Using an Explore-Connect-Support model Action4Youth has a vision to help young people thrive in a career in agriculture. This includes working with primary and secondary schools to increase awareness of the diversity of agricultural careers and showcase various pathways that can create and shape a dream working life.
Become Education CEO and co-founder Liv Pennie Picture Credit Troy Snook
As part of the Explore phase, students and teachers have access to BECOME. This teacher-led program encourages students from upper primary onwards to explore, design and navigate their future, while building independence and agency over that future.
Beginning in primary school is critical. Research by the OECD, Monash University and BECOME Education each independently found that about half of all students intend to work on just ten career areas out of the many thousands of careers available. Even more alarmingly, research from Monash University showed that 55% of the female students they focused on, chose careers to please someone else, not their own strengths and interests.
About the BECOME program:
- Purpose built for years 5 – 12, it fuses technology with research
- Ready-to-go lessons inspire confidence and help students develop the skills to shape their own future
- Flexible Year or Stage scope and sequence plans integrate and align with Learning Areas across the Australian Curriculum, General Capabilities and the Australian Blueprint for Career Development (ABCD) skills framework
- The dynamic student web app actively engages students and opens their minds to the broader possibilities of career areas, rather than narrowing them down to a decision
- Incorporates facilitated, professional development for educators, including non-careers specialist teachers
- Insights dashboard enables a personalised and proactive approach to student career conversations and gives teachers real insight into students’ emerging aspirations.
Holly Paster is the Careers and Transition Adviser at Bomaderry High School who have chosen the BECOME program, including the app and lessons. We spoke to Holly about her experience:
“The app was appealing to us for a number of reasons. Firstly, the platform works well with our iPad-centred school – our students use them in class and at home. Secondly the program is evidence-based, which we, as a school collective, value. Thirdly, we can embed activities that support the transition to high school, which allows us to increase our engagement in career planning and career development from an early age, and then maintain that consistency throughout the high school years. And fourthly, it provides professional development and trains staff how to use it effectively in their classes.”
BECOME allows students to design careers from the inside out and to practice 21st century skills through the implementation of experiments to explore, test and refine their career aspirations. As research from the Institute for the Future (IFTF) shows, 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet. In the changing world of work, it’s much more effective to have students create their own unique career direction for the future rather than picking a job. As they engage with the program and learn more about themselves, what motivates and inspires them, BECOME data shows that 50% of students change their career aspirations, as they refine and become more educated about the type of work, workplaces and careers that best suit what they now know about themselves.
Having parents involved in careers education is another feature of BECOME that excites Holly. She says,
“I think parents want to support their children and they’re looking for information to do that, which is really quite difficult because there’s just so much out there. It’s the opposite of how it used to be, where they couldn’t get the information; now there’s just so much that it’s overwhelming. Having one central area [such as BECOME] where they can access quality advice and evidence-based careers education, is what we think is critical. Opening both student and parent eyes to different career pathways is a goal of ours.”
Using Awareness (of your unique self and of the world of work), Aspiration (articulating directions and researching pathways) and Agency (taking charge of their own lives) the BECOME program, and Action4Youth will help students answer questions beyond the scope of traditional careers education. For example:
- How agriculture provides us with clues about the future of work and the world’s “To Do List”.
- Why some of the coolest jobs exist near the wickedest problems.
- The pressure to ‘follow your passion’, and why that can be complicated.
- Purpose and fulfilment – why does it matter?
- Who defines success in your community? What is your own personal definition of success?
Creating awareness, aspiration and agency around agricultural careers is a powerful and affirming way to help our young people thrive.
Further food for thought