The simple answer to this question is that industry on The Strip is growing; a new container port is coming and this is already a factor in interest from new industries, lots of older workers (Baby Boomers) will be retiring soon, Lithium Valley companies are going into a construction phase, we are seeing the beginnings of an energy transformation towards renewables (solar, wind and probably hydrogen), the defence industry is set to grow significantly, and to top that off, a skills shortage is looming. That’s a lot to take in.
But what does all this mean for our region in the south-western part of Perth? Well bluntly, it’s jobs, jobs and more jobs to be had. But these are jobs that will need skill sets, starting from base level jobs through trades or technical as well as professional career pathways. There are a few ways to become skilled up and the common factor in all is to start somewhere and keep learning.
The industry located here on our doorstep has almost every job type and career pathway you can think of, and our high school students can learn about this through career awareness programs.
Interestingly, many in our community have little awareness of industry’s career opportunities, and that 20,000 (of the 30,000) workers associated with the Kwinana Industrial Area live within 15-20 kms of where they work.
So how do we connect these students with the opportunities that abound? That’s where Kwinana Industries Council (KIC) comes in. KIC is the industry association (like a chamber of commerce really), representing its members who are major companies on The Strip, and several of the smaller companies in the wider industrial area. Over ten years ago KIC formed a partnership with high schools in our region, and today there are 17 schools in the KIC Education Partnership. You can see who they are from their logos on this page. The partnership exists primarily to engage with students through the Education Development Program to show them about the careers available in industry.
Our Year 10 iProject programs take students out of the school environment for 7 days over four weeks and immerses them in the adult world of industry. There are around 150 students annually who graduate from the Year-10 programs which are accredited by the Education Department. The program is award winning, and funded by industry via their membership of KIC.
For Years 11 and 12, we work of course with the high schools, and have a strong working relationship with South Metropolitan TAFE. There are over 80 students passing through KIC two year Pre-Apprenticeship Programs. These focus on many of the traditional trade areas including engineering and heavy plant maintenance, and cover all manner of other trade areas through the various course modules. South Metropolitan TAFE has proven to be a fantastic partner for KIC in the design and delivery of these programs.
KIC will soon be recruiting students for our Pre-Apprenticeships commencing in 2022. If you are currently a Year 10 student and would like to register your interest in applying for one of the Pre-Apprenticeships go to https://application.kic.org.au/
The Education Program is always evolving so if any of this has taken your interest, you’ll find it set out on our website at https://kic.org.au/education/
The Board of KIC is the member companies, and you can see who they are from their logos below. They are very proud of what their organisation, the KIC, is achieving for the community’s students.
Members know that by investing in education through the KIC programs, they ensure the region’s students can aspire to join industry’s future workforce, and can start their careers with knowledge about what they want to do, with a mechanism to get them started.