Visual Impact Sydney hosted a free Try a Trade programme, coordinated by AusSip and Inspiring the Future Australia, which connects schools, apprentices and industry specialists to give secondary students a taste of the industry.
Australian Printer sat in while apprentices and bigger industry players gave talks to the high school students, while they were also free to ask questions about what a job in the industry is like. Luke Wooldridge from Kodak and Anthony Parnemann of EFI volunteered their time on day two.
Hexis Australia also gave students the chance to practice wrapping vinyl, as part of its Wrap Masters challenge.
Adrian Rhodes, director, Inspiring the Future Australia, says the initiative is all about inspiring young people to reach their potential, while making them aware of how apprenticeships can be an excellent pathway to interesting, enjoyable and secure careers.
Rhodes says, “The Try a Trade sessions at Visual Impact gives students and their teachers a chance to learn about the range of career opportunities available in the visual industries, from traditional signage, digital and screen printing, laser cutting, signage layout, car wrapping, t-shirt printing to LED lighting.
“All participants see an amazing range of the very latest digital print, sign, display and graphic design technology first hand, with a guided tour of the industry’s leading show, and to get some hands-on experience in various areas at a number of different stands at the event.
“Getting in and having a try is a great way to learn more about apprenticeships in this vibrant industry and identify career paths that might be of interest.
“The events are great for one off exposure, but volunteers visiting schools, speaking to students on an ongoing basis is what we are aiming for. We have 650 volunteers nationally on our website, 550 teachers, and need to expand the number of volunteers available, from apprentices to CEOs.
“Young people are not getting enough exposure to options, and making decisions with limited information. If they meet people from an industry, they can understand what is involved and whether it is for them. We want to increase the numbers.
“The industry is keen to reach out to young people to promote career pathways. This is an excellent opportunity that Peter Harper and Visual Connections saw as a way to promote to industry representatives coming, along with the exhibitors. It often goes under the radar with schools, parents, and kids, so if they came to the expo, and got involved, as well as being blown away by the amazing level of information technology involved.
“Tafe put their hand up to run some hands on activities, as well as exhibitors giving them opportunities.
“ITF has recruited 180 students and teachers, and hopefully they get inspired.”
Try a Trade sessions kick off at the main expo entrance each day at 9.30am sharp and run until 2pm. The program is completely free of charge, but bookings are essential, with places limited to 60 students per session.
Anyone interested in volunteering their time to help get word of the industry out to young people can sign up at www.inspiringthefuture.org.au
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