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Arup Community Engagement

Project overview

Project overview

Remember the days of the traditional one week work experience placements? The Smith Family is turning this idea on its head in an attempt to provide a more intensive and fulfilling experience for young school leavers. 

Part of TSF Learning for Life program, the initiative is called ‘Work Inspiration’ and Arup is proud to partner with them to pilot the program and then help them to launch the programme with other businesses and roll out across our offices in Australia.

Youth unemployment is around 17% nationally in Australia. In some disadvantaged communities it is more than double this figure.  Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who may be struggling at school often lack the motivation, encouragement and aspirations to explore their future career options and potential job opportunities. Because of their circumstances they may not realise the possibilities available to them if they complete their education. These children desperately need inspiring employers to help show them the way.

Arup has been a much valued partner of The Smith Family for 10 years. During this time, Arup has supported our Learning for Life program, and most recently our Work Inspiration program which provides positive and meaningful work experience to young people. Arup has hosted nearly 200 young people Australia-wide in Work Inspiration, and plan to offer a further six Work Inspiration programs in 2016, engaging an additional 100 young people in different locations across the country.

Arup staff are highly engaged with the program, and their support makes it a positive, uplifting and inspiring experience for the student participants. This is reflected in positive feedback we received from program participants, such as “I absolutely loved it all and wish I could continue doing it” and “It has motivated me to work hard for my dream”.

The Smith Family is a national charity that helps disadvantaged young Australians to make the most of their education. Many of the participants in Arup’s Work Inspiration programs face significant barriers to future employment success and participating in Work Inspiration is a key positive step for them. Our research shows that young people who participate in Work Inspiration have better knowledge about the world of work, a better understanding of what employers are looking for, and tend to return to school more motivated to participate in their studies.

Our warmest thanks to Arup for the time, effort, energy and passion they have invested in Work Inspiration, helping to inspire and motivate the workforce of tomorrow.

The Smith Family

Through our partnership with The Smith Family, the Sydney and Melbourne offices are now designing their own WI programs
Anna Timings, Arup, Brisbane



30 April, 2014
The first Work Inspiration programme for the Engineering Industry

The Arup Brisbane office hosted an Australian first – we ran the first Work Inspiration (WI) program for the Engineering industry. Eight Year 11 students from Kelvin Grove State College attended six weekly afternoon sessions, during which they undertook activities to explore the different roles in our firm, and how their own strengths and personality traits might fit in with the diverse world of engineering. Read more here

25 March, 2013
Piloting the programme

Arup’s Brisbane office played host to 15 high school students in a program which - borrowed from an idea that has been working successfully in the UK - looks to partner students with corporates to provide an intensive and fulfilling work experience ‘experience’ – work inspiration!  See our news article to find out more.

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