SA Government building stronger work education focus


The South Australian Government has invested $220,000 into a collaborative project that is delivering exposure to different employment pathways and important work readiness skills to high school students in the northern and western suburbs of Adelaide. Education Minister, Hon. Susan Close MP will visit a Beacon work readiness program in action on Monday 29th May, 2017 to see first-hand what the funding is delivering.

The grant has been provided to the Beacon Foundation, a national not-for-profit organization that links partner schools with industry to improve the education and employment outcomes of Year 10-12 students in northern and western Adelaide, and help them create a positive future within their community.

Beacon brings teachers and business people together to share knowledge and develop work-based curriculum content, and to provide work readiness and employability skills, industry experiences and work placements to young people who often need to be inspired to pursue positive pathways.

Over four days from 29th May around 120 Year 11 students from Playford International College are participating in a Beacon Foundation Work Readiness Program. The highly interactive Perform program focusses on practical skills and knowledge that young people need in the workplace.

Beacon Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer David O’Byrne, who will join the Education Minister at the event says, “we know that the youth full-time unemployment rate is currently sitting at around 18% in the northern and western suburbs of Adelaide. Beacon programs are trying to help tackle this, and investment from the South Australian Government plays a vital role in extending our reach.

“In 2016 we worked with around 120 schools nationwide and connected them with businesses and communities to collaborate and create ‘real world’ application of the school curriculum and better prepare students for the world of work.  Beacon currently works with 10 schools in South Australia.”

Minister Close says, “Research shows engaging young people about their future prospects improves school retention rates and teaches practical life skills that prepares them for the workplace and gives them confidence to pursue their careers.

“Opportunities to explore different pathways and work experiences are invaluable and the State Government is keen to improve the quality of work education in schools. Collaborations with organisations like the Beacon Foundation and industry are vital to this.

“I look forward to attending the first day of four Beacon work readiness programs for Playford International College students and witnessing first-hand this project’s impact on the young people of Playford.  We are keen to see if adopting this kind of model will improve education and employment outcomes for young South Australians, while they are still at school”, said Minister Close.

For Mandy Rossetto, Beacon’s SA Manager, the partnership with the SA Education Department is a great alignment.

“Beacon’s work strongly complements the education department’s goals to improve student engagement in learning, their successful transition from school to employment or further study, and to increase partnerships with business and community that result in enhanced 21st century skills and work readiness.

“The government grant has allowed Beacon to expand its model into more secondary schools in the western suburbs of Adelaide.  The project aims to inspire more secondary students to think about their career options through their curriculum content while in a supportive school environment, and will provide them with opportunities to participate in diverse workplace experiences and work readiness training.

“The Perform program not only fits neatly into the SACE Workplace Practices curriculum but it relies heavily on the involvement of industry mentors who willingly volunteer their time to support these young people.  Students learn so much from this face to face contact with real industry people, hearing about their career journeys, and picking up valuable tips and advice that will help them land that first-time job”, said Ms Rossetto.

Beacon has a track record of helping to inspire and motivate students to either stay in school and increase their educational engagement and attainment or choose a positive pathway that enables successful transition to employment, further education or training.


Enquiries can be directed to:

Ms Mandy Rossetto, Beacon Foundation SA Manager

Ph: 0421 050 719

OR to Penny Younger, PR & Communications Coordinator

0438 807 161