Students learn trade skills at school and workshop
GRADUATION ceremonies usually honour the stars of the classroom, but 14 stars of the workshop were recognised for completing their certificate in process plant operations.
The Tannum Sands State High School students took on the course offered through CQUniversity's VET in Schools, in partnership with EQIP Gladstone.
The workshop-based program involved once-a-week classes, and visits to industry in the region.
Teacher Neil Smith said the course provided a chance for students to be treated "like workers instead of kids", and to get a head start for gaining apprenticeships.
"I worked as a maintenance fitter in industry for more than 30 years before I moved into teaching, and the students are really keen to get that industry perspective," Neil said.
Year 11 student Bradley Hunt and Year 12 student Quinton Turner attended the ceremony at CQUniversity, with Quinton also winning the course prize for most productive student.
Quinton, from Miriam Vale, said the practical study had been challenging, and was a good preparation for job hunting.
CQUniversity's VET in School program sees students from the Gladstone region attend the vocational campus one day a week, completing certificates in everything from construction to childcare, and beauty therapy to business.
VET in Schools is a national initiative, but was first pioneered in Gladstone in the late 1990s.
Vocational Training manager for Engineering and Trades Suzie Lane said the program was a popular pathway for students keen to get into a trade.
"VET in Schools gives students the chance to gain skills they can't get at high school, and benefit from an adult learning environment while still completing high school," she said.
Many of the courses are free for students to complete, via the Queensland Government's VET investment program, with more than 30 courses available to students at high schools across central Queensland.