Navigating the world outside of school is more daunting than ever before for young people today. The more opportunities they have to explore and try the many different career paths available to them, the more informed their choices can be.

    For this reason, Try A Trade is a fantastic and crucial event for school students, where they can explore the world of trades through hands-on activities.

    This year’s annual Try-a-Trade event was held at the Phoenix Youth Hub, facilitated by a 9-year partnership between the Maribyrnong and Moonee Valley Local Learning and Employment Network (MMVLLEN) and Maribyrnong Youth Services. On 25 May 2017, 500 students from 23 local secondary schools engaged in hands-on activities to learn about the world of trades.

    Over 19 trades were showcased, ranging from bricklaying to hair and beauty, meeting the variety of students’ interests.

    The event was also a great opportunity for Victoria Polytechnic Youth Work students to apply their skills. The students volunteered their time to support the more marginalised youth and ensure the event was a fun and safe learning environment.

    Anna Lemcke, from MMVLLEN said; “It was a great day and the feedback was just amazing. Nearly ninety-nine per cent of the students rated the event as either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. And the same percentage of students stated that Try A Trade had increased their understanding of trades. We are thrilled with those results and are already looking forward to next year’s event – our 10th anniversary.”

    The students’ comments were extremely positive. One year 10 student from Buckley Park College told us: “Try a Trade day was interesting as I got learn about other trades. I want to be a chef so I spoke to William Angliss, which is now where I think I would like to do my VET Course in Year 11.”

    Schools are always in need of opportunities for students to engage with different career paths which is why Try A Trade is so well attended.

    Jens Boernemeyer, Careers Counsellor, Mount Alexander College said: “Being at the event provided our students an exceptional learning opportunity. The different experiences were all very well organised and the options were very diverse, meaning all students could find something that they were interested in. I personally liked the bricklaying presentation a lot, as it clearly demonstrated how challenging this trade is!”

    Next year will be the 10th anniversary of Try A Trade. The planning team is currently looking for sponsors, partners and additional exhibitors to make the event even more successful than the previous years.

    If you missed out on Try A Trade and want to find out more, give MMVLLEN a call on 9376 7251. Their Jobcraft and World of Work team offer various tailored group workshops that support youth in their decisions about pathways to a career and help them to navigate the changing world of work.

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