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Thursday, 21 October 2010
Page: 1187


Mr WYATT (9:42 AM) —Recently I had the opportunity of visiting the Australian Trades College Western Australia established by the Howard government in Maddington, which is in the electorate of Hasluck. The Australian Trades College Western Australia is a senior secondary college and a registered training organisation that focuses on delivering trade training to young Western Australians. They have established a subsidiary company, ATC Group Training, which employs apprentices and is keen to expand its services beyond the two campuses located in Maddington and Armadale.

The Australian Trades College Western Australia offers a unique year 11 and 12 academic program that is designed specifically for students who are interested in learning a trade. Students spend half a day in a classroom—the rest of the time is spent working in custom-built workshops perfecting the technical skills of their chosen trade. Over the course of the two-year program students will complete up to 800 hours of trade training at the college. Students operate on normal workplace hours and are expected to adopt the mindset that their place of study is no different from what they could expect in any company workplace that they will work in as part of a team or a single operator.

The Australian Trades College WA offers a young person the opportunity to complete their secondary studies and commence an apprenticeship in the following areas which will enable them to commence a trade career: cabinetmaker, carpenter, electrician, light vehicle automotive mechanic, bricklayer and boilermaker/welder. The trades college at Maddington can provide students with the opportunity to complete up to 1,300 hours of industry training with an employer. They are assigned an employment coordinator who will work closely with them during their time at the college and provide support for students when they are seeking to secure a job.

An existing apprentice looking for an RTO is also accommodated by the Australian trades colleges through a block release arrangement specifically tailored to their workplace and employer training requirements. The Australian Trades College WA provides young people with the opportunity of acquiring applied literacy and numeracy skills and plays a critical role in retaining young people within the area by giving them an education and training pathway that sets them on a career path that will value-add to the economy. In my discussions with the college, we are looking to expand this into the Midland region so that young people who are disengaged from the schooling process will embark on an education and training pathway that will develop opportunities for them within the workplace, within the growing industries of Western Australia and, more importantly, within the economy of Australia. They will then be part of a workforce that develops us as a nation within the global economy.