Activity Introduction

WOW Hero frame 14Quick summary: The Worlds of Work unit connects secondary school students of all ages with life beyond school by investigating the question: “What does it take to succeed in life and work?” In this lesson, students plan and run a 1-2 hour local industry networking session. They will identify people they would like to attend, extend invitations, and run the session. Students will speak directly with people who work to find out about local industry, the labour market and the world of work in general. Because the session is planned, organised and run by students, this activity is an excellent opportunity for students to continue to reflect on how they demonstrate enterprise skills as well as further develop these skills. The activities in this lesson will also enable students to create connections with people in their local community, and understand the value of creating and sustaining professional networks.

Enterprise Skills: These are transferable skills that enable young people to engage with a complex world and navigate the challenges they will inherit. They’re not just for entrepreneurs; they are skills that are required in many jobs. They have been found to be a powerful predictor of long-term job success.


Communication skills





 Who could teach this lesson?

Any teacher who:

  • Believes that the end-game of secondary education is to prepare young people to thrive in the world of work
  • Thinks that general capabilities should be part of each school subject
  • Is feeling unsure about how to teach real-world skills in their classroom
  • Understands that school is not practice – it’s real training for what’s in store after 
  • Wants students to find real connections between subject content (technical skills) and the general skills they need to be able use those technical skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

This lesson can be used with all learning areas of the Australian Curriculum, however it has been explicitly mapped to the English and Work Studies content strands.

Content descriptions:

Year 7 English

  • Use interaction skills when discussing and presenting ideas and information, selecting body language, voice qualities and other elements, (for example music and sound) to add interest and meaning (ACELY1804)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725)
  • Consolidate a personal handwriting style that is legible, fluent and automatic and supports writing for extended periods (ACELY1727)

Year 8 English

  • Use interaction skills for identified purposes, using voice and language conventions to suit different situations, selecting vocabulary, modulating voice and using elements such as music, images and sound for specific effects (ACELY1808)
  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret and evaluate texts by reflecting on the validity of content and the credibility of sources, including finding evidence in the text for the author’s point of view (ACELY1734)

Year 9 English

  • Understand that roles and relationships are developed and challenged through language and interpersonal skills (ACELA1551)

Year 10 English

  • Understand how language use can have inclusive and exclusive social effects, and can empower or disempower people (ACELA1564)
  • Refine vocabulary choices to discriminate between shades of meaning, with deliberate attention to the effect on audiences (ACELA1571)

Year 9 Work Studies

  • Outline how past learning experiences influence attitudes towards, and outcomes of, learning (ACWSCL001)
  • Describe the implications of individual learning preferences for learning at home, school, work and in the community (ACWSCL002)
  • Identify the attitudes and skills required for self-directed and lifelong learning (ACWSCL003)
  • Explain the importance of active and lifelong learning for personal and community development (ACWSCL004)
  • Investigate a wide range of occupations, and the skills and personal qualities required in these fields (ACWSCL006)
  • Explain the importance of teamwork and collaboration in school, community and work-related contexts (ACWSCL009)
  • Identify types of entrepreneurial behaviours and their opportunities for application to 21st century work and enterprise (ACWSCL010)
  • Recognise the importance of self-awareness in career and life design (ACWSCL013)
  • Describe the nature of work in Australia and the implications for current and future work opportunities (ACWSCL015)

Year 10 Work Studies

  • Link personal profiles with potential work opportunities (ACWSCL021)
  • Assess the value of self-directed and lifelong learning in responding to changes and challenges in circumstances (ACWSCL022)
  • Explain the relationship between lifelong learning and work in the 21st century and its importance for future work opportunities (ACWSCL023)
  • Explain the range of skills and attributes necessary to work effectively in the 21st century (ACWSCL025)
  • Assess the benefits of developing an ‘entrepreneurial mindset’ and its relevance to 21st century work and enterprise (ACWSCL029)
  • Explain how diverse work arrangements are impacting on the rights and responsibilities of employers and workers (ACWSCL039)

General capabilities: Literacy, ICT Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability.

Topic: Enterprise Learning

Unit of work: Worlds of Work

Time required:  180 mins + time for networking session.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – oversee student organisation, preparation and coordination of networking session.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. Editable Letter to Mentors, How to Mentor Young People video (to send to mentors), WOW Networking Session Planning TipsWOW Networking Session Task ListNetworking for Success question print-out, WOW Networking Session Ice Breaker Game Ideas.

Keywords: network, connections, leverage, communication, work, success.

fya_logo_RED_ mediumThis lesson has been developed in partnership with the Foundation for Young Australians.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

WOW Hero frame 7Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will understand what a network is and the benefits of having a professional network in the world of work. Students will practise a number of enterprise skills in the planning and organising of a networking session, and will understand more about the diverse experiences and realities of the world of work.

Essential questions:

  • What is networking?
  • How can networking help me to succeed in life and work?
  • How can I create my own networks?


Teacher content information: Work has long been important for the livelihood, dignity and happiness of humankind. We know that work helps us meet our most basic and complex needs, providing a path towards financial security, mental and physical health and personal dignity and meaning. For the past century, the prospect of a good job that pays a fair wage has been part of Australia’s promise to our young people. By many measures, Australia has continued to deliver on its promise. We have

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: Effective networking is done face-to-face, building a rapport with someone by looking at them in the eye, leading to a solid connection and foundational trust.

1. Use the table below to create a list of people you could invite to your networking session

  • List the people from your own personal networks who work in that industry
  • Add to the list any connections that you may have/are able to make with people from that industry (i.e. friends of family, etc.)
  • Conduct a web search and add people and their contact details

The industry you're focusing on:

Who do you know directly that works in the industry?

List their name and contact details, if you have them.

Who do you know indirectly that works in the industry?

List their name and contact details, if you have them.

Who can you find in an online search?

List the name and contact details you find.







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