STUDENTS from across greater western Victoria gathered at the Wimmera Events Centre in Longerenong on Tuesday, June 21, to attend the Western Victorian Careers Expo, which returned to its in-person format.
Attendance was strong for the event, which saw exhibitors from key industries across the region talk with students about potential careers in their industries.
Represented across the exhibitors were groups such as Federation University, Skillinvest, Victoria Police, Wim Resources, the CFA, the Army Reserves and many others.
Federation TAFE had a strong presence at the event including a competition to see how many hits it took students to drive a nail into a piece of wood.
Federation TAFE marketing officer Stuart Wines was part of the TAFE's exhibitor stall, and said it was great to see students return to face-to-face learning.
"It is great. The number of students coming in is just growing and growing through the morning. We have had seminars and most of the seats were filled at probably 80 per cent capacity," he said.
"I have spoken to a lot of people who are teachers or career practitioners and they are really looking forward to returning to face-to-face learning. Especially the organisers here. It is a different type of engagement.
"They still get the same information. They get to talk to people, watch people's reactions as they talk to them, and see some of the interpersonal skills that go with communication."
The Wimmera Mail-Times spoke to some of the students at the expo to hear where they would like to take their career, and what they planned to study to get them there.
Year nine Goroke P-12 student said he was interested in becoming a diesel mechanic when he left school, specifically working on agricultural machinery.
"I want to be a diesel mechanic. I just like playing with motors. The expo has been pretty good so far. I have spoken to a couple of people. I am going to go have a look at O'Connor's shortly. I want to work in ag when I am older," he said.
Goroke P-12's Kye Sampson said he had an interest in automechanics.
"I am in year nine. I something to do with automotive mechanics. The expo is different," he said.
Year ten Horsham College student Carli Thomas said she was impressed by the amount of pathways presented to her at the expo, specifically Ballarat Federation University's offering.
"I am currently doing a Certificate Four in Early Learning and Childcare. My plan is to leave school and do that for a couple of years while I study a beauty course and get a skill base," she said.
"I am looking at Skillinvest for future studies. I enjoy beauty and I enjoy being around little kids, working around them and watching them grow.
"It was pretty helpful, there were a lot of options to choose from. I am interested in Ballarat Federation University."
Year ten Murtoa College student Riana Warrick said she was interested in pursuing hairdressing after school.
"I want to go into hairdressing. It is something that interests me and it is fun to do. It was pretty good, I got some help with apprenticeships and know a lot more now," she said.
"I learnt that there are a lot more options and pathways I could go down."
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