Jeremy Corbett, Kalani Trudgian-Fuller from South Grafton High School and Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan in a cubby house built by the South Grafton High students in the new Trades Skills Centre.
Jeremy Corbett, Kalani Trudgian-Fuller from South Grafton High School and Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan in a cubby house built by the South Grafton High students in the new Trades Skills Centre. Caitlan Charles

Trade centre helps school students build for the future

IT MIGHT be serious business during Question Time but all Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan wanted to do yesterday was climb around in a cubby house.

The Woodworking Trade Skills Centre at South Grafton High School is the second Trade Skills Centre to open in the Clarence Valley aiming to help kids further their career prospects.

Industrial Technologies head teacher David Youman said the centre will mean a lot to the kids looking to pursue a career in construction after school.

"They will end up with a Certificate Two in construction pathways which is an entry level into the construction industry," Mr Youman said.

"By completing the course they will have basic entry level skills and knowledge on things like carpentry, concreting, levelling, maths and numeracy, work health and safety."

When the school was deciding what type of centre would be built, they took into consideration the big projects occurring in the Clarence Valley.

"I think there is a definite need in the Valley for this, there is a shortage of trained construction skilled people and with the highway, the bridge and some pretty big infrastructure being built, there is definitely a need for people trained in this industry," Mr Youman said.

"Even if they do find initial work in the local area, they can then move on. It's a great stepping stone to move on overseas and within our country."

Kevin Hogan talks to Year 11 students at South Grafton High School at the opening of their Trades Skills Centre
Kevin Hogan talks to Year 11 students at South Grafton High School at the opening of their Trades Skills Centre Caitlan Charles

As part of their training, students at South Grafton High School have been working on a number projects that brings all the skills they are learning together.

"We've been doing that for probably six months, a couple of competencies we were working on holistically," he said.

"They have been doing a wall framing task. It's an Registered Training Organisation assessment task that has to be followed by every teacher and student in the district.

"I've modified it a little bit to make it a useful project, to make it a cubby house rather than just a throw away thing."

Mr Youman added that the school plans to auction off the cubby houses to help raise money, hopefully prior to Easter 2017.

Mr Hogan said there were many cities, communities and regions throughout Australia facing skills shortages in trades like carpentry and joining.

He said the centre incorporates a refurbished existing trade training facility and includes a construction workshop and outdoor covered work area with equipment.

"The skills that students will develop at the South Grafton High Trade Skills Centre will not only benefit the Clarence Valley, they will be skills that could potentially put them on a pathway for jobs in industries anywhere in Australia," Mr Hogan said.

"The Australian Government is committed to ensuring vocational training meets the needs of industry and employers and to providing students with training, particularly in areas where there are skill shortages.

"I congratulate the entire school community for it's foresight in getting this centre up and running."

South Grafton High School is one of six local schools that are sharing in almost $6 million to establish Trade Skill Centres to give students more study and job options



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