Maclean High School is among 21 regional NSW schools chosen to deliver a NSW Government-funded initiative that will strengthen connections between local industry and secondary school communities in regional areas and support students in planning their future career pathways.

Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis said the Entrepreneurial Learning in Action program will be offered to Years 9 and 10 students at Maclean High School giving them 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 is been developed and managed by entrepreneurial education provider Startup Business International,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“The program will begin in 2020 and see Commerce 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 NSW state government has a strong commitment to helping secondary students in regional areas see the opportunities for life beyond school in their local towns and industries.”

Business Studies/Commerce Teacher at Maclean High School, Ms Sarah Bramwell said the initiative is a fantastic opportunity for students in regional areas.

“By offering exposure to industry experts our students are provided with an invaluable learning experience, which will not only provide inspiration for our prospective entrepreneurs, but also lead to enhanced educational outcomes,” Ms Bramwell said.

Startup.Business International Education and Program Director Liz Jackson said it is fantastic to see principals of regional NSW schools embracing the idea of entrepreneurship and how it helps students to develop soft skills such as strategic thinking and collaboration.

“Students in the program are guided by teachers and mentors from local industry, but ultimately the ideas come from the students, which is an evolution in education,” Ms Jackson said.

“Startup.Business International last year successfully piloted the program with AgriFutures Australia to teach entrepreneurial agriculture skills but this year we’ve extending the focus to develop business skills applicable to the wider economy.”

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.