Sutherland Shire students shifted their focus to their futures at a career expo held at Sharks Leagues Club, Cronulla.
More than 600 year 10-12 teenagers from Caringbah, Cronulla and Endeavour high schools participated in the second annual event created by Cronulla Sharks and development partner Capital Bluestone.
A total of 50 stallholders were on hand to give advice about a variety of industries including sport, construction, engineering, art, the environment, finance, hospitality, law, communications, real estate, Defence Forces and emergency services.
Representatives from higher educational institutions including TAFE, universities and colleges were also there to steer students in their chosen directions.
Managing director of Capital Bluestone, Ben Fairfax, said this year’s fair was popular among youth in the region.
“We wanted to make sure students could get a real insight into the day-to-day activities in a range of professions and industries,” he said.
“From 360-degree augmented reality goggles to spark their interest in innovation, to physical exercises with trainers, students gained hands-on experience and insight that will hopefully help set them on a prosperous career path.”
Sutherland Shire mayor Carmelo Pesce says it is important to set students up with the knowledge and direction needed to help them pursue employment or education opportunities.
“It was great to see how many opportunities are out there for young people as they prepare to enter the workforce,” he said.
“Sutherland Shire Council is the Shire's largest employer and we are proud to be able to offer career paths to our local students in the traditional areas like park maintenance, engineering and surveying and garbage collection, as well as other industries like the arts, sport and fitness, childcare, and IT.”
Cronulla High School student Ellie Esquilant said the fair helped her narrow down her career choices.
“I’m deciding between three different paths so it’s given me more of an insight into what each career is going to be like and what one I might excel at,” she said.
“I’m leaning towards law, but also like social work and teaching.
“We have to choose our electives in the coming weeks for next year and today helped show us what subjects are really going to help us.”
Chief executive of Sharks Group, Lyall Gorman, says this year’s event followed from last year’s inaugural fair that received a Highly Commended Award at the Clubs NSW 2016 Clubs and Community Awards.
“[It] was all about connecting young people to work experience and training opportunities so it’s great to hear that the students found the fair worthwhile and helpful,” he said.