You can't be what you can't see
Helping Australian students discover their future career
Every Australian should have the opportunity to reach their potential.
We’re investing A$2.8 million in a three-year partnership with Australian-owned “EdTech” business, The Careers Department, to extend their digital careers programme to more students throughout Australia.
The Careers Department provides a digital careers programme for students, parents and schools right across Australia, giving students – no matter where they live – access to quality careers advice and training.
One million +
The Careers Department’s online programme provides a range of tools to help students make informed careers choices – from profiling to help students match their values and preferences with career options, to virtual tours that give a behind-the-scenes look at different jobs. The programme also helps students access training and development and virtual or in-person work experience opportunities too.
When you consider there’s more than 6,500 educational courses on offer in Australia, it’s not surprising many young people may find it challenging to choose the career that’s right for them. The Careers Department’s goal is to help all Australians reach their career potential by introducing students to a wide range of opportunities in an engaging way. As it is all delivered online at school, students can access it no matter their personal circumstances.
“No student should be limited by their geographics or demographics when it comes to career opportunities,” says Kellie Parker, Rio Tinto Chief Executive Australia.
“We want all young people to have access to the best possible education, training and employment pathways. This partnership is aimed at levelling the playing field.”
Preparing for the future of work
The Careers Department partnership is part of our four-year A$10 million investment in education to help school-aged learners prepare for the future of work. In 2020, we partnered with BlueChilli to establish the Future Minds EdTech start-up accelerator. In 2021, Rio Tinto’s Future Pathways programme began supporting a range of initiatives to enhance career education, guided by an expert education Advisory Council chaired by David Gonski.
Career choices can be influenced by school resources, a limited pool of influence, geographic factors and unconscious bias, which together can leave students with a limited understanding of jobs and industries.
Research shows that career biases can begin as young as eight years old. In fact, The Careers Department’s own data shows that only 11% of female students are interested in pursuing further study or a career in technology, mining, property or construction; compared to 31% of males. We need to change that.
Their programme is designed to inspire girls to consider a career in STEM or entrepreneurship in that narrow window before unconscious bias may influence their career choices.
Programmes like this are essential for industries like ours too. In our own business, we are not where we want to be on gender diversity, so we have established clear targets to improve the number of women in our organisation, at all levels and across all disciplines. Programmes such as The Careers Department can only help support greater representation of women in our industry.
The project will also include the roll out of a three-year digital skills training programme for Indigenous students in years 7-10, and an annual face-to-face workshop tour for schools.
We hope that by supporting programmes such as these, we can help contribute to a more diverse mining industry in the future.