Maffra and Langwarrin high school students have stepped out of the classroom and into the practical world of big business as part of a unique three-year business class partnership between Australian Post, Maffra Secondary College and Elisabeth Murdoch College (EMC), facilitated by Schools Connect Australia.

This unique partnership pairs Year 9 and 10 students from both schools with Australia Post graduates over a six month period, to share the development of their own professional capabilities and encourage students to expand their career aspirations.

Students will visit different parts of the Australia Post business for two days of in-depth exposure to various professional roles within the organisation, the diverse elements of a corporate environment, and build their organisation, time management, creative thinking and interpersonal skills.

Chris Newton, Head of Social Innovation & Development at Australia Post, said the program aimed to provide a broad range of learning opportunities for students, including personal development, employability skills and the experience of a real-life workplace.

"This program really aims to challenge students through practical, tangible exercises that build confidence and improve communication – two important elements to their professional development," he said.

"At Australia Post, they will be exposed to a variety of people across our business, from marketers to tech developers, opening their eyes to future job prospects. This is also a great opportunity for our graduates to develop their leadership skills and improve their community engagement experience."

Annemarie Rolls, CEO of Schools Connect Australia, said the partnership was innovative in its approach, particularly the level of investment and in-depth consultation between Australia Post graduates and students to develop the program.

"The Australia Post graduates driving the program are really effective mentors, as they are not much older than the students participating.  These graduates are developing personal and professional competencies which are similar to the employability skills students will require when job seeking, so it's a unique learning opportunity." she said.

The program will also include team building exercises which require students to identify issues, brainstorm ideas and then present them to the wider group. They will also be engaged in practical exercises like resume writing, interview preparation and participating in mock interviews to provide valuable feedback.