Students in Bendigo will soon be able to finish high school with an apprenticeship or traineeship, ready for work in high demand and high growth industries thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Bendigo Senior Secondary College to announce the Labor Government’s new Head Start Apprenticeships and Traineeships initiative would launch there and in schools across Bendigo next year.
Mr Merlino also opened the school’s $6.2 million upgrade during the visit, which includes a new library, VCAL centre, business studies centre and learning areas for psychology, humanities and health subjects.
The school also received a further $2.8 million to contribute towards the recently opened Ulumbarra Theatre project – a 1000 seat four-star theatre that serves the College and surrounding community.
Head Start will deliver up to 1,700 new apprenticeships and traineeships at 100 secondary schools across Victoria, giving local students more support to study an apprenticeship or traineeship at school.
Students will have the option of doing an extra year of school as part of the initiative, so they can finish their VCAL or VCE while spending more time doing important and paid on-the-job training.
The local schools hosting Head Start alongside Bendigo Senior Secondary College include Bendigo South East 7-10 Secondary College, Weeroona College Bendigo, Crusoe 7-10 Secondary College, Rochester Secondary College, Echuca College, Kyabram P-12 College and Eaglehawk Secondary College.
Schools will get additional support and funding to help run Head Start, including a school-based coordinator to provide employment and vocational pathway advice and one-on-one support to students.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 provided $50 million to deliver Head Start, alongside $109 million to overhaul secondary school career education and $26 million to enhance vocational education in schools.
Head Start will provide apprenticeships targeted at priority industries and traditional trades like construction, defence and health, with enterprise apprenticeships and traineeships to be developed that target high technology areas needed for the jobs of tomorrow like coding.
Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“We want all young Victorians who are learning a trade to be qualified and ready to work in areas where there are real job opportunities.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan
“Our apprentices are the backbone of our training system and the future of our workforce so it’s vital we give them all the support we can.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards
“This fantastic initiative will give more students in Bendigo the support and skills they need to do what they love and get their career started.”