Colleges to target student trainees

TWENTY-FIVE Australian Technical Colleges will be created to encourage students into vocational education as part of the Federal Government's strategy to tackle skills shortages.

Targeting Year 11 and 12 students who want to complete their education while beginning apprenticeships, the colleges will not be part of the TAFE network.

Five of the colleges have already opened and 15 more are due to open next year. The college vision is to support students through both academic and trade training with mentoring, career advice and business and employability skills. The courses have been developed with industry input to ensure the training offered is locally relevant.

The Australian Technical College on the Gold Coast opened in February at newly built premises at Helensvale. It offers state-of-the-art education and training facilities, with trade training in construction and commercial cookery.

The college is operating in partnership with high schools in the Coast region this year and next. Students work towards their senior secondary certificate, receive business training, undertake an Australian, school-based apprenticeship and start a Certificate III level trade qualification.

The college will also offer a number of outreach programs to promote trade qualifications to Year 10 students in the region and provide trade training to Year 11 and 12 students in distant parts of the Gold Coast.

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