Students at Daylesford Secondary College will have the opportunity to leave school with year 12 and trade qualifications from next year

SPARKS FLY: Daylesford Secondary College's year 12 pupil, Tyler Bolton, enjoys learning hands-on skills, like welding, while completing high school. Photo: Dylan Burns
SPARKS FLY: Daylesford Secondary College's year 12 pupil, Tyler Bolton, enjoys learning hands-on skills, like welding, while completing high school. Photo: Dylan Burns

Pupils at Daylesford Secondary College will no longer have to make the choice between finishing their studies and undertaking an apprenticeship. 

The Victorian government’s new Head Start apprenticeships and traineeships initiative will launch at the college in 2019, meaning pupils will have the option to stay at school for an extra year, essentially for a year 13 of schooling.

The initiative will mean pupils can leave school with the equivalent of year 12, VCAL or VCE, as well as being fully qualified and ready to work in their chosen trade, having had the extra time to undertake on-the-job training, alongside their studies.

The college currently has 77 students enrolled in VET and school-based apprenticeship and traineeship programs across a range of subjects, including building and construction, music, sport and recreation, hospitality and automotive. 

The college, to be one of 100 participating schools in the state, will receive additional funding and support from the government to assist with running the program, including a school-based coordinator to provide employment and vocational pathway advice, as well as individual support for students taking on an extra year of school. 

TRADE: Year 10 student Josh Barry sanding down his project in the wood work room. Photo: Dylan Burns

TRADE: Year 10 student Josh Barry sanding down his project in the wood work room. Photo: Dylan Burns

Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas said the program would allow pupils to obtain the skills they need for the jobs they want. 

“Daylesford Secondary College is the only high school in Hepburn Shire. So we have to make sure that every kid has the best opportunity to get the education and training they need for the jobs that they want,” she said.

“It’s about ensuing young people have every opportunity at school to excel in the areas that they are interested in and passionate about. Instead of trying to put square pegs in round holes, let’s try to support kids at a younger age. It’s about giving kids hands on training and skills for the jobs they want.”

It’s about giving kids hands on training and skills for the jobs they want.

MP Mary-Anne Thomas

School captains Alex Hitchman and Max Muscat said the program would be great to give pupils extra time to figure out exactly which path they would like to go down.

“It gives people with certain interests in trade, like carpentry, more options,” Ms Muscat said.