ArtsReady takes pathways to and from school

ArtsReady has pathways for students still in school and for those who would like to come back to work in them.
ArtsReady takes pathways to and from school

ArtsReady has pathways for students still in school and for those who would like to work in them.

If you’re still in school and want to take first steps towards a career in the creative industries, ArtsReady can help with that. If you work in a school that would like to take on a trainee to work in the creative arts departments, ArtsReady can help with that too.

In 2013, SportsReady had 118 trainees either studying or working in schools around Australia. ArtsReady is an extension of those same programs within the context of the creative arts. School-based trainees (SBTs) combine vocational studies in school with a day a week at work outside of school while also studying a Certificate II in Business. Recent school leavers would work full-time in the school assisting staff and supporting programs while studying for a Certificate III. Both kinds of trainees are paid a National Training Wage that is determined by age and skill level.

The first school to take an ArtsReady trainee was Phoenix P-12 Community College in Ballarat. Already familiar with traineeships in Sport and Recreation through the sports department and in Business through the college office, the school decided to extend the opportunities it could provide Year 12 students who completed their studies in 2013 by offering a traineeship to support the arts programs.

At Marist Regional College in Burnie the school wanted to develop the talents of a student who shone in sound and lighting. They created a position to give him technical training on the job while he studies for a Certificate III in Business to give him a portable qualification and a grounding in finance, marketing and appropriate workplace behaviours.

Once a school has identified a need, an ArtsReady field consultant will help to write a position description. These will differ for every school and will develop as the trainee progresses in confidence over the year. Some schools like to take students from the Year 12 in the preceding year because they know and value them, and others prefer to advertise outside of the school to keep a professional distance between the trainee, who is now on staff, and students who were peers only months before. As partner employers, schools direct what they want and who they want.

Although ArtsReady is new to schools in 2014, some SportsReady trainees were all but ArtsReady in name. When Emily Kay graduated in 2012 at Kyabram P-12 College she knew she wanted to be a drama teacher, but was unsure at the time if a full-time teaching degree was the right choice for her. 

Like Phoenix P-12 Community College, Kyabram offered traineeships in sport and recreation, business and the performing arts. ‘So often people will study for four years only to realise they want to do something else at the end of their degree,’ said Kay. 

‘A performing arts traineeship position ticked all the boxes for me, considering I wanted to be a primary teacher but hadn’t seen behind the scenes of a school yet. This traineeship allowed me to help other students enjoy performing arts and to develop their skills on stage or in class, just as I was encouraged and assisted along the way.’

Ballarat. Burnie. Kyabram. These are regional towns. Sometimes a traineeship can ease the transition from town to city or school to career. ‘The thought of leaving this community as soon as I had finished school and jumping into the big and ever-changing city life scared me,’ said Kay. ‘This was so important to me in consolidating my choice to be a teacher. The year has been an 11-month placement that no university could offer. I wouldn’t have done it any other way.’

Kay’s experience is not uncommon. Some school trainees do go on to become teachers, even if not all of them had that in mind when they started. Others stay true to their original career goals. Either way, the transitional year gives them the time to look and see and decide where they want to go next. And they have a nationally recognised certificate to take with them wherever that might be.

For more information about ArtsReady traineeships in schools, visit the ArtsReady website.

Troy Nankervis

Tuesday 18 February, 2014

About the author

Troy Nankervis is an ArtsHub journalist from Melbourne. Follow him on twitter @troynankervis