Australian Industry Trade College (AITC) has announced plans to open a Sunshine Coast campus in July, bringing the region’s first trade and industry-focused independent senior school to the area.
The location of the new college is still under negotiation; however, the facility will allow Year 10, 11 and 12 students to complete their Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) while starting a school-based apprenticeship in the trade of their choice.
AITC CEO Mark Hands said the college provided an alternative to conventional schooling, and offered formal qualifications in a wide variety of nationally recognised trade courses.
“Students can kick-start their careers in everything from electrical engineering and automotive mechanics, right through to hairdressing, plumbing and tiling, just to name a few,” Mr Hands said.
“In addition to their trade training, all young people at the AITC study core English and Mathematics subjects as well as certificates in Information Technology, Work and Life Skills and Business, and we also have a personal trainer deliver a health and fitness program on site.”
“Our focus is on developing a range of knowledge and skills that heighten students’ employment prospects and set them ahead of the pack when transitioning into the workforce.”
“We will open with a small Year 10 cohort in July 2018, and expect to grow our student numbers significantly by January 2019.”
Mr Hands said the college already had two established campuses in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, with both schools achieving sound results.
“On graduating at the end of Year 12, over 92 per cent of all students are converted into full-time apprenticeships,” he said.
“We have around 98 per cent of all students obtain their QCE, and to date, more than 1,500 students have been successfully placed into apprenticeships and traineeships.”
“The results really do speak for themselves, and we find these pathways are incredibly popular with students – and their parents – who value hands-on learning and feel traditional schooling perhaps isn’t the right fit for their family.”
Mr Hands said AITC provided students with real-world experience, allowing them to participate in on-the-job training in addition to their theory-based education.
“We facilitate work experience placements that generally run in blocks of four to seven weeks,” he said.
“Students’ maturity levels tend to grow quite quickly as a result of these industry placements, and we find our Year 12 pupils typically graduate as well-developed, responsible and skilled young people, who feel confident in entering the workforce.”
Master Builders Queensland Regional Manager Will Wilson welcomed the announcement and said the initiative would assist in combating youth unemployment on the Sunshine Coast.
“Our steering committee has been working closely with AITC for two years to make this school a reality locally and we’re thrilled to have it opening later this year,” Mr Wilson said.
“It has been designed in partnership with industry and with industry outcomes in mind, so its establishment on the Sunshine Coast will be of benefit to both prospective workers and employers.”
“There are plenty of government incentives available for employers that take on school-based apprentices, so this really is a win for local industry.”
For more information about AITC’s Sunshine Coast campus, please visit www.aitc.qld.edu.au or call 07 5353 5268.