Year 10 students at Penrith Anglican College attended work experience November 20-24.
Among the 120 work placements, nursing was the most popular field, with six students engaging in work experience as nurses in Blacktown, Prairiewood, and Rooty Hill. Placements as electricians and animal attendants proved to be the second most common choice, with five students in each field; the primary location of these work places being Penrith.
Participating in work experience locally was the most common choice for the school’s students, with 33 people choosing to work within the Penrith area. The remaining 87 placements were spread out among areas including Emu Plains, Sydney, Blacktown, the Blue Mountains and Parramatta.
Student Claire Brull did her work experience at Bunya Child Care Centre in Winmalee. She found the week helpful for her future, saying, “I now know what it’s going to be like when I do get a job.”
Alana Jackson, a student doing work experience at Houue Studios, a photography business in Wallacia, said that the opportunity helped with options for her future studies, as her employer talked to her about what TAFE and university courses are available to budding photographers.
“It gave me insight into which path I can take,” said Alana.
Another student, Kaide Fotheringham, said the program gave him “a sense of independence”, something which he said cannot be gained through casual positions. His work placement was at Penrith Regional Gallery, Emu Plains.
James Weir spent his work experience operating in sales at Annlyn Motors Volvo in Penrith. His interest in cars made the work easy for him, mentioning that he found it to be an “enjoyable and worthwhile opportunity.”
“This experience has enriched my perspective on the works of a civil engineer and how they are essential to society,” student Joeseph Carbone said. He did his work experience as a civil engineer in Kellyville.
Careers advisor Brian Jones said the work experience helps students with their subject selections for their final school years, as well as which university courses are suitable for them.
“It is reaffirming in the mind of students that this is the career for them,” he said, referring to what he believes is a benefit of the program. Students typically organise their work placement for themselves. Mr Jones believes that this will be beneficial in “developing skills of approaching employers”, a much needed skill when seeking employment in the future.
“Every student from Penrith Anglican College will receive a certificate of achievement for their week’s worth of work experience,” the careers advisor stated. The certificate can be used by students in their resumes, which will be of use to those whose work placement was in a relevant field to the career they wish to pursue. Mr Jones has noticed that a high percentage of students end up working in the field they completed their work experience in, too.
“There is a high conversion rate of students being in work experience and following into that career,” he said.
Penrith Anglican College runs the compulsory work experience program each year. Students are encouraged to participate in work placement that relates to their future career preference, in order to get the best out of the program.
Emily Werner did work experience with the Blue Mountains Gazette in Springwood.