LOOKING UP: St Andrew's Christian School students Brad O'Connor, Billy-Joe Evans and Joel Gale show Kevin Hogan the underside of a car with the help of the hoist in the school's new automotive workshop.
LOOKING UP: St Andrew's Christian School students Brad O'Connor, Billy-Joe Evans and Joel Gale show Kevin Hogan the underside of a car with the help of the hoist in the school's new automotive workshop. Caitlan Charles

Workshops to help kick-start careers of Clarence Valley kids

GIVING Clarence Valley kids a head start is the aim of St Andrew's Christian School's two new workshops.

One is a disability workshop which accommodates people of varying abilities and learning needs, and the other, an automotive workshop, gives kids a head start for their future.

Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the Federal Government-funded $30,000 workshop was to help students with disabilities become job ready.

"People with a disability are better employees, it's been proven statistically that they are punctual and more loyal to employers and we want schools to be able to offer the same services and opportunities to people with disability and those who don't," Mr Hogan said.

"Whether it be in a timber room or an automotive workshop, people with disabilities can work within them and the grant was all about giving that availability."

St Andrew's Christian School principal Mac Lindsay said the new workshops would help the school cater for more kids with disabilities.

"In Australia today we are recognising more and more children with disabilities and some of those disabilities prevent them from being a normal student," Mr Lindsay said.

"As a school, it's our responsibility children are able to participate in every area of education including practical subjects.

"This workshop has enabled young people to do the courses prescribed by the board of studies the same as any other child."

The new disability workshop includes adjustable bench heights and electronically adjustable machine benches.

Mr Lindsay added the school had received interest from parents of children with disabilities.

"We've got inquiries from people who want to take advantage of these facilities we're offering," he said.

"We need to be catering for all students, not just some of them."

Mr Lindsay said learning skills in the new disability workshops will give some students more work opportunities.

"I think for a person with a disability to gain employment is so valuable for them and their confidence and sense of self-worth," he said.



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