Local recruiters weigh in on whether school leavers are prepared for jobs as the year 12 exams are underway.
The NSW Education and Standards Authority have initiated the first comprehensive curriculum review since 1989, to ensure that students are prepared for the future.
Being able to comprehensively write CVs and cover letters, as well as having the ability to network are just some of the crucial skills that students need to obtain employment.
Wagga recruitment consultant Kaitlin Fuller said some school leavers are lacking initiative.
“I think students are showing a lack of initiative and are failing to follow up the progress of their job application,” Ms Fuller said.
“Instead of waiting for us to call back students need to take that extra step because, even though it might not be the right role for them, it refreshes this applicant in our minds and shows us that they’ve got a little bit of oomph.”
However, Ms Fuller said she has been overly surprised by the quality of resumes that are being sent to the agency.
“We recently had a position for a traineeship and the applications we received were quite surprising,” the recruiter said.
“Some of the cover letters by year 12 students were unreal and we were really impressed with how they presented themselves and some oozed confidence.
“We had two awesome cover letters from Wagga High School, but it all comes down to the individual and their willingness to have the bigger picture in mind.”
Ms Fuller said that schools should consider including important skills into the curriculum like networking and encouraging students to engage with “like minded” people.
A spokesperson from the Personnel Group’s Transition to Work program said it’s a case-by-case matter that ultimately comes down to the individual.
“Whether a student is job ready depends on a number of things, like what year they left school as well as how much effort they put in,” the spokesperson said.
“Not every person will put the effort in and it comes down to the individual and what their barriers are.”
Professor Geoff Masters will be leading a curriculum consultation in Wagga to give local teachers, students, parents and the wider community the chance to have their say on what should be incorporated into the curriculum.
“This is a unique opportunity to reflect on what the NSW community now wants from its schools,” Professor Masters said.
“The review will ensure that the NSW curriculum prepares young people for the future.”
The curriculum is asking local stakeholders to have a conversation about the purpose and impact of students in the future.
“We’re asking people to question what kinds of knowledge, skills and values that we want young people to develop to prepare not just for the workforce, but also for life after school,” Professor Masters said.
Professor Masters is currently holding consultations in Dubbo and said some of the feedback that has been raised includes, paperwork dominating teachers’ workload and the increase of work-based schools.
“There’s been observations that information is readily accessible through smartphones and so maybe it’s not necessary for students to memorise large text based readings,” he said.
“The need for young people to be able to work in teams, use technology to create and innovate and solve problems, which is an aspect of STEM but this is also what employers are looking for.
“Teachers are also telling us that there is a lot or material in the curriculum and therefore it is becoming difficult to teach.”
Wagga will be among 15 sessions that will be held around the state and this will be at CSU’s Convention Centre on October 31, 4pm-6pm.