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Kangan Institute helping young people take the NEXT STEP

With the onset of 2012, Kangan Institute embarked on a new project designed to assist young people (15-19 year olds) in mapping out their future. The Hume area especially has one of the highest rates of disengaged youth in the state young people sometimes feel lost, confused and lack direction. Oftentimes they leave school early knowing they want to find work in their chosen field, but many have no idea what next steps they need to take or even what work or study interests them. That's where Kangan Institute's NEXT STEP service comes in. NEXT STEP is a free service for 15 to 19 year olds looking for advice on pathway options, career planning and referrals to relevant services. It's also open to parents, community agencies, school career advisors and employment networks. It's designed to be a friendly service offering advice on study pathway options, career planning and direction, help with navigating the TAFE and referrals to relevant services that will get young people on the right track for the future they want. Genna Hughes and Julie McClimont are heading up this project and have noted the excitement and enthusiasm generated since its inception. "The young people we see tend to be very excited after we explain their options," Genna said. "In fact, a young boy just today couldn't believe that he could leave school and study a Certificate II in his chosen field to then walk into an apprenticeship after six months." It's not just the kids that are excited. Julie notes that they're parents are "sometimes more excited than their children". Many young people seem to slip through the fingers of the education system without realising that they have many options at their disposal in order to reach their end goal. "We give a personalised service; to the point that we walk the kids around the Institute to where they need to go to" Julie continued. "We have meaningful conversations about where the young person is at, realistically. We manage their expectations and construct a pathway for them and call them after one month, three months and six months to touch base on their progress and ensure they feel guided and comfortable." Genna has noticed that many people don't actually understand the labels and processes. "They don't have an understanding what pre-apprenticeships, VET or VCAL are for example," she said. "We explain the whole process of TAFE with diagrams and really simple language." "We explain the whole process of TAFE with diagrams and really simple language." If you would like more information on NEXT STEP call 13 TAFE (13 8233)

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