Aptum Legal has partnered with Schools Plus to support the Future Connections Program with The Gateway School, Broadmeadows.  

The Gateway School is a state secondary school in Melbourne’s northern suburbs for students who have disengaged from, or been excluded by, other schools. Generational unemployment, trauma and addictive behaviours make employment achievement a significantly more challenging goal for students at The Gateway School. In March 2019, the youth unemployment rate in the Hume Municipality (where The Gateway School is located) was 13.3%: one of the highest in the state. 

Principal of the Gateway School, Fernando Lanni, spoke to the significance of basic opportunities for the school’s students. “Past experience has shown that if students are given the chance to learn universally useful certifications (such as Worksafe Certification ‘White Card’, First Aid, Mental Health First Aid and Food Handling), their employment chances will improve greatly.”  
Schools Plus worked with Aptum to identify The Gateway School as a partner. Marita Evans, Director and founder at Aptum, explained the firm’s appreciation of the need for support. “There is a gap that a lot of kids fall through if they find the school system challenging. They might have undiagnosed learning difficulties or some form of trauma which can be confused as behavioural issues because the resources aren’t there to dig deeper or provide alternatives.”  
The Future Connections programs aims to provide students in a less advantaged area of Melbourne with the essential skills and qualifications to become employed and positive citizens of their local community.  
Throughout the 2021 school year, as well as offering financial support, Aptum Legal will support students at The Gateway School in several areas, including: 
Mentoring: Aptum Legal staff will be available to answer students’ questions about their careers and offering strategies for how to find work and present themselves.  
Mock interviews: Aptum Legal staff will sit on mock interview panels to help replicate a professional interview environment and provide feedback for students. 
Role models: Aptum Legal staff will talk with students about how they got to where they are, including the obstacles they have had to overcome themselves.  

The Gateway School are delighted to be receiving this support. Principal Fernando Lanni commented: “Our students need as much support as we are able to muster for them. 80% of our students are not learning or earning 6 months after leaving school. Practical assistance like this will be life-changing for these students. We are excited to see where it takes them.” 

About Australian Schools Plus  

Australian Schools Plus (Schools Plus) is a national charity that supports children to succeed at school. Schools Plus connects donors with schools in disadvantaged communities, to support projects that improve the learning outcomes of students. Our vision is that all young Australians reach their full potential through access to a great education, regardless of their background or location. We help to close the education gap by driving more generous, high-impact philanthropic support for schools that need it the most. We also maximise the impact of donations by developing school leaders’ capacity to design, deliver and evaluate strategic projects. For more information, visit www.schoolsplus.org.au.  

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