Trades college to set up in Gladstone

By CHRIS LYNCHchrisl@gladstoneobserver.com.au

THE federal government yesterday announced Gladstone was one of 24 sites around the nation which would establish a new Australian Technical College.

Unlike conventional institutions such as TAFE, the college would aim to develop the business and trades skills of 300 students by placing them with local businesses.

Member for Hinkler Paul Neville said year 11 and 12 students would do four academic subjects at school while also doing trade subjects within a local business that specialised in a discipline they chose, such as building, engineering, electrical or catering.

'A key feature of the Australian Technical Colleges is that local industry and the community will be playing a leadership role in development and the day-to-day running,' Mr Neville said. 'This will ensure that the skills and training offered at the colleges will be directly relevant to the requirements of local businesses.'

He rejected Queensland Teachers' Union claims the funding would be better spent on schools and TAFE.

'If that was working why is there a chronic shortage of tradespeople?' he said.

Minister for Vocational and Technical Education Gary Hardgrave concurred.

He said under the new arrangement students would benefit from more up-to-date technology and training.

"There's no way a school or TAFE can stay as up to date as the businesses these people would be immersing them



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