New centre puts students a step ahead

St Paul’s College Kempsey is able to serve its student cohort better thanks to the addition of a Trades Skills Centre (TSC).

The TSC was built in the final round of Trades Training Centre funding from the Federal Government. It opened in 2015 and provides opportunities for students to gain certificates in Agriculture or Construction Pathways as a key part of their HSC.

Principal Kevin Lewis said the vision of the College with respect to the TSC is to “provide students in the Macleay Valley with realistic and relevant trades entry level skills to prepare them for the world of work available to them in the local area”.

“The Macleay is a blue collar and farming community so these skills gained by students put them ahead of the game in terms of gaining trades and apprenticeships.”

“The two spaces combined were built at a cost $1.5m and provide excellent training facilities for our stage 6 VET students.

“My vision is to further expand opportunities for students in this area particularly with the compulsory school leaving age being raised to 17. It will become even more relevant with changes to the HSC in 2020 with more students potentially opting to not sit for the HSC but to take other pathways.”

Kevin said the TSC was a focal point for staff from science, hospitality, environmental and other faculties, bringing them together to work on a number of projects.

Leader of Technological and Applied Studies and Careers Advisor Darren Stephen said the TSC was a great opportunity for students to get real life experience and get a step ahead with apprenticeships.