With schools now offering vocational training as an alternative to the HSC or International Baccalaureate, the options for students to find a mode of learning suited to their individual needs has never been greater. For those that take the vocational path, it means getting a head start on their trade without sacrificing an ATAR.
Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses have the capacity to engage and challenge students to maximise their individual talents. Acquiring a range of technical, practical, personal and organisational abilities, students develop industry-recognised skills. While it is important to learn these skills in the classroom, does a work placement programme give students an edge over others?
At Trinity Grammar School, we believe that work placement is an essential element of VET courses. Work placement provides students with the opportunity to enhance the skills that are learned in the classroom by participating in a real workplace environment. The placements are supervised by an employer who instructs and shows students how to complete certain tasks as part of their on-the-job training, in the construction, entertainment, electro-technology and hospitality industries.
“While the real activities carried out in a work placement complement the tasks and learning undertaken by the students in their VET courses at School, the opportunity for practical learning outside the classroom gives Trinity students industry-recognised skills and new found confidence,” commented Director of Vocational Education, Dr Frederick Osman.
The benefits however, go beyond just putting technical skills to practice. Students learn about responsibility – turning up to work on time, looking after equipment and helping their colleagues, for example. They learn about workplace cultures and how to fit into a new environment, making the later transition from student to employee, much easier. “Students experience what it is like to work full time – something that those of us that have worked for many years, take for granted – this is a learning opportunity in itself!” continued Dr Osman.
Another benefit for students is that they can progress their industry competencies giving them an edge in the competitive job application process. Perhaps the most valuable benefit to students are the connections they make with employers. By establishing links with industry, they are putting themselves in the fore to secure employment positions once their schooling is completed. “If students impress their host employer, a position may even be created for them, in order to take the student on permanently,” said Dr Osman.
“It has been very encouraging to see several students over the past few years commence apprenticeships within their chosen industries as a result of successful work placements,” concluded Dr Osman.
As a Registered Training Organisation (RTO code 91644), Trinity offers boys in Year 11 and 12 a unique vocational pathway, with VET Certificate II courses in Construction Pathways, Electro-technology and Hospitality, and Certificate III courses in Information Digital Media Technology and Entertainment. We have a large network of industry contacts that we draw on to secure appropriate and valuable work placements for our students.
To find out more about the Trinity difference, download our Trinity Vocational Academic Course information.