New industry school program skilling up kids in Bundaberg

The Bundaberg State High School is the state’s first secondary school to sign up for a new program to train students for jobs in the in-demand community services industry.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman visited the school today to meet with the first students to take part in the new Community Services project which is part of the popular Gateway to Industry Schools Program.

“This program lays the foundations for our young Queenslanders to gain valuable skills and knowledge before they walk out of the classroom,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Our overall investment of $2.7 million in this fantastic program links school kids with industry and gives them a taste of what a future in this sector would be like while gaining valuable skills.”

“The group of more than 55 Bundaberg SHS students are the first to enrol in the new Community Services project, with more students expected to take part in the next group.

“This will mean that local students will have a fantastic head start in securing a job in aged care, disability services, education support and childcare – jobs that we know are in demand.

“Already more than 260 schools across Queensland across, including five in Bundaberg are signed up to one or more of the Gateway to Industry Schools program.

“We have a plan: Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs.

“Our plan is to invest in the futures of young Queenslanders and make sure we have the skilled workforce for more jobs in more industries.”

The school’s Head of Vocational Education and Training, Ms Jo McGrath said there were 57 students across year 11 and 12 taking part in the project. They are undertaking Certificate II in Active Volunteering, Community Services or Health Support Services as part of the project.

“For many students, this leads to further studies at a Certificate III and higher qualifications, enabling them to continue their involvement in the community services sector,” Ms McGrath said.

“Plans are underway to connect students and teachers with more industry employers next year to enable the students to undertake 20 days of work experience in aged care nursing homes, disability services, education support and child care as part of the program.”

Principal Karen McCord said the community services focus presented an opportunity to simultaneously address two of the school’s priorities – encouraging youth community mindsets and enhancing student career outcomes.

“It is critical to ensure students are well prepared for a transition to work or study and can successfully compete for roles from a local, to a global market,” Ms McCord said.

“Exposure to the community services sector enables students to gain a variety of skills critical to support their school to employment pathway and creates the spark that leads to employment in this high demand area.”

The Minister said the expansion of the Gateway to Industry Schools Program was announced last year as part of the Skills for Queensland strategy, with the four new priority industry areas of screen media, information and communication technology, health, and community services.

“With the rollout of the NDIS, we know we will need more skilled workers in aged and disability care,” the Minister said.

“In Bundaberg and Wide Bay Burnett region alone, there is a projected demand of more than 3,500 additional jobs to support the NDIS.”

Gateway to Industry Schools projects:

  • Screen and media (new)
  • Information and communication technology (new)
  • Health (new)
  • Community services (new)
  • Aerospace
  • Agribusiness
  • Building and construction
  • Food, wine and tourism
  • Manufacturing and engineering
  • Minerals and energy

Four schools have now signed up to join the GISP Community Services project including Bundaberg North and Sunnybank State High Schools and Shalom College also in Bundaberg.

Over 14 years the Gateway to Industry Schools Program has grown from 42 to more than 260 schools providing thousands of young Queenslanders with valuable skills and knowledge for their future careers.

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.