APS career program for Indigenous students moves online

By Shannon Jenkins

Friday June 12, 2020

Ken Wyatt
Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

The federal government’s annual career program for Indigenous high school students is set to go virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt on Thursday said the mentoring and workshops delivered through the Work Exposure in Government (WEX) initiative would take place online, with skills development projects replacing in-person visits.

“WEX is a great initiative that teaches young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about government and how they can get involved in the public service,” he said.

“We want more Indigenous experience represented within government organisations and WEX has helped a lot of people identify this as a pathway.”

WEX gives students the opportunity to see if policy or operational government jobs might be a viable career path, as well as tips on how to transition from school into a professional workplace environment, Wyatt noted.

“Students will be paired with mentors to discuss career options and also get the chance to develop a cooperative network so participants can keep in touch and support each other as they enter the workforce,” he said.

“Given the virtual method, we are also inviting back previous WEX participants to further strengthen their networks and stay engaged with their mentors.”

Since 2015, people development business ETM Perspectives has partnered with the government to design WEX.

ETMP managing director Duane Vickery said the new format would “deliver a program that inspires, challenges and empowers students in a COVID-safe way”.

“We have seen and heard from participating students the real value and impact this program has in opening career options, building confidence, and supporting cultural and personal development,” he said.

Registrations are open for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Years 10, 11 and 12 to participate in the program. It will run until November 2020.

Students can express their interest by emailing [email protected] or applying via the ETMP website.

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