It takes a village to raise a child, and Beacon is doing its part

As young people prepare to return to classrooms across Tasmania, we are acutely aware of the ever-changing nature of education and the unfamiliar territory they will traverse during 2022.

Now more than ever it will take a village to raise our young people and provide them with career inspiration and opportunity.

Beacon Foundation is proud to be part of that village and is committed to continuing to work with schools and industry to strengthen relationships and expand the opportunities available to students.

Beacon is working across Tasmania to create a job-ready generation of students.  Getting young people into work is key to their future, and our future.

Our programs and services connect young people with real world experiences, provide mentorship and guidance and allow them to explore career possibilities.

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic presents challenges for both our young people and the industries in which they seek to work and learn.

There is a very real threat that some sectors such as community services will be heavily impacted and unable to offer the same on-the-job work experience opportunities for students as they have in the past.

While this may only be temporary it is upon all of us to recognise these challenges and be prepared to find ways that can still be effective.

While we recognise that businesses are also facing ongoing challenges it is vital that we don’t lose momentum. Our young people need our investment more than ever in their futures, their welfare and careers. We need to maintain our levels of industry engagement for the sake of our young people.  And for industries, many of which are already facing significant labour challenges and shortages.

It’s likely many of us thought, or at least hoped, that the worst of the pandemic impacts on business operations and education would be behind us by now.

However, as we transition to ‘living with Covid’ we are constantly thrown a different curve ball and forced to adjust to new circumstances.

Students will return to classrooms wearing masks, spend more time learning in outdoor classrooms and manage the likelihood of periods of absenteeism as Covid inevitably makes its way through our schools and learning institutions.

The repercussions of not connecting young people with workplaces, businesses and industry sectors will have a massive impact on our young people not just this year but in years to come as well as impacting on the workforce pipeline.

This future proofing is far too important to be sidelined, despite the challenges of a pandemic.

Beacon is proud to be able to bring together and connect students, schools, businesses and the local community to trial different ways to help students get the workplace awareness, understanding and training they need as well as opening the door to an exciting career.

The Vocational Placement Pilot Program that Beacon has delivered over the last two years is just one example of a practical program that has given students real world experience to the workplace and mentoring from local businesses. It’s fantastic that by working together with students, schools, businesses and the community we’ve been able to not only help  these students get skills for life, in many instances they have also  got a job that will help set them up for life.

The program provides career awareness sessions in schools and then takes students who are studying VET courses and matches them up with an employer in that industry.  The student first gets to learn about real jobs and then gets to understand and experience what it’s like to actually work in the industry they’re studying and the employer gets to mentor a young person and potentially even find their next star recruit.

It is programs like this that are going to plug the gaps and make sure we are all working together to create a job-ready generation.

We applaud the Tasmanian government for supporting this work and extending it for the next two years.  We know that this project will continue to deliver measurable results for students and industry across the State.

The world is an uncertain place and more than ever we need a committed village to give our young people the best chance to find their feet and worthwhile career opportunities.

There’s a role for each of us to play whether that’s as a business providing work placements and work exposure opportunities for students, as a mentor providing advice and guidance or as an educator equipping students with skills for life.

Beacon is keen to hear from employers about how they would like to connect with the schools in their community to interact and influence their future workforce.  We are particularly keen to hear if you are interested in providing a work placement opportunity or engaging in work awareness activities and mentoring in schools.

If you’re not already part of the village it is definitely time to join.

To register your interest contact Beacon at

Image – Hellyer College student with Kristy Thomson, Cape View Nursery