$5m spent on handing trainees work talents
WITH 800 students leaving school each year to chase a job in the region, Ipswich State High School's new trade training centre makes sense.
Offering first-rate education and training facilities, the $5 million centre was officially opened yesterday.
The trade training centre, which will be used by Rosewood State High, Lowood State High, Bremer State Secondary College, Bundamba Secondary College and Ipswich State High, was funded by the former federal Labor government.
Ipswich High principal Simon Riley said having the centre at the school meant it could now run certificate courses for its students.
Mr Riley said the other four schools could send students to the centre next year for locally run courses or courses offered by external training organisations.
"The third advantage we've got here is that, because of this facility and the equipment we've got in it, we're able to hire it out to external organisations to use as a training base for their own programs," he said.
"For example, the Housing Industry Association, Construction Skills Queensland and Careers Australia have said they want to be here.
"By developing partnerships such as those, we've opened this facility to not just school students but post-school students such as long-term unemployed."
Mr Riley said statistics showed about 80% of the students who left the school in the Ipswich region looked for employment within 30km of Ipswich.
"So we've got 80% of 1000 kids walking out of our schools every year. That's 800 kids every year looking for a job in this region," he said.
"If they're coming away with skills that we can help them with - we're not going to hit all 800 - but if we can increase the percentage, we're going to have the opportunity to make this place rock 'n' roll. So it's really exciting."
The school's industrial technology and design head of department Nev Jesse said real-life practicality was the focus of the centre.
"If we can set up product partnerships with industry and whatnot, even to make a small component of a larger product, we'd be more than happy to do that," Mr Jesse said.
"The other thing we're going to investigate is a partnership with Ipswich City Council to help people in the community. It gives the students a real, live thing that they can relate to. The other avenue we're looking at is making box trailers.
"The main thing above all else is to have our kids jobs-ready."
Member for Blair Shayne Neumann said it was "a fantastic opportunity for local students to benefit from industry standard trade training infrastructure and equipment".
"The program will help support students to stay in school and get a qualification as well as address skills shortages in traditional trades and other occupations."