Collaborative, Real World Enterprise or Project
Why a project?
Projects provide opportunities to develop 21st century skills for career and life in an authentic and engaging way. Students learn how to take initiative and responsibility, build their confidence, solve problems, work in teams, communicate ideas and manage themselves more effectively. Learners become empowered to make a difference, by solving problems and addressing real issues.
When working on a project of interest the learning is active, engages the heart and mind and provides real world relevance. Learners develop a deeper understanding of the content of what they are learning and retain it for longer and are more readily able to apply their knowledge, skills and understandings in new situations. Digital technology and tools become resources to find and communicate as well as collaborate effectively and connect with experts, partners and audiences in the local community and around the world. Projects also provide opportunities to practice and use functional literacy and numeracy skills.
Projects are also a relevant and meaningful way for learners to engage with businesses, community groups and further education providers with opportunities for learners to seeking advice or provide a product or service to an organisation.
Projects may take many forms. They must be a social enterprise, an entrepreneurial initiative or a school industry cooperative project.
Social enterprises are set up to tackle a social or environmental issue. It is well documented that learners thrive when involved in a social enterprise, as they enrich their sense of social justice and they can immerse themselves in issues that are important to them.
Examples include but are not limited to:
- partnering with a food security NGO to provide meals / food to a group within the community (breakfast program in a local primary school / packaged meals for isolated elderly people / a barbecue for a local social enterprise event such as The Mothers Day Classic or Relay for Life
- partnering with an environmental group or government Natural Resource Management (NRM) to take action against climate change
- partnering with a Neighbourhood centre or local LINC centre to assist the elderly with using digital technology
- partnering with the RSPCA or dogs home and a local primary school to provide education about caring for pets
- taking action to support a local community organisation through education or promotion activities
- collaborating with a school in another location, state, or country to identify, plan and run an environmentally responsible enterprise. Examples include fundraising to supply milk or other needs to an orphanage in another country, or a sustainability project on a work related topic.
Entrepreneurial projects show learners how they can participate in society and shape the future. They involve producing something new, innovating, taking action to produce products, services or events that are valued in the community because they meet specific needs. Learners become independent thinkers who can take responsible actions.
Identifying opportunities and implementing a plan are critical skills required in todays’ society, both personally and in work. Learners move from being job seekers to job creators when participating in an entrepreneurial project.
Examples include but are not limited to:
- development of a new product
- organising an international aid project
- offering services within the local community
- establishment of a mock business.
School – industry cooperative projects
Schools form a partnership with businesses and other community organisations whereby business, industry or educational representatives advise or liaise with learners doing a practical work-related or community-based project. The project may involve an existing school–industry partnership, or schools may establish a new school–industry partnership.
Opportunities include but are not limited to:
- organising and hosting a careers event for parents and learners
- establishing a workplace induction program for a local business.
Note: The project does not necessarily have to be within the provider’s area of expertise. Learners can be given guidance in how to seek answers themselves. In the job market as well as many other situations learners are required to find answers on their own.