Year 8 Work Readiness “Prepare” Program

13 September 2021, 3:44PM

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“The “Prepare” work readiness program sparks interest and curiosity for young people beginning their journey into high school education. Young people explore how personal values and teamwork can help them prepare for casual employment and career success. Above all, this foundational program encourages young people to aspire and be open and curious about future possibilities.” THE BEACON FOUNDATION. 

On Tuesday, 24 August, Monday, 30 August, and Thursday, 2 September, during five separate sessions, the Beacon Foundation facilitated the “Prepare” Work Readiness Program with all Year 8 students at Marist Regional College.  

The College would like to acknowledge the generosity of Burnie Works, who funded 100% of the program for our students. Kira Coghlan from the Beacon Foundation shares that, “Burnie Works and the Beacon Foundation are working together to support the next generation of young employees in the Burnie region, and it was great to have further community support by way of business mentors. Approaches to career education work best when the community is involved and it’s a regional resolution to a regional issue.”  

Business mentors who participated in the sessions are: 

  • Jamie Bell – Saputo 
  • Robert Willis – Dept State Growth 
  • Rick Purton – Burnie Mazda 
  • Olivia Lucas – Burnie Works
  • Cyndia Hilliger – Business NW
  • Anthony Taylor – Local Motors Group 
  • Aaron Meldrum – Collective ed Central Coast 
  • Renee Donoghue – Elphinstone 
  • Jacki Hine-Magee – Dairy Tas 
  • Mark Shelton – University College 

We thank these individuals for their support of this program and their engagement with students.  

At the conclusion of each session, the facilitators asked everyone to complete an evaluation about the program. Below is a selection of anonymous responses from our students, educators, and visiting mentors: 


Today’s program helped me to think about the decisions I make and how it will affect me in the future. I also learnt about the importance of first impressions. 

This program was valuable because we got a lot more knowledge on what it’s like getting a job or finding out who we are. Getting ready for the future. 

It will help me when going for a job to know how to act and to know how to use the right manner when approaching people. 

During this program it was very helpful to hear and understand about who I am as a person and what could help me get a job in the future. 

I learnt that using my strengths and values will help me choose my career path. I also learnt that it’s ok to change career path. 

Because at the start I didn’t really know much about myself but now that I did this, I got to know a bit more about myself and my opportunities. 


Challenged students about their strengths and values. Mentors extremely engaging. Very worthwhile. 

The students were engaged, the information was useful. 

Good intro for students to start thinking about their future, who they are and where they want to be. Meeting others and getting advice (because apparently teachers know nothing!). 


Helping young people realise that their attitude and respect levels actually matter. 

Great for kids to hear from life experience. 

Back in the classroom, post-program, students were asked to reflect more deeply on their experience. Below are some excerpts from these reflections written by 7C students: 

“When talking to the mentors I realised that there is so much more to getting a job than you think. One of the mentors in particular said, “I can teach you to make coffees all day long. What I want from a person, is someone who is willing to try, and be resilient.” That really got me thinking about when I apply for a job. So that was the most valuable thing I took from this experience.” Ella Davies.  

“I learnt that it is important to focus really hard in school and accomplish as much as possible. The earlier you start the easier it will be in the future. I also learnt that it is good to have a backup plan in case your career doesn’t work out to be good or you don’t have the smartness for it. If you have a backup, it will be good to start it as soon as your other one fails.” Amali Woods. 

“I learned about local entrepreneurs and businesses through the mentors…. I already knew I need to have a “Plan B”, but it was reinforced. This program mostly taught me about my self-identity.” Bo Ellis. 

“Overall, I think the Beacon Foundation Program was really useful and inspiring. It made me think about my future and helped me decide what area of work I would like to do and enjoy in my future career. I learnt the needs and values for different types of jobs and found out which jobs can be linked to me and what I have and what I like. I found my strengths, and values from looking at my interests and decided which career cluster best suits me……. I now have an idea of what area I would enjoy working in. At the start of the session, I had no idea and didn’t think the session would be able to help me decide which area of work I would enjoy, but after the session I had an idea. One person that stood out to me was Anthony Taylor because his story inspired me to live everyday like it’s your last and to take the opportunities when you have them, because that might be the only opportunity you get. So, live a good life in your teenage years, take the opportunities and take risks.” Imogen Terrey. 

Thanks to Luke Wescombe (MRC Careers Pathway Coordinator) and Kira Coghlan (The Beacon Foundation) for their work to ensure that all Year 8 students at Marist Regional College had the opportunity to participate in the “Prepare” program. We look forward to further collaborative efforts between MRC, The Beacon Foundation, and Burnie Works in the future.   

Mrs Carolyn Winchcombe

Middle Years Learning Area Leader: Global Connections