We know that the workforce is changing and improved automation will bring huge changes to many industries. For the Indigenous young people of South Sydney future unemployment is a concern. Across NSW Indigenous young people are less likely to complete Year 12 and more likely to be unemployed than their non-Indigenous peers, they also face the challenges of systemic racism which hinders their employment opportunities.
For our young people in the NASCA South Sydney Academy, the future is looking bright. Students who participate in the NASCA program have 8.7% better school attendance than Indigenous students who are not in the program and we work with partners to help ensure they have positive post-school pathways.
Last week our young people attended the Barangaroo South – Indigenous Youth Careers Day hosted by Lendlease. The day was about inspiring students to imagine a future career and a plan of how to get there. There were speakers from employers such as Lendlease, KPMG and Gilbert and Tobin as well as NSW Government, TAFE and a number of local universities.
At NASCA we know the importance of targeted events for Indigenous young people, our South Sydney Program Assistant Lyall Munro said “the cultural aspect is important, without this the kids would have had more shame and not engaged so much, it’s important for them to know those pathways are open to them”. We were really pleased to hear from Amber Cameron from Barangaroo that our kids were the first in the group to identify as Aboriginal and talk about where they are from. We know that this pride and connection to their culture will keep them strong as they grow older.
Speaking to the Universities about alternative pathways was a highlight, I now know University is a real possibility for me” Bella, Alexandria Park Community School
Our young people who attended came from Alexandria Park Community School and Tempe High School. They have a wide range of interest and future career plans. For some of the students, University is their next goal. Taela one of our students from Tempe said “I learnt about the different ways I can get into University and the different options that are available once I get there, like living on campus or doing a block course. It made me feel like I can do it”. We will be working with Taela over the next year to help her plan her next steps to the future she wants.
Some of our students are interested in learning a trade and having TAFE EORA college there was an opportunity for our kids to learn more. Jamie from Alexandria Park Community School said “I learnt that I can do an apprenticeship or training through TAFE whilst I am at school. I am looking to do a trade and I’m going to look at this more in the new year”. We support young people to chose the pathway that they want and work with students like Jamie to get apprenticeships for their chosen trade.
The day was a great success and our students left inspired about their futures. We’d like to thank Barangaroo South’s corporate tenants and our partner Lendlease for hosting the day, the speakers and all those who gave their time.
Help young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders stay strong in their culture and identity.