SCHOOL'S IN: Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman visited Bundaberg State High School today.
SCHOOL'S IN: Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman visited Bundaberg State High School today.

Bundy students first to enrol in state’s new project

Bundaberg State High School is helping students get a foot in the door of community services industry with a new program.

The local high school was the state’s first secondary school to sign up for the new program set to train students for jobs within the community services industry, which is part of the popular Gateway to Industry Schools Program.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman visited the school today, meeting with the first students to take part in the project.

“This program lays the foundations for our young Queenslanders to gain valuable skills and

knowledge before they walk out of the classroom,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Our overall investment of $2.7 million in this fantastic program links school kids with industry and gives them a taste of what a future in this sector would be like while gaining valuable skills.

“The group of more than 55 Bundaberg SHS students are the first to enrol in the new Community Services project, with more students expected to take part in the next group.

“This will mean that local students will have a fantastic head start in securing a job in aged

care, disability services, education support and childcare – jobs that we know are in

demand.”

She said more than 260 schools across Queensland across, including five in Bundaberg, were

signed up to one or more of the Gateway to Industry Schools program.

“We have a plan, Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs.” she said.

“Our plan is to invest in the futures of young Queenslanders and make sure we have the

skilled workforce for more jobs in more industries.”

The school’s Head of Vocational Education and Training, Ms Jo McGrath said there were 57

students across year 11 and 12 taking part in the project – undertaking Certificate II

in Active Volunteering, Community Services or Health Support Services.

“For many students, this leads to further studies at a Certificate III and higher qualifications,

enabling them to continue their involvement in the community services sector,” Ms McGrath

said.

“Plans are underway to connect students and teachers with more industry employers next

year to enable the students to undertake 20 days of work experience in aged care nursing

homes, disability services, education support and child care as part of the program.”

Principal Karen McCord said the community services focus presented an opportunity to

simultaneously address two of the school’s priorities – encouraging youth community

mindsets and enhancing student career outcomes.

“It is critical to ensure students are well prepared for a transition to work or study and can

successfully compete for roles from a local, to a global market,” Ms McCord said.

“Exposure to the community services sector enables students to gain a variety of skills

critical to support their school to employment pathway and creates the spark that leads to

employment in this high demand area.”

Ms Fentiman said the expansion of the Gateway to Industry Schools Program was

announced last year as part of the Skills for Queensland strategy, with the four new priority

industry areas of screen media, information and communication technology, health, and

community services.

“With the rollout of the NDIS, we know we will need more skilled workers in aged and

disability care,” she said.

“In Bundaberg and Wide Bay Burnett region alone, there is a projected demand of more than

3,500 additional jobs to support the NDIS.”

Gateway to Industry Schools projects:

  • Screen and media (new)
  • Information and communication technology (new)
  • Health (new)
  • Community services (new)
  • Aerospace
  • Agribusiness
  • Building and construction
  • Food, wine and tourism
  • Manufacturing and engineering
  • Minerals and energy

SCHOOL'S IN: Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman visited Bundaberg State High School today.
SCHOOL'S IN: Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman visited Bundaberg State High School today.

Four schools have now signed up to join the GISP Community Services project including

Bundaberg North, Shalom College and Sunnybank State High Schools.

Over 14 years the Gateway to Industry Schools Program has grown from 42 to more than

260 schools providing thousands of young Queenslanders with valuable skills and

knowledge for their future careers.

Bundaberg Labor candidate Tom Smith said as a local teacher, he knew some of the best learning opportunities can occur outside of the classroom.

“By investing in skills and training for our young people in Bundaberg, the Palaszczuk Labor Government is investing in jobs for regional Queenslanders,” he said.

“It is fantastic to meet with young people who have a plan forward and a strong work ethic to achieve career goals.”

For more information on the program click here.

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