Collaboration is a key contributor to inspiring programs and CDC Victoria’s latest school outreach program was just that. Last week, we welcomed 18 high school students to our Wyndham depot for a Work Inspiration Day organised in partnership with our charity partner, The Smith Family.
The program showcased the many different roles offered at CDC Victoria through role-play, fun interactive demonstrations and open conversations. Examples of job duties of drivers, mechanics, operations and corporate staff were demonstrated by 11 of our team members who happily volunteered their time to introduce, inspire, and educate these students about rarely seen parts of the bus industry – an industry that transports people to places.
Hands-on activities using fun learning & development tools and live examples introduced the curious students to some real-life experiences and job avenues within the bus industry.
The day began with a group session where students discovered more about their personality types and matched their skills and passions to various professions. Our staff volunteers including our CEO, Jeff Wilson, shared their personal career journeys leading to an open discussion between the students and their mentor volunteers about what inspires them.
Thereafter, a training extinguisher session allowed students to experience what it is like to put out different types of fire, an important safety measure we focus on when training our bus drivers. A depot tour was conducted with more interactive demonstrations, role-playing activities, and a once-in-a-lifetime double-decker bus ride, all of which the students thoroughly enjoyed.
Michelle Ho McKersey, Community Engagement & Sustainability Manager for CDC Victoria, said, “Opening young minds to an industry that links millions of people to places and communities every day is a rewarding and humbling experience. The work inspiration day also showed me the challenges young people face today in a rapidly changing world. I believe it was eye-opening to show these students how stable and rewarding the bus industry is and I hope they consider joining us in the near future, with or without a degree.”
Jessica Comtesse, Program Coordinator, Learning for Life, The Smith Family, shared her experience and said, “It was so heart-warming to see the CDC staff interacting with the students during the activities and throughout the day. I got some really positive feedback from the students and they really enjoyed the whole experience. The activities arranged by CDC were engaging and hands-on, which historically is how our participants get the best out of the Work Inspirations programs. We know capturing and maintaining a teenager’s attention can be difficult at the best of times, but Michelle did a fantastic job in engaging the students and every other CDC staff member was all smiles when introduced to the students. Students loved the double-decker bus ride and the car wash, the decal application on the promo bus and getting a closer look at the mechanics of the vehicles. Overall, it was a well-rounded workplace experience, and I can’t thank CDC enough for giving the Year 11’s sucha unique opportunity to peek behind the curtain of the automotive industry.”
Abdul Atik, Workshop Manager, CDC Wyndham, who was a volunteer for the event, said, “It felt good showing students the future ahead of them in our bus industry as an eye-opening experience, and for them to think about what they want to achieve for their future. Volunteering for me is such a good cause and supporting the Smith Family which is one of the Australian longest-serving charities was an honour.”
Jason Plevras, Manager, Training and Development, CDC Victoria and another CDC volunteer for the event said, “It was truly a pleasure to be able to team up with our trainer, Yvonne Davies, who has a background in firefighting and share how focused we are on safety within CDC Victoria.
During our session, we briefly explained the theory behind the different fire types and presented students with the PASS model (pull the pin, aim the nozzle, squeeze the handle and sweep).
We then made the session practical by allowing students to experience what it’s like to put out a fire in a simulated fashion using a state-of-the-art digital fire extinguisher training system.
This laser-driven training extinguisher sensed the type of extinguisher the student was putting out, how far they were away and whether they were applying the correct technique (PASS model).
We increased student excitement and engagement by making their firefighting experience competitive –students battled each other to put the fire out as quickly as possible and we created a firefighter leader board with the top three ‘firefighters’ winning CDC-branded prizes.”