Sydney (Tribune International, NSW Govt Release, 3 August 2020): Seven Hills High School has been selected to introduce specialist vocational education facilities as part of the NSW Government’s $34 million election
Within three years, purpose built facilities and classes will allow students to pursue careers in Community and Health Services, Construction (Electrotechnology and Plumbing), and Transport and Logistics.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said equipping students to fill the jobs of the future is an important part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 recovery plan.
“Specialised training facilities are critical to ensuring NSW students can receive world-class skills training and be provided the skills of the future,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges for our state. It’s crucial we look to reskill, retrain and support school leavers to access opportunities in industries where there are skills shortages and emerging employment opportunities.
“Seven Hills High School will now be well placed to take advantage of major projects in Western Sydney, including the construction of the Aerotropolis, which will require a steady pipeline of skilled tradies for decades to come.”
Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the high school will operate with a renewed focus on Vocational Education and Training (VET) from 2023.
“We have to inspire all students to consider VET as an alternative career pathway, including about 50 per cent of high school graduates who do not pursue a university pathway,” Mr Lee said.
“Skills training is vital to propelling our State forward, particularly following the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Minister for Education and Early Childhood Sarah Mitchell said this investment would put young people wanting to pursue a career in vocational education in the best position to develop their learning.
“This development supports young people to engage in learning that builds skills and supports access to apprenticeships and traineeships. The school will continue to offer the full range of study options, VET courses will be additional options,” Ms Mitchell said.
The selection of Seven Hills High School (Years 7 to 10) follows a comprehensive analysis of all potential secondary schools in the state – up to 45 per cent of students at nearby Wyndham College undertake at least one VET course as part of their HSC. More than 91 per cent of students transition from Seven Hills to Wyndham for Year 11 and 12.
This initiative will benefit from work already underway by the NSW Government to address the barriers student’s face when choosing a VET pathway.