Special trade pathways

There is a buzz in the air as eager students return each Monday to the Baw Baw Skills Centre.

This isn’t a typical day - and these, until recently, are not typical students.  But the rewards for all – including the teaching staff – are evident.

Local students with a disability can now gain a taste of a trade career via an innovative pathway program at the skills centre in Warragul.

Each week a group of 24 eager students from five local schools gain hands-on skills in carpentry and plumbing as part of the newly developed “Special Trade Pathways Program”.

The program is already reaping many benefits.  It is the chance to learn life-skills and increase self-esteem, while some have already demonstrated the ability to move into mainstream trade studies next year.

“I thought it would be a bit harder teaching these guys and girls,” said carpentry teacher Jim Fallon.  “They’re such a good bunch of kids and they just want to learn.  They are the best class I have all week.”

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