Tuesday, 16 April 2024

    School introduces Year 13

    The Year 13 classroom is lined with computers on one side and a rack of clothes on the other that includes business suits, dress pants and fluoro shirts for potential job interviews, ABC News reports.

    Teacher Robyn Pedler said she stays back after official school hours are over to prepare worksheets for her Year 13 students.

    “It’s our responsibility — our job doesn’t just end at Year 12, or at 3:00pm,” Ms Pedler said.

    Year 13 brings ex-students back into the classroom, where teachers provide practical help with finding, preparing for, and securing work.

    The program — funded from the school’s own budget — started at Sunnybank when teachers realised nearly half their 2017 graduates hadn’t found full-time work or study six months after leaving.

    To help turn around the statistics, the school set up Year 13 to ensure every single student was individually case managed through the year.

    “Some students need extra skills in interviewing techniques, some need to have their hands held and be walked around to employers, some of them need help with their resumes or job search skills,” Ms Pedler said.

    The ABC’s Australia Talks National Survey found Australians are not convinced the education system is preparing students for the future — 39 per cent are satisfied, but 39 per cent are not.

    The student community at Sunnybank State High School is incredibly diverse, with 53 unique cultures represented.

    Ali Maisam graduated high school at the end of 2018 and was among the first students in the newly established Year 13 program.

    The 18-year-old refugee from Afghanistan knew he wanted to be an electrician, but had no idea how to start his dream career.

    The teenager struggled to get interviews or work, despite applying for dozens of electrical apprenticeship jobs.

    His former teachers stepped in, starting him in TAFE courses, and coaching him on securing employment.

    Mr Maisam now works with a local electrical company and his boss Nick Lumsdale, said the school’s program was impressive.

    “We think it’s great — it’s what a lot more schools need,” Mr Lumsdale said.


    High school graduates struggling to find employment discover success in Year 13 (ABC News)


    Business suits, dress pants and fluro shirts in the classroom — potential job interview outfits. (ABC News: Allyson Horn)