High school students take a step in the right direction
Fifteen male Fairvale High School students completed the ‘Step into TAFE Engagement and Pathways’ (STEP), a pilot program developed by TAFE NSW - South Western Sydney Institute (SWSi).
The initiative was created to improve school participation, build skills and expose students to different vocational career pathways.
The STEP program has begun rolling out to schools within south west Sydney, with Fairvale High being one of the first two high schools to trial the program.
The program is funded by the participating school, with TAFE SWSi working closely with school staff to develop a tailored program for students.
The program targets students across years 10 to 12 at risk of disengaging from school or interested in vocational training.
“The program ensures that all students have access funding and programs that will help empower them and allow their future success,” said Eva Atkins, TAFE SWSi’s Granville and Miller College Community Engagement Coordinator.
Over 10 weeks, Fairvale High students attended shopfitting classes at TAFE SWSi’s Lidcombe College. The tailored program included a pre-apprenticeship program from the Timber and Building Materials Association (TABMA) as well as skills workshops from community organisation Woodville Alliance.
“The changes I’ve witnessed in the boys has been remarkable,” said TAFE SWSi Lidcombe College shopfitting teacher Richard Bailey.
“Not only have they gained technical skills, they’ve now got a taste of what a TAFE NSW course can offer. They’re aware of the different pathways available to them outside of university.
“Most importantly, they’ve gained confidence in themselves and their own ability to succeed.” he said.