24 May 2018
ECOTECH sponsors The Smith Family’s ‘Learning for Life’ support program to invest in the education of disadvantaged Australian students.
Nicholas Dal Sasso, ECOTECH Managing Director and Anton Leschen, The Smith Family General Manager Victoria (pictured right to left) announced ECOTECH’s decision to sponsor The Smith Family’s ‘Learning for Life’ support program. Jared (pictured centre) shared his uplifting story with ECOTECH staff about how the Learning for Life program helped him from primary school to to gainful employment as a university qualified mechanical engineer. Instrumental in bringing ECOTECH and The Smith Family together was Donnette Rushworth, The Smith Family Corporate Partnership Manager and Michelle Orr, ECOTECH People Development & Culture (picture left to right).
ECOTECH is proud to announce a partnership with Australia’s largest children’s education charity – The Smith Family.
Building on a long history of providing work experience and cadetships at ECOTECH over many years, ECOTECH Managing Director, Nicholas Dal Sasso announced on 2 May that ECOTECH is investing in the education of disadvantaged Australian students from primary school right through to university.
“This partnership is also about taking action to improve the number of young people choosing to embrace Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) – disciplines close to the heart and commercial success of ECOTECH,” said Nicholas.
“Did you know, 75% of the current fastest growing occupations now need STEM skills? And typically, these occupations are dominated by students that come from high socio-economic backgrounds.” explained Anton Leschen, The Smith Family General Manager Victoria.
Australia is facing a challenge in the future to compete on the international stage in STEM skills. Evidence shows that by age 15, students from lower socio-economic backgrounds can be as much as three years behind students from more affluent families in mathematics, science and computer-based subjects.
“STEM is the life-blood of every advanced industry and economy. Our children are the life-blood of our collective futures,” commented Nicholas. “How appropriate then, that through this special partnership between ECOTECH and The Smith Family, together we can improve both the uptake of STEM and the real-world opportunities for students that face disadvantage.”
Learning for Life education support program by The Smith Family
The Smith Family is improving the educational outcomes of disadvantaged children, including STEM skills, through their Learning for Life program. A student on the program receives financial assistance for educational expenses directly into the family’s bank account. They also receive direct help from The Smith Family’s team and access to vital extra support such as mentoring programs and a special project coordinator.
Breaking the cycle of disadvantage (pictured below) means that children on the program are more inclined to move on to further education such as university or training, and as a result are highly likely to obtain a good job and start a meaningful career.
The Cycle of Disadvantage (Source: https://www.thesmithfamily.com.au/poverty-in-australia)
“A very important part of my vision for ECOTECH is to ‘strive for a greater good’… where ECOTECH is committed to contributing to the communities where we live and work, and to helping those less fortunate than us”, explained Nicholas. “I am delighted ECOTECH will partner with The Smith Family. It is something I and every ECOTECH staff member can be proud of.”
To learn more about The Smith Family and how you too can sponsor young people in need by providing access to The Smith Family’s Learning for Life education support programs, please visit www.thesmithfamily.com.au.