A RECORD number of Portland and Heywood students will take part in a program that will build their employability skills and open their eyes to local job opportunities.
On Wednesday evening the 2012 Future Leaders of Industry program was launched with 28 year 11 students from Portland and Heywood — five more than last year. The celebratory evening gave the inductees the chance to meet and share a meal with their mentors.
This year the program includes a strong focus on careers in health and community services, along with traditional trades.
The program, which started at Portland Aluminium in 2005 as an Alcoa Victorian Operations initiative, continues to expand. Over the past two years it has grown from nine to 16 local businesses and industries, and the number of scholarships offered has expanded from 16 to 28.
Three new organisations are partnering with the program this year, Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria and Portland YMCA.
Speakers on the night included Glenelg and Southern Grampians Local Learning and Employment Network executive manager Anne Murphy and partnership broker Pam Stringer; Portland Aluminium production manager Peter Chellis, and Portland Observer sports journalist Scott Malcolm, who completed the program in 2009.
Read more in Friday’s edition of the Portland Observer.