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21 August, 2020

A pathway into the working world

SCHOOL based apprenticeships/traineeships are commonplace on the campuses around the Tablelands and allow their students a pathway into the working world.

By Rhys Thomas

SCHOOL based apprenticeships/traineeships are commonplace on the campuses around the Tablelands and allow their students a pathway into the working world.

Schools like Mareeba State High School, Malanda State High School, Atherton State High School and St Stephen’s Catholic College all have prgrams that allow their students to begin trades and do certificates while still in school.

These trades can range from jobs like carpentry to hairdressing and the certificates can include retail to sport and recreation.

While working as a school-based apprentice or trainee students are given set days that they must go off school grounds and work through a local business.

The positions are usually offered to students at the start of grade 10 or 12 and will continue until they graduate with some students close to finishing their trade.

St Stephen’s Catholic College VET Coordinator Paul MacCallum said that when students engage in these programs it prepares them for the future.

“Students have the opportunity to develop and strengthen valuable skills and real-life work experience including working with people, meeting deadlines and working under pressure,” he said.

“Arrangements such as these are a way for students to give back to the community while advancing their own careers.

“In most cases, employers see the benefits of having keen and enthusiastic trainees and apprentices and are able to keep them on for the completion of their training and often for many years after.”

Mareeba State High School currently has 14 students undertaking school based apprenticeships/traineeships including Electro technology, Civil Construction, Engineering/Boiler Maker, Plumbing, Hospitality, Business, Retail and Hairdressing.

Malanda State High School has eight students currently doing schoolbased apprenticeships/traineeships including Business, Horticulture, Engineering, Cabinetry, Glass and Glazing, Carpentry and Aboriculture.

St Stephen’s Catholic College has 26 students training for positions including Butchery, Horticulture, Hospitality, Engineering, Automotive and Health.

Atherton State High School has a whopping 55 students currently undergoing training as a school based apprentice/trainee the areas include Carpentry,

Diesel Fitter, Electrical, Hairdressing, Fitter and Turner, Mechanic, Plumber, Tiler, Butcher, Blocklayer, Retail, Business, Hospitality, Sport and Recreation, Kitchen Operations and Business Admin.

Industry and Vocational Training Officer for Atherton State High School Kylie Coleman has stated that because of the schools rapport with local businesses and their flexibility a much larger number of students are able to do school based apprenticeships/traineeships.

The school currently leads Queensland with the number of students doing these apprenticeships/traineeships with their largest number in a calendar year being 86 students.

A majority of students use these opportunities to get the remainder of their QCE points needed to graduate or a possible career.

Geoffrey Dean, a Mareeba State High School alumni, is currently training students at St Stephen’s Catholic College in a Certificate II in Resources and Infrastructure Work Preparation, a course which he undertook in high school which consequently landed him a job.

Currently working as a Trainee Driller for the Australasian Drilling Institute (ADI), Mr Dean was offered the job directly by Ili Cava, the owner of ADI shortly after completing his cert.

When asked about why he thought he got offered a job so quickly, Mr Dean attributed it to his work ethic whilst during the cert and his “correct personality”.

“Since I have been working with ADI for the past 3 years I’ve learnt that to do the job I’m doing it takes a certain type of person with the correct personality,” he said.

“Ili must have seen back in 2017 when I did the course and decided back then that I was the right man for the job, to be truthful I had absolutely no idea I was going to get a job offer.

“The benefits of doing the course were quite simple at the time, the four QCE points you receive for finishing it however after doing it I realised there was more.”

Mr Dean recently finished a Certificate II in Drilling Operations and is currently underway in Certificate III in Drilling Operations, which afterwards he will be doing a Certificate III/IV in Training and Assessing, all done through ADI.


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