The following article is featured on the Geelong Region Local Learning and Employment Network website.  
Congratulations to the VCAL team and students who were part of this initiative. 

Year 12 in Geelong under COVID 19


What do Geelong students think about their future? 

If you thought Geelong students were feeling sorry for themselves, you might be surprised.
A group of Geelong business leaders recently found quite the opposite. Responding to a call from the GRLLEN to support young people with Virtual Employment Interview Training (VEIT) online, the interviewers found an inspired and inspiring group ready and willing to take on the challenges the future might throw at them.

Shannon Goodall, HR Coordinator, Harwood Andrews, was impressed with the aspirations of the students she interviewed. “All knew what they wanted to do in their working life and had determined a path, including an alternate route, to get there.”  
When asked about their remote learning experience and the uniquely year 12 events they have had to give up, the students were largely philosophical. “Everyone has had to make sacrifices this year,” said Charlotte from Christian College, “You just have to get on with it.” Charlotte is aiming for a career in Community Services and was heartened to hear that her industry of choice is one of the top performing in the region. 
Interviewer Shannon Goodall was also inspired. “Given the Covid environment, the job search and ability to work during this period has affected most people. Despite that, all students had kept their goals in sight.” The experience gave Shannon a much valued opportunity to engage with and help shape Geelong’s future workforce. “I was impressed with the high quality of the students I interviewed. All coped and performed very well in an online interview. Even as the interviewer, I find it more challenging as the cues you pick up when face to face aren’t there”.
With online interviews the new normal, the students reported they valued the VEIT real life learning experience.They gave VEIT a 100% approval rating, many students suggesting it would be a worthwhile ongoing offering for next year’s Year 12s. 
 
Chloe from Clonard College said the interview helped her gain confidence.  “It was great to get feedback on what interview questions I did well on and what I could improve on.”
Classmate, Mackenzie agreed.  “I loved the program as it helped me gain some confidence. I was guided in what I said well and what I needed to add or elaborate on.”
Alicia Year 12, Clonard College, appreciated the real life learning opportunity.” The benefits of the mock interviews were that we got to practice doing an interview on zoom. I think it was a really good experience and it helped me a lot to practice my skills for an interview.”
In a year when teachers have been forced to put their face-to-face lessons online, the VEIT program has been a breath of fresh air.

No one appreciated the support more than Clonard College VCAL lead teacher, Sarah Clark. Knowing her students are about to enter a competitive labour market, Sarah wanted to give her students every support . “This opportunity provided the chance to have an advantage of what to expect during an interview process.  Whilst many of our students had participated in face-to-face interviews for casual jobs, this experience catered for the 21st century school leaver by preparing them for an online interview, that for many of them may now be a common element of the job application process.“