South Grafton High School student Lilly Clegg is completing a school-based traineeship in museum practices.
South Grafton High School student Lilly Clegg is completing a school-based traineeship in museum practices.

Workplace for school trainees

LILLY Clegg’s smiling face is the sign of a new era in Clarence Valley school-based traineeships.

In conjunction with her school studies, the Year 10 South Grafton High School student is completing a Certificate II in Museum Practices.

Lilly works one day every week at Yarrawarra Aboriginal Centre at Corindi Beach and the tasks of transcribing oral histories and reporting on significant artefacts are worlds apart from the usual hard-hats image conjured at the thought of a school-based apprenticeship.

Her story is particularly relevant given the Clarence Valley Industry Education Forum’s impending campaign launch to establish 100 new school-based traineeship places – of both the traditional and out-of-the-box varieties – from next year.

The forum is using the $50,000 they won late last year from the NAB Schools First Impact Award to create the places in conjunction with four participating Valley schools – Grafton, South Grafton and Maclean high schools and McAuley Catholic College.

South Grafton High principal Brian Heath said school-based traineeships offered “a whole range of different opportunities” to students and employers alike. “There is almost unlimited scope if people are willing to get in and have a go,” Mr Heath said.

From aged care, retail, business services and marine technology to construction, metal and engineering and primary industries, Mr Heath said the traineeships were about developing a “talent pool” of skills to benefit everyone in the community.

“Students finish school with a nationally-recognised certificate as well as their HSC, employers gain a young, interested worker they can train and upskill, and the community benefits from the development of a whole range of skills that can come back to them in the future.”

The forum’s Kerren Law said the campaign was “one of a kind”. “It’s a chance for Generation Y to add to the bottom line of the businesses in the Clarence Valley,” she said.

Next week, the forum will start a six-week promotional campaign, targeting 1000 local employers with the aim of creating the 100 places.

This will be followed by in-school presentations to Year 10 students, prior to their subject selection in July and August.

Businesses interested in taking on a school-based trainee can phone 6641 5042 or email mary.hunter@det.nsw.edu.au.



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