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New virtual work experience program


High school students across the Hunter will soon be able to take part in a locally-created virtual work experience program.

The Virtual Intern program, developed by social enterprise She Can, will connect students to employers for work experience.

Founder and Director, Tricia Martin, is calling on local businesses and organisations to join the program, and for students and schools to register their interest.

The program has modules for different industries that contain real world tasks for students to complete.

Students also gain access to mentor videos, CV builders, career maps and other soft skills resources to give them a practical understanding and experience of that industry.

Prior to starting the program, students match their interests with specific career clusters and businesses.

“Virtual Intern tackles the misalignment between young people’s work expectations and the assumed knowledge and capability expectations of local businesses,” Ms Martin says.

“We are creating a capacity-building program where students are engaged, rather than being passive, and are building their self-efficacy, not just their knowledge.

“Students gain tangible, company accredited, skills that employers are looking for, to help them enter the world of work.

“They get to build relevant networks before they enter the workforce.”

The program works with employers to capture and transform their expertise into virtual internships that mirror real-world tasks. 

“Employers get to identify future employees, understand the needs of a future workforce, and play their part in ensuring their business workforce is future-proofed,” Ms Martin adds.

“Importantly, the platform helps to even the playing field, allowing students, regardless of socio-economic background, location or demographic, to access 21st Century workplaces and mentors.”

The program has been built by working with more than 200 Hunter students in career-readiness workshops and consultation with local business leaders and teachers.

It is funded by Charter Hall, Edified and the Layne Beachley Foundation.

Visit the Visual Intern website to find out more or to register.

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