Early March saw us back on the road with Tour Two, which took us out to Dubbo as a base and a range of schools in the surrounding areas. We had worked in this area before Christmas, but the joy is always that there are so many schools we haven’t been to, that it is still rare to attend schools twice.
We ran workshops in Wellington, Trangie, Warren and with a couple of schools in Dubbo including Central, High and Senior schools and included a majority of female participants but also 20% male participants. Comments from students included:
• Using all the tools. Knowing the career choices available
• It was fun and interesting to use the awesome tools, I liked learning how to use the drop saw.
• I liked how everything was demonstrated and explained before having to do it
• Learning to use tools in a safe environment. Working with other people
• Learning how to use tools & being independent
On this tour we were working with a Regional Industry Education Partnership (REIP) Officer which we have done a number of times. We have always found these relationships hugely beneficial as this brings a great deal of local input to the tour. Many of these workshops included tradespeople and an apprentice working locally who also told their stories of their careers, adding to the richness and variety of careers the participants learnt about.
Feedback from the Career Advisors included:
• Professional, organised, safe and fun! Very meaningful experience.
• Today was fantastic, we would love to make it an annual thing. We would be happy to negotiate cost if funding was an issue. Thank you so much!
• Fantastic! The students thoroughly enjoyed it and are already asking “Can they come back next year?” Many life skills were developed and the facilitators were very encouraging – particularly at getting students to do things independently, even students with a disability. The presentation at the start about different pathways the trade person took was a highlight – several students commented that it was “inspirational”. It would be great to have had more students (years 9-12) listen to this valuable advice.
• It was fantastic watching students of all abilities and ages engage in an interactive and thoroughly engrossing workshop. The kids all walked away with skills and confidence to perform DIY tasks at home. Amazing opportunity!
• Excellent. Very engaging for all students of all abilities.
Overall, the participants responded via feedback sheets with the following results:
• 60% had not thought of a career in trade before the workshop
• 61% found that the SALT Workshop changed what they were interested in as a career
• 58% now commented on being interested in specific trade careers with 36% being interested in construction alone
• 73% would seek more training in the trades
• 91% wanted another workshop like the one they had just completed with SALT
• And 27% were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
As a workshop Tradie returning to an area, where we have been before is just as exciting as the first time round. To have the REIP officer attend a few of the workshops during our week tour, is most welcoming and to see firsthand everything that is co-ordinated to deliver a workshop. The local newspaper at Warren attended the workshop and interviewed a few of the students and the Tradies. I think above all that until you actually see the process, you then understand how beneficial the workshop is to the students. The welcome speech, safety procedures and introduction by each Tradie, is well received. The different paths that have led us to be there on the day.