Ballarat’s budding tradies offered chance at double degrees

Budding tradies will have the chance to finish their VCE with a qualification after Ballarat’s four public secondary schools were announced as bases for a new government program. 

Picking up skills: Phoenix P-12 year 12 students Jay, Brendan and Josh show off some of their handiwork to Buninyong candidate Michaela Settle and Education Minister James Merlino. Picture: Lachlan Bence

Picking up skills: Phoenix P-12 year 12 students Jay, Brendan and Josh show off some of their handiwork to Buninyong candidate Michaela Settle and Education Minister James Merlino. Picture: Lachlan Bence

Phoenix P-12, Ballarat High School, Ballarat Secondary School and Mount Clear College are among 100 public schools statewide which will provide students with the opportunity to spend an extra year at school to graduate with a trade. 

All up 1700 students across the state will be given the chance to take part in the program.

“This is all about providing pathways to jobs,” Education Minister James Merlino said.  “A VCE or VCAL certificate in one hand and a trade certificate in the other.

The students will also be assisted by 50 Head Start coordinators working with industry to give students a taste of the workplace. 

Like the VCAL arrangement, students attending private schools will also be able to access the new courses through the public system. 

Phoenix technology teacher Tim Blee said the apprenticeship program said the program “allows the students to grow in confidence”.