The numbers add up

TAPPING into the wealth of acquired practical knowledge across the Clarence is what the locally-created CareerLink program hopes to achieve.

CareerLink, developed by the Clarence Valley Industry Education Forum, aims to secure 100 school-based apprenticeships or traineeships for local students, commencing next year.

Support is steadily growing for the program, and Maclean accountancy firm Kennedy Saunders is one of a wide range of businesses to have signed up.

As per the program’s requirements, the firm will be taking on one apprentice for a day every week over the course of two years.

Partner Peter Saunders said the program was a “two-way street”, offering students the chance to see how their chosen industry worked in practice, while providing his business with an extra body.

“We plan on being able to charge them out to do some basic roles,” he said.

“They should find it beneficial and they will become a productive member of the workforce.”

Mr Saunders said he hoped he could offer a student a “stepping stone” in their education.

“If they’re here for just two years and go on to do further work in economics or law, or if they choose to become a plumber, it’s all education and experience,” he said.

“That’s what I see as a positive – being part of someone’s education. It’s good to be able to help someone.”

Mr Saunders, who has worked at Kennedy Saunders for 19 years, said this sort of opportunity did not exist when he was a budding accountant.

“My first exposure (to the workplace) was after I finished a degree,” he said.

The forum’s Kerren Law said the campaign to get businesses involved would wrap up at the end of August, which would then be followed by marketing at the four participating Valley high schools.

“The response has been really encouraging across a broad spectrum of employers in a number of locations across the Clarence Valley, which is great for students living in a dispersed community environment,” she said.

Students with questions about the program should contact their school career adviser. Interested businesses can phone 6641 5042.

That’s what I see as a positive – being part of someone’s education



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