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One School's Approach to Community Partnerships

             Western governments around the globe have become increasingly focused on the successful transition of young people from school to further education and/or training. It could be suggested that for many countries this is the key focus of their youth policies. Nevertheless, the divide between those young people who manage to successfully transition into a meaningful careers pathway and those who do not continues to widen. Establishing stronger welfare safety nets and better youth services that can respond more effectively to the needs of young people as they reach fruition have all been a part of the policy and practice developments of the last decade. And although these are all important aspects of a functioning community, at the centre of young people's lives remains their connection to education and thus to their school. This connection, if successfully positive, can develop resiliency, community links, social capital and an economic future for young people. These are daunting responsibilities to place on one institution. This paper examines one school's approach to establishing innovative careers pathways for young people. It also discusses the importance of partnerships between schools, community services and other community, government and parent stakeholders in the creation, application and evaluation of careers and transition programs.
             Examining the ways in which educational institutions work effectively with external agencies to support young people's career aspirations is of great importance to school leaders, careers counsellors, students and their parents. And understanding how schools and community stakeholders establish meaningful partnerships helps make sense of why it is that some career transition programs are more successful than others. For the past decade Australian Government policy has expressed an urgent need for school and community members to support the successful transition of young people into further schooling or employment pathways (Rainey et al.

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