Gisborne Secondary College students get head start for jobs

Gisborne Secondary College students will be able to finish school with an apprenticeship and VCE or VCAL qualifications under a new training program to launch next year.

Premier Daniel Andrews visited the school last Friday to announce the state government’s Head Start Apprenticeships and Traineeships Initiative, which will start in 100 schools, including Gisborne, next year.

The $50 million initiative will give students the option of doing an extra year of school so they can finish their VCAL or VCE while also doing an apprenticeship or traineeship.

Mr Andrews said the initiative would deliver up to 1700 new apprenticeships or traineeships in high growth and high demand industries such as construction, health and defence.

Gisborne Secondary will receive funding to help run Head Start, including a school-based co-ordinator to provide employment and vocational pathway advice and one-on-one support to students.

The school has 187 students enrolled in VET and school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.

Mr Andrews said the new initiative meant students would leave school job-ready.

“We’re giving Victorian students the chance to get an apprenticeship or traineeship at school so they can finish qualified and ready to work – this is about investing in our state’s future and the people needed to deliver it,” he said.

Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas, who visited Gisborne Secondary College with Mr Andrews, said the school had a history of supporting students to undertake apprenticeships.

“Thanks to Head Start, even more local kids will be able to get the skills they need for the job they want,” she said.

Gisborne Secondary College careers leader Kerry Huke said the initiative would make it easier for students to complete apprenticeships. She said local students often found it difficult to undertake apprenticeships because they were required to travel to Bendigo or Melbourne for TAFE.

Ms Huke said the initiative would help keep students at school for longer.