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Engaging the Un-Engageable: Career Coaching

The Southwest Department of Education

the brief:

The Manager of the Engagement and Transitions Team identified a need for additional support for Year 11 and 12 student who were either completely disengaged or on the verge of disengaging with mainstream education.


The aim of the Career Coach role was to more specifically support the work of the Engagement and Transitions Team to secure and maintain appropriate pathways for young people who have disengaged from school.


This was an opt-in option for schools who felt the additional support would assist their currently disengaged Year 11 and 12 students.


Schools supported included Dalyellup Community College, Australind Senior High School, Collie Senior High, and Eaton Community College.

The position was managed through the Southwest Department of Education Engagement and Transitions Team who provide case brokerage and support services to compulsory school-aged students at risk of disengaging from education, training, and employment.


  • Providing case brokerage and support services to Year 11 and 12 students at risk of disengaging and creating an effective transition into employment pathways

  • Making appropriate assessments of individual students’ needs, including developing high-quality plans to access relevant and meaningful employment for their skillset

  • Providing on the job support according to individual student needs in first week of new employment

  • Brokering placements with employers; facilitate entry into apprenticeships and traineeships

  • Developing and maintaining an effective network of employers relevant to young people in the locality of Greater Bunbury

  • Collecting data on participation strategies and monitoring and reporting on client outcomes. Data collection included the individual time taken to achieve outcomes.



The role was responsible for making appropriate assessment of individual students’ needs, including developing high-quality plans to access appropriate pathways to employment.

The role involved building relationships with employers within the community of Greater Bunbury, developing strong rapport with young people who are completely disengaged from mainstream education, providing them with practical and effective pre-employment support, appropriate job matching, as well as post placement and on the job support.

‘Jenny helped make it clear that I can’t just jump to my dream job. I have to start somewhere and earn my way there…she helped me get multiple work experience placements, she got me to do an aptitude test which showed my skills and abilities, then I got a Maths tutor to help me. She also recommended I ask for references. I asked and got two of them’
- (Student re-engaged at school)

‘My daughter didn’t know what to do. She was hardly ever going to school and couldn’t figure out what motivated or inspired her. Last year I spent thousands on a course which she ended up hating. Jenny took her to meet Lecturers and employers who told her what she needed to do. My daughter decided to stay at school and Jenny checks in on her whenever she visits the school". - (Parent)

"Jenny provides an avenue for students who are disengaged form school but still attending. These students may not have the skill, esteem or know-how to apply for jobs, write resumes or visit workplaces. Jenny has been able to devote time to these people and families to support them and guide them which the school as a whole is unable to provide." - (Teacher)



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