The Nationals in Government will roll out an initiative to strengthen connections between local industry and secondary school communities in regional areas, supporting students in planning their future career pathways.

Denison College Kelso High Campus is among 21 regional schools chosen for the initiative, and local NSW Nationals Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the Entrepreneurial Learning in Action program will offer Year 10 students at the school the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills that will make them more employable in the future.

“Teachers at the school will deliver the program in curriculum that’s been developed and managed by entrepreneurial education provider Startup Business International,” Mr Toole said.

“The program will begin in 2020 and see Year 10 Commerce, Geography and Work Education students matched with local companies to develop sustainable solutions for real industry problems while building their business and creative skills.

“Students will then pitch their ideas to a panel of judges from the local community in a ‘Shark Tank’ style competition. Winning teams from each school will compete in a national pitch competition at the Brilliant Business Kids Festival in Sydney in November.”

The Entrepreneurial Learning in Action program is part of the NSW Government’s Regional Industry Education Partnerships (RIEP) program designed to help students develop innovation and entrepreneurial skills that’ll help them to secure work post-school.

The NSW Nationals in Government have a strong commitment to helping secondary students in regional areas see the opportunities for life beyond school in their local towns and industries.

Startup Business International last year successfully piloted the program with AgriFutures Australia to teach entrepreneurial agriculture skills and are extending the focus to develop business skills applicable to the wider economy.