RUTHERGLEN High School’s new $12.8 million trades centre is expected to lead to more students completing year 12.
School principal Phil Rogers yesterday said the workshops, which will be open to the public for inspection today, were “a massive step up for our school”.
“After what feels like forever, we’ve been able to double our capacity and deliver a really great educational experience for these kids,” Mr Rogers said.
“Being able to provide this training keeps kids in school.
“Keeping everything local means our school has a higher completion rate and will result in more qualified and skilled hands in the community.”
Students had previously had to travel by bus to other centres for such training and Mr Rogers said that had put them at risk of being turned off and dropping out.
The centre will allow students to obtain Vocational Education and Training certificates in woodworking, metalwork, hospitality and engineering up to certificate two, something previously only possible elsewhere in the region.
And the VET program will now provide for school-based apprenticeships to TAFE-equivalency, allowing students to continue their training straight out of high school.
Mr Rogers said the painstaking project had involved submitting more than 1000 invoices to secure the new equipment and get the centre built.
But he said the high quality of the end result had put smiles on many faces.
He said the food technology areas now had quality equipment, including industry-standard grills, cooktops, dishwashers and coffee machines.
These would allow students to learn in a professional environment.
Now the town’s aspiring chefs will be able to host their own functions — the building’s new areas provide a real restaurant atmosphere.
“Being able to get qualified while still in school is a major advantage for these students,” Mr Rogers said.