For the first time in its history the City of Gold Coast has launched a program which aims to attract more university graduates to help shape the city’s future. There are 25 positions available across a wide variety of streams, including engineering; digital and data; business and management; environment; sustainability; and planning.
The City’s Graduate Academy is a 12-month structured early career development initiative providing professional development training and on-the-job experience opportunities for enthusiastic university graduates.
With over 20 years’ experience in construction, Amanda Bulow is a pioneer in that industry and is now helping other women to follow in her footsteps through her not-for-profit organisation Awesome Women in Construction.
“I grew up on 80 acres of farmland near Ipswich where there were no ‘boy or girl jobs' – just jobs, and you had to do them. It was my first experience of equality, without knowing what that was at the time,” Amanda says.
“I was lucky to have many great female role models as leaders when I was growing up. I was taught that I could do whatever I wanted and be whoever I wanted to be, and if that door’s not open, we can kick it open.”
Study Gold Coast’s Careers Alliance Network connects professional career influencers with industry to leverage and optimise career pathways for students. The program widens the scope of employment options for students and graduates through the creation of professional networking and partnership development opportunities.
The most recent Careers Alliance event focused on the Gold Coast’s advanced manufacturing sector and was held at the Australian Industry Trade College, an industry established institution that helps young people to pursue their chosen careers through apprenticeships and traineeships.
Representatives from three Gold Coast based advanced manufacturers were guest speakers at the event, all shedding light on their businesses and the career opportunities in their industries.
If Pico Play’s newest interns learn only one thing during their three-month, paid work placement, it is that work can be fun. But the 14 second-year Malaysian university students who started their internships with the Gold Coast company are learning so much more.
They are gaining a richer understanding of how their skills and knowledge can be put into practice after graduation and with their boosted confidence they’re experiencing what teamwork feels like. Some may even be rethinking where their degree can take them.
The one goal that every student wants to achieve is a career once they’ve attained their qualification, which is why educational institutions are increasingly investing in experienced professionals to support and guide students with the essential knowledge to find the right career education and employment pathways.
And while the job titles of these professionals may vary from guidance officers to department heads and industry liaison officers, all have the same objective - helping students to make informed choices in reaching their goals.
In recognising the vital role these professionals play in the education sector Study Gold Coast created the Careers Alliance Network, providing opportunities to discuss career and employment related topics, share best practice knowledge and facilitate networking connections with likeminded professionals.
Vivianne Wang’s life has changed dramatically since she left her native China a few years ago. Originally from Beijing, Vivianne worked as a business project manager for a state-owned corporation before relocating to the Gold Coast.
“I was leading a highly stressful life in China. I feel a greater sense of freedom here. There is a fairness of living, studying and working here that I could never have in China. Here I have more time to do everything – contemplate ideas, live a better life and realise my potential.”
Vivi was initially drawn to Australia because of its favourable climate and friendly people, a place she feels provides a great environment for international students.
“It was my education agent that sold me on the Gold Coast and I’ve never regretted it. As a mature aged international student I know how incredible the Gold Coast is and I cherish every opportunity I’ve had here. I get up every morning and swim in the sea, I also do yoga. It’s the perfect lifestyle for me. Coming here is the best decision I’ve ever made,” Vivianne says.
Just over a decade ago two brothers had a dream. James and Adam Gilmour wanted to establish a company that could build rockets on the Gold Coast. At the time there was very little to speak of in terms of a space industry in Australia and many doubted that the dream would ever become a reality.
In 2022 the dream is not only a reality, but a thriving enterprise that’s about to launch its first satellite via their hybrid powered propulsion technology. The stellar growth of Gilmour Space Technologies mirrors the space industry domestically, which has literally skyrocketed since the establishment of the Australian Space Agency in 2018.
Through the success of Gilmour Space Technologies a new frontier of career opportunities has opened up on the Gold Coast.
Study Gold Coast recently launched the third incarnation of its graduate accelerator program Kickstart. This year 28 team members from 15 different employers are taking part in the eight month personal development program. Participants will engage in half-day workshops every three weeks, focusing on building skills that will not only benefit themselves but also their employers.
At the launch employers and graduates who had previously participated in the program shared their experiences of how it had transformed their workplaces while providing essential professional skills for graduates.
Tertiary education provides students with many things – career specific knowledge, technical skills, problem solving capabilities and personal growth among them, but one area not often addressed is the soft skills that make us better professionals in our chosen field. That’s why Study Gold Coast developed Kickstart – a program specifically designed to provide graduates with practical workplace skills to build their effectiveness within their organisation.
Throughout the Kickstart Program participants receive varied training through experiential learning; practical and interactive workshops; as well as coaching from executive and career co-facilitators with mentoring through the completion of a significant project.
This year was the second time Kickstart had been run, with 20 participants representing 15 employers taking part in the program. Participants delivered their final presentations to an enthusiastic audience this week, with their employers proudly looking on. Employees and their employers were universally effusive in their praise for the program, with all parties recognising the mutual benefits from the experience.