800 Grade 8 students briefed on potential career choices

May 2, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Grade 8 students from around the region had a chance to learn about possible future careers during Career Pathways Dufferin, held this Tuesday at Compass Community Church. 

Around 800 students visited throughout the day, arriving by bus in several groups. 

With high school class selections now being considered by the elementary school students, they were encouraged to make thoughtful decisions based on their future career considerations. 

A pre-tour lecture featured several speakers who gave their own experiences on entering the workforce and how decisions made through high school could influence a student’s participation in either post secondary education or entering a trade or some other vocation.

Special emphasis was placed on volunteer hours.

Currently, a student is required to complete 40 volunteer hours to be eligible to graduate from an Ontario high school. 

In many cases, a student with a high number of volunteer hours credited will gain an edge in university and college admissions over a student with fewer hours.

The event was hosted by the Career Education Council (CEC), a charity organization based in Guelph that services Guelph, Wellington County and Dufferin.

“We help youth to discover different pathways that are available to them through careers and volunteering,” explained Nicole Buisman., CEC outreach and events coordinator. “It’s a grade 8 event. We have just over 800 grade 8 students that are involved. This morning we had around 400 of them come through. They go into our career zone where there are different careers and education represented.  They then come into our community café area where they can talk to representatives from community organizations. We also have a speaker panel. We have three speakers who are sharing their pathways with students.”

The event offered the students an opportunity to speak directly to representatives from business, organizations, and several university and colleges who were present. 

They learned what it takes to prepare for a career in a chosen field. In addition they learned about other opportunities available in a particular industry.

As an example, Theatre Orangeville presented a long list of professions associated with a career in theatre that many people might not even think of.

“We want to share insights and inspirations around careers,” Ms. Buisman said. “We want to let them know about the possibilities that are available to them – especially in a local economy. If you’re a grade 8 student and both your mom and dad are teachers, that might be the only career you know about. You might not know that you can get a career in the trades or many other possibilities that is a career you may not have been exposed to. We want them to make informed decisions. Having the chance to talk to employers and do some hands-on learning is a great way to spark some interest.”

While most grade 8 students haven’t realistically decided on a future career at that point in their life, the event will at least spark some ideas or plant the seed of future interest.

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