The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedent impact on the Cairns community and now threatens to effect valuable opportunities for local high school students.

Each year in Cairns over 1,000 Year 10 students participate in work experience to gain insight into a particular career pathway and experience working life firsthand. The increasing economic pressure and restrictions the pandemic has had on local businesses is now leaving students with a shrinking number of opportunities.

Not-for-profit organisation, Vocational Partnerships Group Inc. (VPG) have been coordinating work experience placements within Far North Queensland for 23 years, partnering with 5,000 local employers.

“We are very grateful to the business community of Cairns who regularly support our work experience program, but for the first time, we are finding it increasingly challenging to secure work placements for all of our young people” said Maryanne Tranter, Chief Executive Officer of VPG.

“We can’t underestimate how important it is for young people to access work experience opportunities so they can learn employability skills as they prepare for their transition to working life.”

“Most of us remember our school work experience placement as being an incredibly valuable opportunity that helped us make informed career decisions and subject selections relevant to our aspirations” said Ms Tranter.

“To ensure every student has access to this opportunity, we need to secure 70 placements in seven days. We are asking businesses across all industries to get involved by providing opportunities for these students to get a taste of what it’s like to be in a workplace” said Ms Tranter.

VPG is encouraging the Cairns business community to support local school students by providing one week of work experience.

For further information on how to get involved, phone VPG on 4032 1677.

Photo Opportunity:
What: Student representatives from several schools scheduled to participate in VPGs Work Experience Program.
Where: VPG Cairns, 98 Anderson St, Manunda, 4870
When: Friday 14 August, 04.00pm

For further information or media interviews please contact:
Jenna Happy – VPG Communications Officer – mob: 0418 982 912