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.”