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Corporates Urged to Join NFP to Support High-Achieving Students

28 February 2017 at 4:16 pm
Lina Caneva
Education and employment pathways not for profit, Doxa is calling on corporates to join a sponsorship campaign to engage and support high-achieving young Victorians.

Lina Caneva | 28 February 2017 at 4:16 pm


Corporates Urged to Join NFP to Support High-Achieving Students
28 February 2017 at 4:16 pm

Education and employment pathways not for profit, Doxa is calling on corporates to join a sponsorship campaign to engage and support high-achieving young Victorians.

Called Project 120, it aims to recruit 120 cadetship program partners from the corporate sector to take on young Victorians and to help build a more diverse and engaged workforce.

Doxa says it has identified 120 first-year university undergraduates committed to completing their education and realising their professional career goals.

Alison Polyik, Doxa’s general manager of partnerships, said the students came from various backgrounds and challenging life circumstances.

“We identify and put forward a high calibre of first-year university undergraduates from a range of backgrounds who bring valuable skills and new ideas to any business,” Polyik told Pro Bono News.

“Some are from culturally diverse families including refugee and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds. Around 33 per cent come from rural and regional Victoria and have moved to Melbourne to study.

“We would love to see companies related to science or engineering and industries such as finance and accounting come on board. But we can be quite broad.

“All of the young people in our program have had challenging life circumstances, so [they are from] disadvantaged backgrounds. So we have a very, very diverse group of young people and I think one of the things that puts them ahead is that all of these young people will be performing well academically and they will be contributing to their community.

“So part of our application process is that we screen for leadership skills, we screen for communication skills and academic performance and that combined with the very rich and often hard-life history, you do get young people who are active and want to contribute to the work force.”

Polyik said they work with corporates “right from the start” to understand what they are looking for.

“A young person has got to be doing real work,” she said.

“They will be contributing to projects and any of the work that is going on in a normal business environment.

“We understand what they [corporates] are looking for. We give them a shortlist of four people to chose from and then they select that person.

“From that point on we provide ongoing mentoring advice to the corporate, we offer opportunities for their staff to get involved in the broader program so that we really get that social capital up for a young person while offering skilled volunteering for the corporate.”

Under the program, the not-for-profit organisation administers all of the financial arrangements.

“We pay the weekly allowance directly to the young person’s bank account and we handle all of the administration. For the corporate it’s quite an easy on-boarding program,” Polyik said.

She said the program was a sponsorship style system where the corporate contributes $9,000 per year for the young person to complete eight weeks of work.

“Doxa funds the shortfall. This is the first time we have gone out and said we have 120 applicants this year who are incredible and we want to get places for them,” she said.

“All the students have been accepted into university to study their chosen tertiary degree, are committed and highly motivated to achieve their career goals.”

Polyik said Project 120 was a good solution for companies seeking intelligent, focused young people to bring a unique set of skills, agility and fresh thinking to the business.

“The program is also suitable for organisations looking to attract and recruit a diverse team of talented staff.”

She said studies show that for all university students from disadvantaged backgrounds, only one in three finish their degree.

“This compares to 88 per cent of Doxa cadets, who also have the confidence and professional skills to support their transition into work life.”

To get involved with the Doxa Cadetship Program click here.

Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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