Macedon Ranges businesses step-up for local students

With Vocational Education and Training (VET) and VCAL courses becoming increasingly popular choices for Macedon Ranges students, the demand for businesses to accept students for workplace learning opportunities has also increased.

Central Ranges Local Learning & Employment Network Industry Engagement Manager Lena Way said that enrolments in VET and VCAL courses across the Shire had significantly increased over the past three years, with Building and Construction, Auto, Hospitality, Engineering, Hair, Beauty, Business and Retail being popular choices.

Central Ranges Local Learning & Employment Network CEO Trent McCarthysaid that whilst it is encouraging to see so many students pursue practical career options, some find it difficult to secure placements. “As part of their VET and VCAL qualifications, students are required to undertake a certain number of hours of structured workplace learning with an employer. Some businesses across our region are simply under resourced to accept a student, however, on the whole we have seen Macedon Ranges businesses step-up to provide students with the workplace learning they need. This is very positive for the Macedon Ranges,” he said.

Sacred Heart Kyneton Associate Careers Practitioner Julie Matricardi-Old is encouraged by the number of small to medium sized businesses offering structured workplace learning and school based apprenticeships or traineeships. “M&Co hair salon in Woodend is an example of a small business prepared to give young people a go.Owner Megan Starasina recently offered placements for my hair and beauty students, and the wider school community is grateful for this kind of support. Our students simply can’t achieve their qualifications without a local business prepared to offer them a placement,” said Ms Matricardi-Old.

State Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas states, “We want all young Victorians who are undertaking a traineeship or apprenticeship to be qualified and ready to work in areas where there are real job opportunities.”

“Structured workplace learning relies on businesses taking part in the process. It’s fantastic to see local businesses in our community embracing these programs,” said Ms Thomas.

“Businesses can really benefit from taking a student for structured workplace learning,” said CRLLEN Industry Engagement Manager, Lena Way. “Young people are vibrant, digitally literate, have fresh ideas and could be a business’s next employee or apprentice. Students are fully covered by the Department of Education & Training’s work cover insurance policy and are paid $5 per day,” she said.

MRSC Mayor Cr Janet Pearce encourages even more local businesses to offer workplace learning opportunities to young people. “We were all young once. As a strong and united community, I encourage the Shire’s business owners to continue to support our youth in completing their education,” said Cr Pearce. “The mentorship and role modelling a business owner can provide to a young person could be life changing.”

Mary-Anne Thomas MP, MRSC Mayor Cr Janet Pearce, CRLLEN CEO Trent McCarthy, CRLLEN Industry Engagement Manager Lena Way, Sacred Heart Associate Careers Practitioner Julie Matricardi-Old.

/Public Release.