For Cooper Wilson, pursuing a pathway to the construction industry has always been his goal.
The Henley High School year 11 student wants to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps to become a trades person building South Australia’s future infrastructure.
“My grandfather was an unqualified trades person so I want to go that step further and get a qualification,” Cooper says.
It comes as the Department for Education repositions VET within secondary education to help students get a head start on their career.
Flexible Industry Pathways allow students to commence a paid apprenticeship or traineeship whilst at school completing their SACE. Students will learn enterprise and employability skills and any specific industry requirements linked to the pathway.
Looking at either carpentry or plumbing as a specialty area of study, Cooper has started a Certificate II in Construction Pathways through the school’s VET program.
Cooper is studying at one of the Flexible Industry Pathways pilot schools, ahead of the program’s full roll-out in 2022.
“It was a really easy decision. I did a construction course at Thebarton Senior College with my mates last year to try it out,” Cooper says.
“Right now we’re getting ready, researching different trades and techniques. Last week we were hands on with the tools and made some metal benches for the school.”
Students are supported with career education from year 7, helping them to identify their interests and turning that into a viable career path.
Flexible Industry Pathways have been developed in 26 key growth industries for the state. The Department for Education has co-designed the pathways with industry to ensure they include qualifications, skills and knowledge required by South Australian employers.
The Flexible Industry Pathways have been endorsed by the Training and Skills Commission’s Industry Skills Councils as the industry’s recognised route to employment and further study.
Cooper has aspirations to work for a big construction company and is excited at the prospect of opportunities to travel with his work. By joining the construction pathway at Henley High School, Cooper can see his future mapping out ahead of him.