Shires join forces in tertiary transition
MANSFIELD Shire together with the Rural City of Benalla have partnered to develop initiatives to support local young people transition into further education, employment and training.
The program, based around Facebook communications, is designed to assist young people who are leaving Mansfield or Benalla areas to pursue career and study in Melbourne or further afield.
Called “Wots4Me”, it is designed to help support young people explore their aspirations for career pathways and further education.
This collaboration is working in a number of different ways to provide this assistance, through feedback and information from people who have already studied and have returned to the area to work and live, a tertiary student buddy system, and two day transition course.
Underpinning this is the social media platform of Facebook, with a ‘Wots4Me’ page set up to develop two way communications and networking between young people.
Project officer Amanda Aldous from Benalla City is asking for people who have previously left the area to pursue further studies or employment, and have since returned to settle and work, to contact her.
“The community is keen to see young people return, settle and continue careers locally, and input from those who have done so will help us to better understand the experiences of these people and the process they went through,” said Ms Aldous.
Such information can then be used to develop ways to help the next generation of young people plan their futures, while promoting the value of returning to their local communities to live and work.
The tertiary buddy system aims to link up students in their second, third or fourth year of study with first year students who are from the same town and studying at the same institution.
The idea is to help those new students transition to tertiary life with the help of someone familiar with their own area and the ways of university.
The third aspect is a two day tertiary transition course which is being run at MACE in Mansfield.
Based on a program run by Swinburne University, the course helps students who are about to enter tertiary study or further education, either directly from year 12, and those who have taken a gap year.
Some 14 students from Benalla, Wangaratta and Mansfield attended this course last week.
“Creating an open repository for engagement, communication and feedback from young people is the basis for the program,” said Ms Aldous.
“There is a dedicated Facebook page set up that provides information about Wots4Me, and encourages conversations and input that will further assist young people and their aspirations and transitions, be it education, vocation or careers.
“There are already 110 people who ‘Like’ the page and are engaged.
“Those people can ask q u e s t i o n s , vo i c e c o n c e r n s or discuss any aspect of t he program, and it allows me to respond directly to them,” said Ms Aldous.
She i s keen t o hear from people who can provide feedback on their experiences, as well as prospective and current tertiary students to assist.
Ms Aldous can be contacted by phone on 57602677 or 0419 594558, by email amanda.al[email protected]nalla.vic.gov.au and encourages anyone interested to go to their Facebook page “Wots4Me’.