‘Education to employment: Are we doing enough?’ Forum poses this important question

It’s well known a number of Australian states are struggling with high youth unemployment rates. At the moment South Australia holds the position of being at the top of this table. A forum held in Adelaide on 28th August 2017, posed the question: ‘Education to Employment: Are we doing enough?’

Hosted by CEDA (Committee for Economic Development of Australia) and organised with the help of Beacon, this event brought together around 180 people  – from sectors such as  business, education, government, community and youth service providers.

For Beacon it was a great opportunity to spread the word about what the organisation does, and in particular put the call out for more industry representatives to be part of Beacon’s work.

In a panel discussion, Beacon CEO Scott Harris told the audience that we all have a role to play in educating young people, and industry plays a important part in this, saying,

“Simply being in a classroom and discussing with young people the job opportunities can be so valuable. Often young people don’t know the kinds of jobs that exist – that’s why it’s critical schools and industry are aligned.”

Foundation for Young Australians CEO, Jan Owen, also spoke at the event. She revealed that her organisation’s research found the things that employers are now looking for in employees are: digital literacy, bilingual skills, critical thinking and creativity. Ms Owen says that we must stay focused on education, and not just getting young people to ‘ace the test’, instead,

“teaching students that we are learners forever – that is a new mindset. If we do that for our young people, we will give them a bright and successful future.”

Representing business on the panel was Scott Morath from national engineering firm Jacobs – who’ve been working with Beacon for around 20 years, including hosting Beacon staff in their offices around the country. He agreed with others that the whole community needs to work together on guiding young people from education to employment.

Scott told the forum that Jacobs employees enjoy working with Beacon to encourage students to look at STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) careers. He added that many young people who visit Jacobs offices around Australia on Site Tours and other Beacon activities may not otherwise get direct exposure to careers of this or any kind.

Gregg Harris, from NAB, also on the panel, posed a question to the audience.

“Who are you mentoring in that age group (15-19) and what can you share?”

He said that any interaction that a young person has with a business gives them a greater understanding of what’s possible.

Student Fatima, from Thebarton Senior College, who was interviewed by the ABC at the forum, said what young people needed most when looking for a job was confidence.

For Beacon’s CEO, it’s this and other ’employability skills’ that are crucial for young people to be gaining while they are still at school.

After the forum, a number of people expressed an interest in working withe Beacon – meaning new conversations will be started, with young people’s future at their heart.



SA Government building stronger work education focus


The South Australian Government has invested $220,000 into a collaborative project that is delivering exposure to different employment pathways and important work readiness skills to high school students in the northern and western suburbs of Adelaide. Education Minister, Hon. Susan Close MP will visit a Beacon work readiness program in action on Monday 29th May, 2017 to see first-hand what the funding is delivering.

The grant has been provided to the Beacon Foundation, a national not-for-profit organization that links partner schools with industry to improve the education and employment outcomes of Year 10-12 students in northern and western Adelaide, and help them create a positive future within their community.

Beacon brings teachers and business people together to share knowledge and develop work-based curriculum content, and to provide work readiness and employability skills, industry experiences and work placements to young people who often need to be inspired to pursue positive pathways.

Over four days from 29th May around 120 Year 11 students from Playford International College are participating in a Beacon Foundation Work Readiness Program. The highly interactive Perform program focusses on practical skills and knowledge that young people need in the workplace.

Beacon Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer David O’Byrne, who will join the Education Minister at the event says, “we know that the youth full-time unemployment rate is currently sitting at around 18% in the northern and western suburbs of Adelaide. Beacon programs are trying to help tackle this, and investment from the South Australian Government plays a vital role in extending our reach.

“In 2016 we worked with around 120 schools nationwide and connected them with businesses and communities to collaborate and create ‘real world’ application of the school curriculum and better prepare students for the world of work.  Beacon currently works with 10 schools in South Australia.”

Minister Close says, “Research shows engaging young people about their future prospects improves school retention rates and teaches practical life skills that prepares them for the workplace and gives them confidence to pursue their careers.

“Opportunities to explore different pathways and work experiences are invaluable and the State Government is keen to improve the quality of work education in schools. Collaborations with organisations like the Beacon Foundation and industry are vital to this.

“I look forward to attending the first day of four Beacon work readiness programs for Playford International College students and witnessing first-hand this project’s impact on the young people of Playford.  We are keen to see if adopting this kind of model will improve education and employment outcomes for young South Australians, while they are still at school”, said Minister Close.

For Mandy Rossetto, Beacon’s SA Manager, the partnership with the SA Education Department is a great alignment.

“Beacon’s work strongly complements the education department’s goals to improve student engagement in learning, their successful transition from school to employment or further study, and to increase partnerships with business and community that result in enhanced 21st century skills and work readiness.

“The government grant has allowed Beacon to expand its model into more secondary schools in the western suburbs of Adelaide.  The project aims to inspire more secondary students to think about their career options through their curriculum content while in a supportive school environment, and will provide them with opportunities to participate in diverse workplace experiences and work readiness training.

“The Perform program not only fits neatly into the SACE Workplace Practices curriculum but it relies heavily on the involvement of industry mentors who willingly volunteer their time to support these young people.  Students learn so much from this face to face contact with real industry people, hearing about their career journeys, and picking up valuable tips and advice that will help them land that first-time job”, said Ms Rossetto.

Beacon has a track record of helping to inspire and motivate students to either stay in school and increase their educational engagement and attainment or choose a positive pathway that enables successful transition to employment, further education or training.


Enquiries can be directed to:

Ms Mandy Rossetto, Beacon Foundation SA Manager


Ph: 0421 050 719

OR to Penny Younger, PR & Communications Coordinator


0438 807 161

First schools announced in ‘Collective Ed’ pilot project

The first three Tasmanian Secondary schools to take part in a unique and potentially transformative education project have been announced.

Jordan River Learning Federation, Rokeby High School and Ulverstone High School will be part of the first phase of the Collective Ed project, which has the aim of drastically improving Year 12 completion rates. These three schools will extend to Years 11 and 12 in 2017.

Collective Ed will value add to the Tasmanian State Government’s My Education Framework introduced in 2016. In addition to the three schools announced today, to take part in 2017, an additional three schools will be able to come on board in 2018.

Schools will work with local and global industry representatives to co-design and co-deliver lessons, creating engaging learning that aligns to relevant industry practice. Year 7-12 students will then have access to learning that is brought to life through real world application and opportunities to explore future work possibilities. Staff will be provided to each school to undertake this work. Each staff member will work with one of three core stakeholder groups involved, namely teachers, industry representatives and students and their families.

Each of this round’s successful schools tendered an Expression of Interest document, which was then assessed for eligibility in 2017.

The pilot project is funded by the Paul Ramsay Foundation and the Tasmanian State Government. The Paul Ramsay Foundation, the biggest philanthropic organisation in Australia, is providing $10 million over five years, and the Tasmanian State Government is providing $5 million.

Beacon Foundation’s Project Director for Collective Ed says,

 “Beacon has been at the centre of collaborative education in Australia for almost 30 years. We already link schools to industry in every state and territory around Australia, to provide opportunities for young people while they are still at school which help prevent disengagement and unemployment.

“This new project will have the advantage of doing this work in a more concentrated way, and we are confident it will achieve success”.

Simon Freeman is CEO of The Paul Ramsay Foundation, and says this about the announcement:

 “Congratulations to the three school communities for putting their hands up to be part of this bold initiative.  It is a pleasure to work with The Beacon Foundation and The Tasmanian Government to ensure that the collaborative education project is being built on strong foundations.

“We are taking Beacon’s wealth of experience, alongside the strong evidence for collaborative approaches and working with the individual schools to tailor a range of strategies to meet the needs of pupils.  What we learn from our endeavours will be of benefit, not just for the schools involved, but for the whole Tasmanian education system and beyond.”

One of the schools selected for 2107 is Jordan River Learning Federation. Its Principal Sandy Menadue says,

 “The project has the great capacity to demonstrate how relevant and meaningful education can provide hope and opportunity for our students.

“We are particularly interested in the strategic merit of developing strong industry and community partnerships in order to develop innovative educational and training packages that inspire learners, challenge traditional paradigms and create employment upon transition.”

Underlying the project is the fact young people without a Year 12 qualification are being locked out of the labour market.

Research has also shown that young Tasmania’s attitudes to, and choices about education are fundamentally tied to their community and family.

The Collective Ed. pilot project will be evaluated and reviewed within each school as it progresses.


For Further Information


Beacon Foundation

Email: beacon@beaconfoundation.net

Beacon Students

End Of Financial Year Appeal


We know that not completing Year 12 and not achieving well in school are predictors of later outcomes and that young people who are not fully engaged in education or employment (or a combination of both) are at greater risk of unemployment and employment insecurity in the longer term. Shockingly in Australia today 40% of young Australians in disadvantaged areas are not completing high school and nearly 30% of young Australians are unemployed or underemployed.

Beacon has the solution, but we need your help.

Beacon Foundation has a practical approach to address this situation, working with over 100 school communities across Australia.  It’s a supported community-led approach to collaborative education involving business, parents and schools supporting the education of our young people, helping them to be either earning or learning at this vulnerable transition point in their lives.

In this end of Financial Year Appeal we are asking for YOUR help to develop our new eBeacon initiative that will allow us to expand our reach to THOUSANDS MORE young Australian across the country, blending our on-the-ground work with a revolutionary digital platform.


Beacon has DGR charity status so all tax deductions over $2 are tax deductable.

Together we can achieve real results to help change the future for a generation of young Australians across the country.

Thank you for your support.

Scott Harris
Beacon Foundation

$15 million to revitalise education in Tasmania

Image Caption: (L-R) Paul Ramsay Foundation CEO Simon Freemam, Beacon Chairman Greg Woolley and Beacon CEO Scott Harris at today’s announcement.


Media Release

Wednesday 1 June 2016

$15 million to revitalise education in Tasmania

The Beacon Foundation, Paul Ramsay Foundation and Tasmanian Government today announced a partnership that will pilot a change to the way young Tasmanians are educated.

In one of the largest private investments in public education in Australia, the five-year project is funded by a $10 million commitment from Paul Ramsay Foundation, Australia’s largest philanthropic group, along with a $5 million co-contribution from the Tasmanian Government.

Building on the long term success of Beacon’s national education model, the initiative will directly increase resourcing for Tasmanian schools with a higher level of disadvantaged students. The project will focus on collaborative education, where businesses, parents and educators work together to provide relevant and engaging education.

Beacon CEO Scott Harris believes this announcement is a fantastic opportunity to address the issue of poor educational attainment in Tasmania. “We need a system that connects young people to the world outside the classroom, with more opportunities for students to develop ideas about themselves and what they want to do,” Mr Harris said. “With an approach that complements the existing My Education program, that’s built on a strong evidence base, trained and supported staff and substantial funding, we believe we can help at least 90% of students at the schools involved in the project successfully complete year 12.”

“We are delighted to be part of this partnership with Beacon and the Tasmanian Government,” said Paul Ramsay Foundation CEO Simon Freeman. “Paul Ramsay was a huge believer that a good education can empower and equip young people for success, which is why it forms one of the key areas of focus for the Foundation today. As an organisation we have been looking to invest in proven models that help drive systemic change across education and inspires young people to fulfil their potential and we see Beacon as an ideal model for this.”

Beacon Chairman Greg Woolley said, “Beacon is honoured to have received the support of the Paul Ramsay Foundation and Tasmanian Government to pilot this collaborative education model. Mr Ramsay was a remarkable Australian and I have no doubt that he would see this project as being particularly beneficial to young Tasmanians. We also appreciate the significant commitment of the Tasmanian Government, particularly of Premier Hodgman, Deputy Premier Rockliff and Minister Groom, in seeking to enhance the learning opportunities available to Tasmanian students.”

For Further Media Information and Interviews

Beacon Foundation
e: beacon@beaconfoundation.net

‘Beacon & Egg McMuffin’ Day 2016

McDonald’s and Beacon: Joining forces to raise awareness and funds for Beacon programs that work to up-skill and motivate young Tasmanians onto better futures.

We are delighted to announce that McDonald’s are once again partnering with Beacon to host our annual ‘Beacon & Egg Breakfast’ in Tasmanian restaurants on Wednesday 23rd March, 2016.

Please help to support and generate awareness of this exciting initiative by pre-ordering and spreading the word through your networks and on social media.

To pre-order simply email or hand in your order form to your local McDonald’s restaurant by Monday 21st March.

Pre Order Now      Thank you and we look forward to your involvement.


Look out for more information in Macca’s restaurants around Tasmania.

Tasmania North  Burnie, Devonport, Devonport Homemaker Centre, Invermay,  Kings Meadows, South Launceston, Ulverstone

Tasmania South Bridgewater, Hobart, Kingston, Moonah, New Norfolk, North Hobart, Northgate, Rosny Park, Sandy Bay, Sorell

Federal Group and Beacon Join Forces for future TAS Hospitality Jobs

Media Release

Tuesday 23rd February

Federal Group and Beacon Foundation join forces for Tasmania’s future Hospitality Industry workforce

The Federal Group and Beacon Foundation are pleased to announce the establishment of a new partnership to assist young Tasmanian’s into careers in the state’s flourishing Tourism and Hospitality sector.

The partnership will provide secondary school students with access to a range of career exploration and work readiness activities at Federal Group locations around Tasmania and is aimed at promoting awareness of the diverse range of career opportunities that the sector has to offer both now and into the future.

The announcement comes after the successful completion of a Hospitality Industry pilot program with Country Club Tasmania that provided Launceston students the opportunity to participate in a work shadowing experience at 2015’s Mad Hatter’s Ball and has resulted in students undertaking employment with the company.
Federal Group Corporate Affairs Director Daniel Hanna said the company was looking forward to working with the Beacon Foundation.

“Federal Group is proud to be able to assist the Beacon Foundation to deliver on its fantastic projects, which have been shown time and again to have a positive impact on the lives of many young Tasmanians,” Mr Hanna said.

“The Beacon Foundation is one of many organisations Federal Group supports in delivering programs and outcomes for our communities, and it gives us great pleasure to play a small role in their valuable work.”

“Federal Group, as industry leaders, continue to promote careers in the tourism and hospitality sector and we are looking forward to showing students the great opportunities that can exist in the industry – both within the Federal Group and beyond.”

Beacon Foundation Chief Executive Scott Harris said it is a great opportunity to assist more young Tasmanian’s.

“The Beacon Foundation is committed to helping young Tasmanians transition successfully from education into employment – we are delighted to be partnering with the Federal Group who are leaders in an industry that is fundamental to Tasmania’s future.”

“These are exciting times for Tourism and Hospitality in Tasmania, and these partnerships will ensure the next generation of young Tasmanians fully understand the great opportunities that the sector can offer them,” Mr Harris said.

Country Club Tasmania General Manager Jackie Hutchinson said the new partnership would build on the success of a recent collaboration with the Beacon Foundation.

Country Club worked with Beacon last year to provide a number of young people with workplace learning opportunities, which resulted in a number being offered roles in the company.

“The opportunity to provide real-world experiences and on the job training for the young people that Beacon supports is so important, and we are fortunate to have caring and skilled staff to provide them with the guidance and training they need.”

17-year-old student Kyle Cox-McKinnon, who was a participant in work shadowing event last year, is now undertaking Commercial Cookery VET Course at Newstead College and is intending to seek a Chef Apprenticeship once completed.

“Working at the Mad Hatter’s Ball gave me a great taste of being a chef – I loved it and now have decided this is the career that I would like to pursue”

– End-

For Further Media Information:
Nick Probert
State Manager – Tasmania, Beacon Foundation
m: 0459 027 877
e: nick.probert@beaconfoundation.net



Beacon and Egg Breakfast – A tasty way to show you care!

We are delighted to announce that McDonald’s are once again partnering with Beacon to host our annual ‘Beacon & Egg Breakfast’ in Tasmanian restaurants on Wednesday, September 9th (6-10:30am), joining forces to raise awareness and funds for Beacon’s work in supporting Tasmania’s young people. Pre Orders Now Closed


‘Beacon & Egg McMuffin’ anyone?

$1 from the sale of every ‘Beacon & Egg McMuffin’ will be donated back to Beacon to support young Tasmanians!



We are eager to get our message out to as many people as possible; all money raised will go towards supporting Tasmanian Beacon schools and programs!

Please help to support and generate awareness of this exciting initiative by pre ordering (now closed) and spreading the word through your networks and on social media.  How about getting your whole office together for breakfast to share in the celebration?

Pre Orders Now Closed

A tasty way to show you care!


Look out for more information in Macca’s restaurants around Tasmania.

Tasmania North  Burnie, Devonport, Devonport Homemaker Centre, Invermay,  Kings Meadows, South Launceston, Ulverstone

Tasmania South Bridgewater, Hobart, Kingston, Moonah, New Norfolk, North Hobart, Northgate, Rosny Park, Sandy Bay, Sorell

Young Tasmanians prepare for work at Parliament house

This week Beacon conducted three High Impact Programs (HIPs) for young Tasmanian Secondary students at Parliament House, with support from partner My State.  Across three days 80 students from Claremont College, Cosgrove High School and the Jordan River Learning Federation were given the work readiness skills to help improve their employment opportunities, with students from Jordan River fortunate to have the opportunity to personally introduce themselves to the Premier and Treasure and to hear insights into their first jobs and the greatest piece of advice given across their careers to date.

For over 10 years Beacon’s HIP programs have been empowering young people with critical life skills, helping them to understand and develop the employability and social skills employers are looking for. The course content includes teaching skills to allow young people to converse with business people, appropriate dress codes in the business place and preparation for interviews.

Beacon have a unique approach to build a work ready, engaged and productive future workforce for Australia, by helping to combine the forces of schools, corporate Australia, business, community and family to provide powerful outcomes that each individual group cannot achieve alone.

Anthony Stewart (National Manager Social Enterprise at Beacon) said, “Beacon understands that the transition from secondary school to further education, employment or training is one of the most important in setting students up for success in life. We need to mobilise support for our youth while they are still at school.”

“Our HIP programs help make young people work ready, they give students the chance to directly engage with industry increasing their employment opportunities”, said Mr Stewart. “With our partners, such as My State, we are putting into place programs in Tasmania and across the country that actively make a difference.”

In 2015 Beacon’s HIP Work Readiness programs have been extended to include all secondary school years and also now includes co-facilitation opportunities for Industry partners.

More information about Beacon’s High Impact Programs can be found on our HIP pages.

SA: Helping disadvantaged teens prepare for work

7 News SA : Hundreds of South Australian students are gaining vital skills through a get into work program, with some even landing their first jobs. Gertie Taylor

A great example of the work being done across the country by Beacon to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds gain valuable work experience that leads to real jobs.

Watch 7News Story