The School to Work (S2W) Program was developed in response to research highlighting that Indigenous youth who had not found an employment or training pathway six months after leaving school, had a significantly higher chance of being long term unemployed.
The program is funded and supported by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as well as NRL Clubs- Canberra Raiders, Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, Cronulla Sharks, Melbourne Storm, Newcastle Knights, Parramatta Eels, Penrith Panthers, St George Illawarra Dragons, Sydney Roosters, Gold Coast Titans and the Wests Tigers.
The S2W Program has been operational since 2012 and utilises the positive profile of rugby league to support and encourage Year 11 & 12 Indigenous students to achieve their HSC and prepares them as they transition from school to employment or further education.
Why was the S2W Program formed?
In 2012, the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Paramatta Eels, Penrith Panthers and West Tigers NRL Clubs joined forces to deliver the S2W Program to address the Australian Government’s key ‘Closing the Gap’ targets for indigenous students in western Sydney. They Are:
- To halve the gap for Indigenous students in Year 12 equivalent attainment by 2020.
- To halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.
- Supported by community leaders, the Rugby League family and every day ’Local Legends’ who young Indigenous Australians respect and aspire to be like, the S2W Program advocates the importance of education, training and employment for success.
In 2015, the School to Work Program was expanded and joined by the Canberra Raiders, Cronulla Sharks, Melbourne Storm, Newcastle Knights, St George Illawarra Dragons and the Sydney Roosters.
In 2017, the Gold Coast Titans became the 11th NRL Club to join the School to Work Program.
How does the School to Work Program work?
Selected in year 10,11 and 12 students from Participating schools conduct a one-on-on Profiling session with their Project Officer to build Career Development Plans focused on career aspirations and personal goals.
Students work with their Project Officers to pursue these plans by Participating in educational, cultural and leadership workshops. They also visit club sponsors, partner organisations and other government and corporate supporters of S2W to undertake work experience and job-readiness training.
Graduating students are equipped to make informed choices about their future careers, are armed with exceptional leadership capabilities and have a solid foundation in ‘job readiness’ skills.
To help guide students through a smooth transition to life after school, the S2W Program continues for six months after they graduate, with close mentoring of their progress on a structured ‘Post-School’ plan.