A pilot program that aligns practical industry skills with the secondary school curriculum is helping students get a head start towards their chosen career path.
More than 200 secondary students across 12 schools are participating in a pilot program called Packages of Learning, which helps to give students real job experience aligned to their curriculum learning.
Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff toured Kings Meadows High School on Monday to hear from the students involved in the architecture and construction program.
Grade 9 student Bryce Stone said he was interested in learning a trade when he had finished his formal education and so had been drawn to the idea of learning practical skills.
“I knew that I wanted to learn a trade, I always liked working with my hands and working outside, but doing this program means I can go to worksites and do work placement to learn,” he said.
Mr Rockliff said the pilot program had begun in 2019 and was considered a success. He said the government was hoping to roll it out to more schools in the future.
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“We recognise that every student is different, and we want to ensure that all students feel supported to learn in a way that is best suited to their unique style and circumstances,” he said.
As part of the pilot, the packages of learning were aligned to four key industry fields – advanced manufacturing, agriculture, food and natural resources, architecture and construction and hospitality and tourism.
The pilot schools were selected based on the growth of these industries in their region.
Chris Brothers and Haywards safety training manager Stephen Frankcombe said the company often employed between six and eight apprentices per year.
He said participating in this project allowed students to get real-world and industry-relevant experience, which meant the pipeline of potential apprentices could have basic knowledge of the work.
“When we’re looking for apprentices we are finding people who have an understanding of what they’re getting into, they have a desire to get into that industry,” he said.
“If they’ve gone through things at school then they’ve been equipped with the skills we need, which is great for us as a business.”