School-based trainees launched into successful careers

News story
Kelly Scherbarth has quite literally been soaring through her career since completing the public sector School-based Traineeship Program in 2017.
Photo of ex school-based trainee Kelly Scherbarth

Kelly Scherbarth has quite literally been soaring through her career since completing the public sector School-based Traineeship Program in 2017 with the Parks and Wildlife Service at the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

“I get to fly in a plane over prescribed burns across the southwest and operate thermal camera equipment,” she said.

“This gives us important data to ensure fire and burn-boundaries are secure, and spatial data for on-ground fire operations.

“I am a small piece in very large puzzle and each piece counts towards protecting our communities and conserving WA’s natural assets. There’s no better feeling than that.”

Back in 2015 Kelly was looking for alternatives to going straight to university from secondary school. A simple Google search directed her to the School-based Traineeship Program.

Through this program, students entering Year 11 have the opportunity to kickstart their careers in the public sector and get a Certificate II in Government (Public Administration).

It has provided trainees like Kelly with huge opportunities and many exciting career paths.

Now permanently employed by the department in the Fire Management Services branch, Kelly’s future is burning brighter than ever.

“Within 10 years, I’m aiming to go to university and get a degree in geographic information systems and further develop my skills in this area,” she said.

“I’d also love to get some on-ground firefighting and prescribed burning experience. I definitely see myself sticking around Fire Management Services and working my way up.”

Watch our full interview with Kelly, and learn about the School-based Traineeship Program.

Page reviewed 7 April 2022