Path­ways to employment

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Advertoria­l -

These days it is com­mon for peo­ple to be uncer­tain about what ca­reer path to choose – and ac­cept­able for them to change their mind, many times.

Some sec­ondary stu­dents as­pire to com­plete year 12 and at­tend uni­ver­sity to fur­ther study and some take a ‘gap’ year to work to save money or travel.

Oth­ers par­tic­i­pate in a Vic­to­rian Cer­tifi­cate of Ap­plied Learn­ing, VCAL, course dur­ing their VCE years, com­plet­ing on-the-job train­ing and gain­ing in­dus­try ex­pe­ri­ence to find their pas­sion.

For­mer Hor­sham Col­lege stu­dent Grace Chris­tian chose the VCAL path­way and it has paid div­i­dends.

In year 11, Grace stud­ied Cer­tifi­cate II in Hair­dress­ing at Fed­er­a­tion Uni­ver­sity through a Vo­ca­tional Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing pro­gram.

She also com­pleted on-the-job struc­tured work­place learn­ing in a sa­lon one day a week.

Af­ter won­der­ing if hair­dress­ing was the ca­reer path she wanted to take, Grace changed her struc­tured work­place learn­ing elec­tive to com­mu­nity ser­vices.

At the end of year 11, Grace de­cided she wanted to be a hair­dresser. She en­rolled in her sec­ond-year VET course, Cer­tifi­cate II Sa­lon As­sis­tant.

Grace started year 12 and switched her struc­tured work­place learn­ing com­po­nent to work at Sirs and Hers Hair stu­dio, now known as Ge­orge and Co.

Two weeks into her place­ment, an ap­pren­tice­ship be­came avail­able and Grace threw her hat in the ring.

“I wanted to fin­ish year 12 but I was re­ally en­joy­ing my time in the sa­lon and my dad was re­ally sup­port­ive of me leav­ing school for an ap­pren­tice­ship,” Grace said.

Ge­orge and Co owner Michelle Shanks of­fered Grace a two-week, full-time trial to en­sure leav­ing school was the right de­ci­sion.

“I didn’t want to stop Grace from com­plet­ing year 12, I wanted her to make sure this was what she truly wanted,” she said.

“Grace is so ma­ture for her age and she re­minded me of my­self. She has a great work ethic and fits in with the team here at Ge­orge and Co.”

Grace was of­fered the po­si­tion and is now em­ployed full time as a first- year ap­pren­tice. Re­cep­tion duties, smil­ing and greet­ing the clients who come into the sa­lon, learn­ing the prod­uct range, wash­ing hair, gen­eral clean­ing duties and help­ing as­sist other stylists ap­ply colour are all tasks Grace is learn­ing on the job.

“I re­ally en­joy work­ing with the team here, they are so friendly and willing to share their knowl­edge with me,” Grace said.

“I have a pas­sion for cre­ative colour. I would like to spe­cialise in colour when I qual­ify.”

Grace will be re­quired to at­tend trade school as part of her ap­pren­tice­ship.

She said there was still some dis­cus­sion as to where, but Geelong looked promis­ing.

Grace said trade school of­fered a chal­lenge but she looked for­ward to be­ing in­de­pen­dent.

“I’ve never had to stay away from home be­fore, but it will be a great learn­ing curve for me,” she said.

Grace said she was thrilled with the out­come af­ter ex­plor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able through the VCAL pro­gram at Hor­sham Col­lege.

Peo­ple can call Wim­mera South­ern Mallee Lo­cal Learn­ing and Employment Net­work on 5381 0122 for in­for­ma­tion about VET cour­ses or struc­tured work­place learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

OP­TIONS: For­mer Hor­sham Col­lege stu­dent Grace Chris­tian has reaped the re­wards of par­tic­i­pat­ing in Vo­ca­tional Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing and struc­tured work­place learn­ing pro­grams, land­ing an ap­pren­tice­ship at Hor­sham sa­lon Ge­orge and Co. Pic­ture: MELISSA...

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