Fostering tomorrow’s professionals
Scentre Group’s long-term support of education in the community has developed in recent years to merge more closely with its diversity and inclusion objectives, enabling the Group to align its support with the objectives of specific community groups.
In Australia, Westfield Mt Druitt is a supporter of the Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) - a 100% Indigenous managed national not-for-profit recruitment company.
A school-based traineeship/apprenticeship gives students practical work experience and skills during Year 10 to Year 12 and each graduate from the program receives a nationally-accredited qualification and the chance of a full-time position with the participating employer and/or tertiary education. The traineeship provides a proven head-start towards a long term career, thanks to a structured and accredited learning environment supported by paid workplace experience.
Participants are expected to complete up to 800 hours of training with a host employer over two years which counts towards the Higher Education Year 12 Certificate.
At Westfield Mt Druitt a traineeship was undertaken during 2015, enabling the centre management team to engage directly with the local community not only via the participating student, Ethan, but also his school and family.
In New Zealand the well-established Keystone Trust supports and enables students who are affected by financial need or adverse circumstances to take up tertiary studies with a view to entering the property profession.
The Trust provides the perfect opportunity for Scentre Group to assist and nurture secondary and tertiary students looking to enter the property industry by facilitating connections with potential employees, colleagues, retailers and shoppers of the future.
The Group was an early sponsor of the Trust and has continued to play an integral part along with other companies within the property industry who provide funding for the charitable trust.
Scentre Group provides one of a number of scholarships offered to motivated students from backgrounds where financial hardship may prevent them from following their tertiary goals, giving students a launch-pad into property related tertiary studies.
Previous recipients now hold senior positions in a number of property companies and importantly, have stayed connected to the program through their involvement in an alumni group which provides support to the student groups coming through.
One successful recipient who interned with Westfield (as it was then known) is Josh Leckie, who was awarded a scholarship in 2003 and subsequently gained university degrees in law and science.
The networking component of Keystone would prove to be very useful for Josh, who today is a Senior Resource Management Solicitor at Bell Gully. “Once you’re involved in the program you can’t really go wrong with your career,” he says. “I wouldn’t have had doors opened in New Zealand without the scholarship. It’s more about connections than anything else.”
And for Scentre Group, creating a sustainable workforce for the future is one of the most productive ways the business can connect with its community and people.