District secondary school students have been trying a number of trades through a new pilot program this term.
The Trade Taster is a partnership between the Better Together Alliance, Goulburn Murray Local Learning and Employment Network and Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE and has had 16 Year 9 students learn about a different trade every Friday.
After a safety induction, students did sheet metal work related to plumbing and discussed potential careers in the field.
On Friday, they learned about carpentry and joinery through creating a common joint used by builders and, once again, discussed career options with trainers at the institute’s William Orr campus.
The students spend about 5 hours learning about each discipline in the program with the future weeks focusing on hospitality, electrical, barbering, automotive and baking.
‘‘We are trying to get them thinking about careers before Year 10 and 11 and inform their choices,’’ the institute’s building and construction trainer and assessor Jarrod Kelly said.
‘‘We discuss the trades and services related to construction and debunk the myth you can only be a sparky, plumber or carpenter; there are actually up to 30 trades involved in building a house.
‘‘GoTafe has about 60 carpenter apprentices and 60 cabinet makers right now, which is a big number for Shepparton.’’
Mr Kelly said they also discussed how to build a resume to help students get ahead in the industry.
By the end of the term, the students from Shepparton High School, McGuire College and Wanganui Park Secondary College will earn accreditation for a CI Card.
‘‘The CI Card is the minimum requirement to work on a construction job site, so will help the students if they want to pursue any of the trades in the program,’’ GMLLEN engagement and placement co-ordinator James Ivill said.
Mr Ivill said they would continue to work with the students after the program and hoped to continue it next term and beyond.