This year’s ‘Try A Trade – The Hands-On Career Expo’ at the Phoenix Youth Hub, was again a huge success thanks to a longstanding working relationship between Maribyrnong and Moonee Valley Local Learning and Employment Network (MMVLLEN) and Phoenix Youth Hub, who delivered another interactive learning event for local secondary school students in this area.

    Approx. 400 students from 18 local schools engaged in hands-on activities to learn about the world of trades. The event showcased 19 trades that ranged from bricklaying to hair and beauty to ensure that all students’ interests were well-catered for.

    Anna Lemcke (MMVLLEN), who organised the event alongside Khaled Abdulwahab (Phoenix Youth Hub) stated: “Every year we try something new to make Try A Trade even more relevant and educational for our local students […] The new generation of the workforce will have to navigate an increasingly complex world of work. For us it was important that students could explore different trades, but we also wanted them to start thinking about and reflecting on what they already have to offer themselves and where they need to build on their pre-existing skills and knowledge.”

    One such example was, that students were given practical questions they could ask exhibitors on the day. Khaled Abdulwahab (Phoenix Youth Hub) explained: “Questions, such as ‘what task do you do on a daily basis in a job’ or ‘tell me about your career journey and how you got here’ are questions young people can use in an everyday setting. They can ask these questions to their parents, family members, teachers, mentors or any employee … really.”

    Moreover, this year the organisers aligned the event to the research by Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) “The New Work Mindset– 7 new job clusters to help young people navigate the new work order”. Each of the exhibitors was allocated one or more job clusters that related to the ‘job’ they’ve exhibited on the day.

    MMVLLEN hosted a Career-Dress-Up Photo Booth to demonstrate the FYA research and use of job clusters in a youth friendly manner. At the photo booths students were able to explore the job clusters and match them with their career aspirations or pre-existing skills and passion with the help of a professional staff member. Lisa Price, school engagement coordinator at MMVLLEN, explained: “Our idea was to show students one way to look at career development, while making it really fun and engaging. The students just loved the photo booth and we loved that it was attached to some learning outcomes.”

    Similar to last year, Try A Trade was delivered in partnership with Victoria University and Victoria Polytechnic, who mobilised a group of 15 youth work students to volunteer on the day. These students were able to offer specific support to individual secondary school students. “This year we had a large number of students, who had special learning needs. Having had the youth work students on board was just a fantastic way to offer individualised guidance for those students, who needed support in breaking down some barriers in engaging with some hands-on activities or who may have been feeling simply overwhelmed with what’s on offer” Anna Lemcke explained.

    The organisers a planning to deliver another Try A Trade in April 2019.

    If you would like to find out more about Try A Trade, please contact MMVLLEN 03 9376 7251

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