One of the positives from the Real Futures programs is the emphasis and help it gives students in preparing for the world of work and/or further education.

An example is Cassey Sheather who commenced as as first year apprentice chef at the Horizons Gold Resort at Salamander Bay.

Cassey finished Year 12 in 2015 at Tomaree High Shcool. She made the no-dole pledge as part of the Real Futures program while in Year 10 at Tomaree where she realised going through to Year 12 and taking on further education such as the apprenticeship was the way to a solid future in the workplace.

Cassey said she was very thankful for the opportunities she had been given.

Another success thanks to exposure to Real Futures programs has been panel beater Damien Crew, who works at Anthony Lloyd Smash Repairs at Salamander Bay.

Damien completed Year 10 at Tomaree High and started work at the repairer after earlier completing two week’s work experience. He was involved in many Real Futures programs including polish, careers quest, and try-a-trade and careers expo excursion. He also received a Soldiers Point Marina vocational award.

Last year Damien was nominated as one of the four finalists in the MTA Motor Industry Awards in the apprentice of the year category.

“First impressions are important; eye contact is vital; tips on how to dress for an interview.”

These are just some of the comments to come from students at Irrawang High School at Raymond Terrace who completed a World of Work (WOW) program thanks to funding from Real Futures and

support from the Raymond Terrace Bowling Club.

In late 2016, 85 students from Year 10 attended the three-day WOW program at the Bowling Club.Real Futures Foundation - World Of Work Program 2017

As Irrawang Principal Paul Baxter explained, the students involved learnt about the importance of first impressions, social skills and the expectations they would encounter when they entered the world of work.

The feedback from students also indicated a high emphasis on engaging with community and business people who took time out of their busy day to have lunch with students where they could practice what they had learnt – communication skills and table etiquette. “For many this was the first time they had eaten away from their family environment,” he said.

He said the program was a positive example of a school/ community partnership which improves students’ outcomes, particularly low socio-economic students in the secondary

years of schooling.

A guide to the value of the program is that of the 85 students who participated in the three day session, 83 completed a survey seeking feedback.

The comments received were overwhelmingly positive.