Start-up helps youth take control of their future

by Brett Henebery05 Oct 2016


In June, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) released a report, titled: Australia’s Future Workforce which revealed that nearly 40% of Australian jobs will be automated in 10-15 years.

The report, as well as subsequent studies, showed that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education was lacking across Australian schools – particularly in terms of female engagement.

Initiatives such as P-TECHFull STEAM AheadTournament of the Minds (TOM), Code.org and the Lumifold program, are being rolled out across Australia to provide students and teachers with the theoretical and practical skills needed to close this gap.

Since then, numerous organisations have established partnerships with schools in an attempt to deliver critical industry knowledge and training to students so they are better prepared for the workforce they will enter when they leave school.

One such organisation aiming to bridge this skills gap is Peer Camp – an educational support resource that aims to provide students with the means of better understanding the work and study climate in Australia.

The company – launched this year by co-founders Silva Wei and Stephen Zuluaga – provides students with a range of different services that cater to different needs, ranging from coaching and mentoring to online e-books, power coffee workshops and online training modules.

Wei and Zuluaga are now networking with various industry figures who can act as mentors for students who are interested in any given field of work that they wish to pursue after leaving school.

“We were teaching in University and TAFE classrooms and in many cases thinking to ourselves: ‘these students will probably not need this stuff I have to teach them, and there is so much more valuable content I wish I could teach’,” Silva told The Educator.

Silva added that Peer Camp is not only a service provider, but aims to be a supportive community that can “enable and enrich relationships between local and international students”.

“We aim to provide localised career and industry skill set training and advice, while also helping international students assimilate into the Australian culture and lifestyle,” he said.

“Our service style is practical, we look at skill gaps we have seen in our previous experience as teachers, and find hands on methods to help students improve in these areas.”

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