Year 11 and 12 students at Kennedy Baptist College have the opportunity to enhance their education by engaging in Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses while still at school. VET students do off-campus studies in training organisations such as TAFE and some are required to do work placements. In this issue, we feature Lachlan and Finn who are in Year 11 and are completing their pre-apprenticeships in electrotechnology at South Metro TAFE.
Lachlan and Finn’s interest in the electrical trade was sparked by family friends who are electricians. Lachlan heard good things about the vocation from his father’s mate and Finn took the advice of the College VET Coordinator to consider becoming a sparky.
Both students are completing their Certificate II in Electrotechnology, a pre-apprenticeship program at South Metro TAFE, Thornlie. Their Fridays begin at 8am and goes on until 3pm in the afternoon. A mixture of theory and practical lessons fill their time, interspersed with three break times.
“Our lecturers tend to mix theory and practical lessons to make it more interesting,” remarked Lachlan.
“The lecturers are also very experienced, so we learn quite a fair bit,” added Finn, ““but the best thing about the course is that it gives us a hands-on experience of working life- life outside school.”
The practical component of the course require trainees to complete 160 hours of work placement with a host employer. Communication skills are taught in TAFE to help students look for and apply to a host employer, but students need to be proactive in order to “get a gig with a sparky crew”.
Both boys expressed their gratitude in being able to join the OTTO Electrician group who “are very professional, helpful and treat us like family.”
When asked about the challenges of the course, Lachlan and Finn agree that making their way to the Thornlie campus before 8am was initially a challenge. They also found it challenging to juggle College work with their off-campus VET training, but are thankful for the daily study periods that have been allocated to them to catch up with College work.
Finn remarked that these challenges have helped him become more responsible with his time and Lachlan added that,
“the challenges are worthwhile because doing the VETdSS widens my options and gives me a very good start to my career. Highly recommended.”
Lachlan and Finn will be continuing their work placement with OTTO Electrician and hope to apply for an apprenticeship after completing their course. We wish them all the best!