Broadening career horizons for Gippsland students

Find out how an innovative program is helping students stay at school and improve their job prospects.

As the old adage goes: ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’Photo of high school students in class participating in the Broadening Horizons program.

It also takes a village to educate them.

Broadening Horizons and ArcBlue Consulting are playing their part to boost learning outcomes for Gippsland students. Together with school and industry partners, they are helping to improve student engagement and school completion rates, address skills shortages and increase job opportunities.

When Broadening Horizons set up their innovative World Of Work program in 2014, they knew they had to do things differently. Research suggests that students are more likely to succeed in school and life if they are exposed to different careers throughout their education. The World of Work initiative aims to guide students towards a career path where their strengths, interests and skills are valued in the workplace. As part of the program, students meet with local businesses so that they are aware of what jobs are out there in the local community.

For the past eight years, Broadening Horizons has brought teachers and industry together to co-create curriculum in Gippsland schools to help students solve real-world work problems, identify career opportunities in existing and emerging industries, and find out what training they need to get there.

However, Gippsland is a large region. And with the challenges of the pandemic over the past two years, Broadening Horizons required online resources to support program participants and bring people together remotely.

Thanks to Victorian Government Regional Digital funding, Broadening Horizons and ArcBlue Consulting created and launched the Broadening Horizons Digital Learning Series – five videos entitled ELEVATE, that look at the program and student experience, and how to collaborate with schools and industry, mentor students and engage with parents.

The new digital resources are helping current students boost their digital literacy, as well as training new school and industry partners showing how to run this project successfully.

In 2021, 118 teachers and 70 industry mentors from 29 industries ran the Broadening Horizons program in 21 schools across Gippsland, supporting 1405 students from Grade 3 to Year 9.

And if Angelo Saridis’ wish came true, he’d see this pioneering program expanded elsewhere.

“Broadening Horizons is proudly made in Gippsland,” the Broadening Horizons program manager says.

“It’s successful and we’d love to see this model adopted in other regions in Victoria and beyond that are experiencing transition.”

Supporting Victorian innovators

The Broadening Horizons Digital Learning Series has been funded as part of the Victorian Government’s $3.5 million Regional Digital Fund that’s supporting 31 small-scale digital projects across Victoria.

This project helps address digital literacy and inclusion by supporting digital education in Gippsland and creating a digitally fit workforce in diverse industries.

To learn more about the ELEVATE project and the world-of-work program, visit: Broadening Horizons.