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The Neil Porter Legacy was formed in 2018 after the sudden passing of Neil Porter on June 17 2018. Throughout his teaching career Neil had a passion for helping students enter careers that matched their interests. He realised the many positive outcomes that eventuate when industry and educators work together and this partnership was a constant feature of his teaching career, much to the benefit of everyone.

The Neil Porter Legacy is making career education a priority with a locally focussed and action-based approach in the south-west of Victoria. We are a not-for-profit that’s committed to exposing students to a variety of careers throughout their schooling. We don’t push for students to enter any particular industry or area of study, we show students their many options through organising guest speakers, tours of workplaces, excursions, incursions, hands-on learning and the sharing of resources so students can make informed career-based decisions.

The NPL hold no pre-conceived ideas or bias towards tertiary study, other forms of further education or entering the workforce. Likewise, we believe all careers are valuable and hold no favour toward any industry. And when we speak of industry, we are referring to all areas of the workforce, not only trades. The NPL work with all areas of the community to ensure the best outcomes for young people in our region. 

The Youth Conversations report prepared by Deakin University for Beyond the Bell Great South Coast interviewed over 700 teenagers from south-west Victoria to garner their thoughts on education, training, employment and community. Young people pursuing a vocational pathway reported feeling unsupported by their schools and communities and that their study choices were viewed as inferior. They also reported feeling judged for not studying VCE. Students indicated their likelihood of staying at school would increase if the schools provided a range of programs more relevant to their pathway interests and employment options beyond school. 

The Youth Conversations Report indicated students frequently reported a want for more hands-on teaching approaches to give their learning increased meaning and enjoyment. Better career advice was another recommendation from respondents, as was for the community to recognise all pathways interests. And that these pathway interests should be celebrated as successful educational outcomes, in particular celebrating the equal success of vocational pathways rather than over-emphasising the VCE. Many young people still expressed a strong desire to complete a successful VCE and to pursue a higher education at university.

It’s findings such as these that the NPL are working to address. Our young people need to know there are careers available to them that match their interests and they should be exposed to these throughout their schooling to allow them to make informed career-based decisions. Industry involvement throughout a student’s secondary school years has many benefits. As well as allowing students to see different careers, it allows them to learn from experts in their fields that match the curriculum they are required to learn at school.

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