Pilot Program helps school leavers take on a trade
Skills Minister Peter Hall visited Victoria University’s Harvester Technical College in Sunshine today to meet with participants in a Trade Experience Pilot Program.
The program being run for the first time is an initiative of the Victorian Coalition Government.
It seeks to give early school leavers the opportunity to try their hands at three or four trade areas while still being supported with literacy and numeracy skills.
Participants of the year long program will graduate with a VCAL qualification as well as a VET certificate in a trade area.
Mr Hall said the Victoria University pilot covers career development, health and wellbeing, hospitality, technology as well as taster courses in traditional trades including carpentry, plumbing and bricklaying.
“This program is particularly helping vulnerable young people at risk of disengaging with education altogether, with a number of expressions of interest from current secondary school students looking to leave school and students from youth justice services and other agencies,” Mr Hall said.
The first cohort of 18 students started their course in July this year and in 2013 Kangan and Chisholm TAFEs will join Victoria University in expanding this program.
“A review of the Victorian apprenticeship system last year showed that some early school leavers would benefit from more literacy and numeracy skills needed to work in a trades,” Mr Hall said.
“This program is designed to ensure that early school leavers can get a qualification and all the skills they need to succeed in their chosen trade including literacy and numeracy development.
“The Coalition Government has committed $270,000 to fund this project through to the end of 2013, with the three partner TAFEs all contributing up to $50,000 to help deliver this program,” Mr Hall said.