Something happened this week in a quiet leafy street in Heathcote that demonstrates the value of the Careers Program at Shire Christian School.

Mrs Robyn Buchanan (Careers Advisor) was driving down the road when suddenly she saw...the future!

Not a hover board, or a jet pack, or robotic street sweeper. What she saw was something not at all out of the ordinary.

It was not long after 7am, a Shire Build ute pulled up, an apprentice carpenter swung on his tool belt, untied some timber from the tray and headed towards the job site.

Mrs Buchanan recognised the face! That’s because it belonged to Riley Bassingthwaighte, who completed his schooling at Shire Christian in 2017.

Riley’s time at Shire was a lot like many Shire Christian students. At the end of Year 9, he was encouraged to think about where he might do work experience. He had the usual decisions about subject selection. He had to decide what he might do when school was behind him.

The Careers Program at Shire Christian School is designed to help students, in partnership with parents and teachers, to face the future confidently and with a plan. It can be challenging because you don’t get to see what happens tomorrow or the next day - or 4 years ahead.

But this day, Mrs Buchanan saw something she or Riley or Riley’s parents couldn’t see back when Riley was in Year 10. She saw a job, a trade, people who depend on a valued co-worker who is part of a team.

That’s where every step on the careers journey is heading. It’s lying before every student. It’s uncertain, it can sometimes be a bit stressful, but it’s full of opportunities and adventures. When Mrs Buchanan spoke to Riley and they made plans all those years ago, they didn’t know what was going to happen.

But this morning, Mrs Buchanan saw the future. And she was even granted an interview!

What have you been doing since you left school?

I left in Year 10 and have been completing a carpentry apprenticeship, mainly working on house renovations.

What did you do for work experience in Year 10?

I completed work experience with Shire Build who I am now working for.

How are you finding your apprenticeship and going to TAFE?

It is a lot better than I expected! I was concerned it was going to be a lot harder than it was but when you are doing it every day you learn really quickly.

Was there anything about leaving school that you weren’t expecting?

No it took me about a week to get used to working life and it became my new “normal”.

What do you find the most enjoyable about your job? What do you find most challenging?

The labouring can be challenging at times - but that is what you need to go through to build a house! I pretty much enjoy all of it, start to finish, I couldn’t really complain about any of it.

If you could go back what advice would you give yourself in Year 10?

Study harder!

What does the future hold for you?

Finish my apprenticeship, do the builder’s course, keep working in carpentry, maybe run my own business one day!

We would like to thank Craig, from Shire Build, who has been a willing supporter of many work experience students and also employer of ex-students like Riley, Morgan Downie and Jack Wilson. It was Jack who, many years ago, found Craig’s ad in The Leader, rang him and asked if Craig would take him on as a work experience student. The rest is history.

Mrs Robyn Buchanan
Careers Advisor