Head start for young students
A Try-a-trade program aims to engage indigenous students to train in specific trade areas to gain full-time work in the building and construction industry.
THE PEER VEET training and apprenticeship centre, in conjunction with the South Australian Government, is running a new program.
The initial project has attracted 12 young indigenous students in Years 10 and 11 from colleges and high schools in South Australia and is delivered two days a week over eight weeks at the PEER VEET training centre in Albert Park.
The program provides students with a range of workplace skills, including whitecard, occupational health and safety, first aid, electrical rescue, plumbing, hand and power tools and dismantle, assemble and fabricate electro-technology components skills and qualifications.
The skills will give students an understanding and confidence to operate at a basic level in the building and construction industry and is expected to help them gain an apprenticeship.
Naomi Martin is a Year 10 indigenous student from Woodville High school who heard of the program through her home group teacher Regina Wilson.
Naomi started the program to give herself a headstart in her career when she graduates.
‘‘I am really enjoying the program and learning new skills, especially in the workshops with tools,’’ she says.
‘‘I now know what would be expected of me in the workplace and what skills and knowledge I would need to be an apprentice.
‘‘I am happy that I have been given the opportunity and for the encouragement from my family to follow my interests.
‘‘I am looking forward to complet- ing the program and undertaking an apprenticeship when I finish school.’’
PEER VEET chief executive Michael Boyce says it is keen to support talented young indigenous students with the training and mentoring they need to succeed and contribute to the growth of the building and construction industry.
‘‘It is great to see that the strong support from the South Australian Government and secondary schools has led to the successful engagement of these students in the Try-a-Trade program,’’ he says.
Isaac Weetra, who is the mentor with the Try-a-Trade program, says it is giving indigenous students a real understanding of life in a trade as well as a solid foundation to gain employment in an apprenticeship.
‘‘We aim to increase the pool of South Australian skilled indigenous people to benefit indigenous people and our industries,’’ he says.
PEER VEET will deliver the next Try-a-Trade program in August, with another program scheduled for October aimed towards attracting indigenous sports people into trade apprenticeships.
Naomi Martin is part of PEER VEET’s Try-a-Trade program.