Issue 9 - October 5, 2009 enews homee

Trades taster a winner with students

Woolaning Homeland Christian School students work up a sweat in the carpentry activity

Woolaning Homeland Christian School students work up a sweat in the carpentry activity

By Row Booker and Jason McIntosh

More than 900 Year 9 students have a better understanding of vocational careers after attending hands-on workshops in Alice Springs and Darwin.

Hosted at Charles Darwin University and supported by local industry groups, the NT Worldskills Australia Try a Trade event attracted high school students from remote and urban schools throughout the Territory.

Students in Alice Springs were kept busy cooking, testing soils, balancing car tyres, welding, managing children, developing multimedia, conducting health checks and colouring hair in the 35-minute sessions.

The program ran for two days to cater for students from Alice Springs and the bush with many travelling hundreds of kilometres for the experience.

The Central Australian Aboriginal Congress and CDU’s Indigenous Academic Support Unit offered career and health advice.

Managing Director of Ross Engineering, Neil Ross lent his support during the first day and said he enjoyed the experience.

“It’s great to talk about apprenticeships with these students and give them an insight into the huge opportunities in trades, which many may not have realised existed,” he said.

Senior VET adviser at CDU, Lyle Mellors said the program empowered students.

“Our feedback from educators tells us Try a Trade is helping students make better informed choices in their later years and it’s a great opportunity for us to meet some potential students of our own.

“From Tennant Creek in the north, Yuendumu in the west, Santa Teresa in the south, Utopia in the east and everywhere in between, it’s been great to see schools at Try a Trade,” he said.

The Darwin Try a Trade event ran for three days with 20 schools and community education centres from across the Darwin, Palmerston, Darwin Rural and the Arnhem region, making this year’s event the largest since its inception in 2003.

Trades such as plumbing, hospitality, cookery, hair-dressing, painting and horticulture were showcased.

For more information on school-related activities, visit W: www.cdu.edu.au/communityandaccess/schoolslink/index.html.