Students from across Western Australia and the Northern Territory have a better understanding of IT career pathways and opportunities available to them thanks to The Smith Family’s Work Inspiration program and Kinetic IT.
From protecting Australia’s critical infrastructure through cyber security, to supporting customers to resolve simple service desk requests, students aged 11 to 15 have been shown behind-the-scenes of Kinetic IT’s operations over the past six months, demystifying what it is like to work in the IT industry and opening up career opportunities young people can explore.
The Work Inspiration program is run by The Smith Family, the national children’s education charity helping young Australians from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed at school, so they can create better futures for themselves. One way they do this is through their Work Inspiration program – an employer-led initiative that ensures young Australians’ first experience of the world of work is positive, meaningful and inspiring.
The Work Inspiration events give students from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to visit the workplace of one of The Smith Family’s partner organisations for two to three days. Kinetic IT is one such partner organisation, having signed a five-year partnership with The Smith Family in September 2021.
A taste of work life
Students from local schools in the Northern Territory (NT) and Western Australia (WA) are the latest cohorts to have the Work Inspiration experience at Kinetic IT in May and June, respectively. Upcoming Work Inspiration events are set to continue later this year, and Kinetic IT crew will also be taking part in additional engagements The Smith Family is set to run. Kinetic IT’s first Work Inspiration event was last December.
“We love connecting with young people, especially at an age where students are figuring out who they are and what they want to do when they leave school. For those who may be considering their future careers and what steps to take, coming into our offices can be an eye-opening experience and the encouragement they need to explore more about that industry,” Jessica Todd, Kinetic IT’s Senior Manager, Workforce Planning and Participation, says.
“Since partnering with The Smith Family last September, we’re proud to have hosted more than 40 students at our operations across both the NT and WA where our crew run work site tours, show how we work with customers, and unpack what it is you need to get into the IT industry. At the end of the day, if you are a keen problem-solver and enjoy working with people, IT is the perfect industry to step into to gain great foundational skills that will support you for the rest of your career.”
Claire Nicholson, Acting Head of Philanthropy at The Smith Family, says that supporting students to develop science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills from an early age ensures that they have the critical skills required to successfully engage with the future workforce.
“Skills in STEM are widely recognised as important drivers of innovation, economic growth and future jobs. For young Australians experiencing disadvantage, who might not have networks or connections in the STEM space, being able to engage with partners like Kinetic IT allows them to understand the opportunities that may be available and help broaden their perspectives. We’re grateful that Kinetic IT has been able to host several Work Inspiration events in the first year of our partnership, and we look forward to seeing what we can achieve together in the coming years!”
As a community partner, Kinetic IT also supports The Smith Family’s Young ICT Explorers Accelerator program and their annual Toy and Book Appeal, along with ongoing community events and engagements to support young people interested in pursuing careers in IT or technology.
About Kinetic IT and The Smith Family partnership
In 2021, Kinetic IT entered into a five-year partnership with The Smith Family to support children and families in need.
With a strong emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, Kinetic IT sees its partnership with The Smith Family as a real opportunity to equip young people with the capabilities to enter the IT industry, and to support Australian children experiencing disadvantage to participate fully in their education, giving them the best chance at breaking the cycle of poverty.
More information about The Smith Family can be found on their website.