AFL premier Richmond has expanded its footprint in the North East and Border regions with the introduction of a free school-based traineeship.
From next year, Swinburne University of Technology and the Richmond Institute will offer VCE, VCAL and HSC students the chance to obtain a Certificate III in Community Services - Health And Leisure, as well as paid employment with Aligned Leisure.
The one-year course is set to commence on February 3, 2021, with students to attend classes once a week at Richmond Instutite's Wodonga campus at Wodonga Sports and Leisure Centre.
Students will be introduced to a range of roles at Aligned Leisure such as venue management, life guarding and swim teaching and other community service work, paid for a minimum of seven hours per week.
Richmond Institute education manager Airlie Tudhope said there had already been applications from Catholic College Wodonga, Rutherglen High School, Xavier High School and St Paul's College Walla Walla.
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"The real point of difference for this program is it's a school-based traineeship, but the employment side is all packaged in together," she said.
"Eligible students can access free TAFE, and they will also have the opportunity to complete their pool lifeguard and swim teaching qualifications."
Mrs Tudhope said if students wished to continue with study after school, they would have a potential pathway into the Richmond Institute of Sports Leadership program and further studies with Swinburne.
Wodonga's Gemma Thorneycroft has been involved in the Richmond Institute of Sports Leadership this year and enjoys the marketing and management side of the industry.
Miss Thorneycroft has worked in administration for the Albury Tigers and also had a coaching placement with Richmond's head of football Neil Balme.
"I wanted to work in the sports industry, but wasn't sure what path I wanted to take or what my interests were as I chop and change my mind every five minutes," she said.
"It's definitely given me a lot of knowledge and experience and I've gained a lot of new skills and insight."
A live information session on the school-based traineeship will on Wednesday night and can be accessed at www.richmondinstitute.com.au/register-interest/, along with information on other courses.