Transcript for Construction pathways program on North Coast
So my name is Steve Montgomery and my role is SBAT mentor for the Grafton cluster of schools, and I support Grafton High School, South Grafton High School, Maclean High School, and Woolgoolga High School. So the program has resulted in 10 students from Grafton High School and South Grafton High School commencing a school-based traineeship in Certificate II in Construction Pathways. The hope is that a portion of those trainees will progress to a school-based apprenticeship and then to a full-time apprenticeship beyond school.
So my name is Micah Middlebosch, I'm the managing director of GJ Gardner Homes in Grafton. I'm qualified as a builder. I was also a plasterer, drywall plasterer, and I started my apprenticeship as a carpenter. So what I'm finding, as far as the requirements that we see in our industry, is that there's very few young people coming through any kind of trade base. So a lot of our current trades are quite mature age. You know, we have a carpenter who's 72. So this program is really basically giving young people the opportunity to taste different trades or different aspects of the construction industry, which then long-term is going to lead us into having a better trade base for our area.
So I reached out to Micah early on, and it was pretty clear that Micah had a strong interest in building his skills base and in building his workforce. He already had ideas of how he was going to do that. It's really a win-win for all of the students that are involved. A portion of those construction pathways trainees will progress to school-based apprenticeships and then to full-time apprenticeships beyond the school. And for those who don't, they will have completed a two-year traineeship with a credit towards an apprenticeship in construction-related trades. They can pursue elsewhere or as a foundation in terms of work ethic and work experience. It's going to look really awesome for them, so they win no matter what.
Yeah, and I think a lot of employers would even considering kids that perhaps go through the two-year traineeship and then perhaps don't continue, they have learnthow to work. You know, they have learnta good skill set that they can then take into whatever job. So what I'm trying to do with students in their rotation is to try to keep them with one particular trade for more like a block. So they do maybe four to five weeks with that one particular trade, and that one particular tradesperson, and then basically shuffle them through into the following trade. That way they get a little bit of continuity as to who they're working with. They get to understand the process of that particular trade, but then also then moving them into another trade. That means that they're not actually getting bogged down into something that they potentially don't like doing, you know? We're looking for a long-term success so the kids are going to be doing a job that they want to do.
So there's really three key reasons why this is a unique program. I think the first point is that it's led and driven by an employer with real skill needs in terms of his workforce. So that's, that’s really significant. The second part is that it's utilizing the school-based traineeship as a way to transition young people into apprenticeships. So that is a unique model. And the third point is that it utilizes the power of the year 12 school-based apprenticeship .That is absolutely unique to the EPPP pilot. It enables the trainees to potentially progress to a school-based apprenticeship from year 12 onwards, and no other schools outside the EPPP schools are able to do that.