employees, coordinators, entrepreneurs, and young apprentices may generously share their personal experience and career path journey, and provide insight into the skills, requirements and opportunities within a given industry.
Industry mentors may be engaged to work with students on short to long term projects or for specific activities such as interview training or as part of their SACE Personal Learning Plan. This provides students with opportunities to experience a more ‘real life’ situation and to learn more about the world of work, the expectations of business or an industry, and to develop their generic employability skills.
Businesses can showcase career opportunities at centrally coordinated career expos and travelling exhibitions. This type of promotion is often most effective when business representatives are directly involved, so that students and teachers may ask any pertinent questions they may have at the time.
Teacher placements in local businesses can take many forms, from short-term ‘work-shadowing’ to long term placements performing a specific role in a business. These programs raise the awareness and understanding by teachers of the needs of industry and the range of career opportunities.
Workplace experience can take a variety of forms including general work exposure, structured workplace learning for VET in Schools and School-based Apprenticeships. Such workplace experiences can develop an interest in careers in specific industries, and for business it can provide input into future recruitment decisions.
Student-centred projects can significantly benefit from being involved with a business: students may undertake a SACE Research Project which incorporates real examples or applications from local business, or embark on a project to develop a product which involves working with manufacturing businesses in a variety of ways.
Seminars or specific purpose meetings and forums involving school staff, parents and local businesses or industry can be used to increase awareness and understanding of issues or to develop solutions to specific issues. This often results in increased communication and collaboration between partners.
A business can play a key role in the provision of career information and education in schools. This may range from one-on-one contact with career advisors seeking information on specific jobs, to seminars with students and parents. Young workers are an effective way of connecting with students.
There are a multitude of options for integrating industry and local business into classroom based work: creating teacher and student materials and resources, structured learning activities, competitions, games and work simulation exercises using real industry based examples can enhance classroom discussions or projects around local business issues.
If you have an idea about how you would like to engage, we'd like to hear from you.