Who says you need to wait until you finish school to start your dream career? That was the mindset of Bundaberg teenager Lilly Hawkins, who has successfully landed a role in the health industry after completing a TAFE at School program while in her senior years of high school at Shalom College.
“At the end of Year 10, I was given the opportunity to enrol at TAFE Queensland and begin a Certificate II in Health Support Services (HLT23215) while completing grade 11 in 2019,” Lilly said.
“As a part of the certificate we had to complete 20 hours of placement and mine was at the Bundaberg Private Day Hospital and Grace Family Practice.”
Undertaking TAFE at School allows students to gain a taste of potential careers available to them after school and whether they can see themselves following that path.
“I learned a range of skills both in the classroom and in the community," Lilly said.
"I was able to build an understanding of health roles and services in the community and how impact and change can be made by ensuring people have access to quality health services."
The program also enables high school students to gain recognised qualifications that they can use to secure employment once they graduate, with Lilly's path following that very trajectory.
“Once I completed my certificate, I was asked by the Bundaberg Private Day Hospital to work as a casual assistant in nursing while still at school. In this role I have learnt about bedside manner, patient care and how to assist patients post-surgery," Lilly said.
“This work experience and placement created many opportunities for me to explore the careers available in the health industry.”
Life after school is an exciting prospect for all high school students, but it can also be overwhelming when trying to decide which path to take.
“This one decision to enrol in the certificate while studying here at school has enabled me to complete Year 12 worry-free, as I have been offered a full-time job to start in 2021,” Lilly said.
"The more I explore and witness the various roles available to me, the more excited I am to enter this industry."
Shalom College’s Pathway Coordinator, Liza O’Donnell said it was great to see Lilly reaping the rewards of her hard work.
“The staff at the Bundaberg Day Hospital were impressed with her so much they offered her employment and further training opportunities,” Liza said.
“Lilly has also recently become an ambassador for the Gateway to Industry Schools Program, promoting pathways into the community services sector."
"Shalom is very proud of Lilly’s achievements and we wish her the very best for the future.”