THE definition of success needs to come down to more than a VCE score and there needs to be better links between schools and employers.
That’s according to guest speaker Howard Kelly who told industry and school representatives at the Better Connections conference yesterday that Warrnambool was an ideal place to capitalise on links between education and employment.
“What we’ve got to do is keep things simple,” he said. “Schools need to understand the importance of the economy in their area.
“There was an example that schools aren’t providing any training to students who might want to work at the wind farms.
“We need to give young people a purpose to remain at school. If they know they can get a qualification it can be a reason to stay
“If you can find a way to provide an automotive course or a maths course, tap into the community who can help. Understand the need to tweak a course to meet a local need.”
Mr Kelly said the state government cuts to TAFEs was the wrong way to go.
“It will affect the very ones who are about to fall off the plate,” he said.
The retired principal, teacher and senior government bureaucrat said the potential he saw in young people ensured a bright future.
“I’ve had a lot to do with young people and I never cease to be amazed by their energy and their positive views,” he said.
“They want to have a go.
“They have a deep sense of faith and are not naive about the future.”
South West Local Learning and Employment Network (SWLLEN) chief executive Toni Jenkins said the conference had generated great discussion and ideas.
“We need to decide what success is,” she said.
“Finishing school with a qualification and entering the workforce and further education or training are both success.
“We can’t rely on an ENTER score to define success. Not everyone uses it or needs it.”