THE Redlands campus of Australian Industry Trade College has had almost 40 students take up apprenticeships with local businesses in its first year.
The trade college, which has a sister campus on the Gold Coast, has students in years 10 to 12 who spend five weeks in the classroom, followed by five to seven weeks working in their chosen field.
AITC chief executive officer Mark Hands said he was pleased with the college’s performance in its first year.
“The Redlands college is growing steadily and we now have 130 students,” he said.
“We have our first group of year 10 students starting in July.”
Mr Hands said AITC was a good fit for students who did not feel they were reaching their potential through mainstream schooling or who wanted to get a headstart on their careers by entering the workforce earlier.
“If a student starts in year 10 they can complete about half their apprenticeship by the time they graduate.”
AITC student Lucas Kerr, who is doing a Certificate Three in Carpentry at Welcome Homes, Capalaba, said attending the college had accelerated his career.
“By the time I graduate from year 12 at the end of this year, I will be about half way through my apprenticeship, so I will be well on my way to becoming a qualified carpenter,” he said.
“I have been working with Welcome Homes for about eight months now and I already feel like I have gained a lot more real world experience compared to some of my peers in mainstream schools.
“I also have the capacity to earn while I learn, which so far has enabled me to save some money for my future.”
Mayor Karen Williams said the local business sector had embraced the AITC and had been instrumental in its early success.
“AITC filled a void in the provision of education and training for young Redlanders, with the significant added benefit of an apprenticeship on offer, thanks to the participation of local trade businesses,” she said.
“Far too many Redlanders had been forced to leave the city to find employment or for training. The advent of AITC has provided local education, local training and local jobs for many of our young people.”