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EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

BUILDING A STRONG CAREER A journey characterised by determination and personal growth THIS IS ROOKIES Be prepared. Be challenged. Be ready. EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

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IN THEIR OWN WORDS Young people share their stories and impart valuable advice P

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upfront

WORK EXPERIENCE + 36

Creating opportunities for all

FROM THE CEO + 4

LOTS TO SHOUT ABOUT + 38

Growing from good to great

The rewards of becoming an apprentice and how to put your best foot forward

INSPIRING DETERMINATION + 6

AITC alumni awarded Automotive Apprentice of the Year

IT IS ROCKET SCIENCE + 40

Career opportunities in advanced manufacturing and industry

AWARDS SEASON + 8

AITC supporting MBAQ and GSCC NEW FACES + 9

Meet our newest members of the team

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features

young people

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connect PERSPECTIVE AND REFLECTION + 42

Wisdom at a young age I’M IN! + 45

SIGN-UPS + 23

Working in partnership with New Hope Cambodia

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Celebrating the outstanding performance of our young people

GIFTS THAT KEEP GIVING + 47

THIS IS ROOKIES

BUILD A WALL + 28

Teaching young people the value of giving back

Getting our young people ready for industry

ALUMNI IN FOCUS + 48

BUILDING A STRONG CAREER

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LAYING STRONG FOUNDATIONS Page 19

INNOVATORS AND ENTREPRENEURS + 31

Developing and nurturing industry leaders in the classroom THEIR OWN WORDS + 33

Our young people share their stories and advice

AITC alumni, Neisha Luck, finds her way into the field of forensics

endnote

AROUND CAMPUS + 50


This sentiment lies at the core of the Australian Industry Trade College.

Young people have the potential to find their passion, but it takes courage to pursue it. They have the potential to navigate an ever-changing world, but it takes courage to lead it. And they have the potential to be good citizens, but it takes courage to live with great character. The AITC encourages young people to fulfil their potential through an industry led curriculum, work centered experiences and community focussed values. Our outstanding 2020 results are evidence of this. The journey of each of our graduates however, started with courage.

In each of us lies unique potential, but it takes courage to unleash it.

EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest. Maya Angelou

On the following pages you will read about young people crawling through mud and building walls in their first few weeks; about practical and digital skills development for jobs that haven’t been created yet; and of young people walking a unique pathway to success. What these articles all have in common is the incredible influence of the human spirit on a young person’s personal growth and willingness to show courage. It recognises the importance of employers, trainers, parents/carers and community groups in inspiring the next generation of industry leaders. At the heart of all of these relationships is the AITC. This issue is filled with inspiring personal stories and amazing courage. I hope you enjoy the read.

Nicole de Vr ies E D I TO R P

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Mark Hands AI TC C EO

A new season from good to great T H E A I T C C O M M E N C E D T H E 2 0 2 1 Y E A R H AV I N G COMPLETED OUR MOST SUCCESSFUL YEAR EVER.

Our 2020 achievements are not just amazing, they’re phenomenal. No other school achieves these results.

QCE

99%

95%

of AITC graduates achieved their senior certificates - this means educated apprentices

of AITC graduates transitioned into full time employment in industries of their choosing

365

total employment outcomes across South East Queensland through the AITC model


EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

Despite the anxiety of 2020, these results profoundly declare that the opportunities offered in a school created by industry and for industry is resonating strongly with the market. The Australian Industry Trade College has become a school of consistently high quality outcomes. These statistics represent young lives who have now commenced their career as productive members of society. I am very proud of these young people and the employers who offered them an opportunity. I’m sure that every employee who joins the AITC is also proud of the fact that their careers will contribute to an enterprise which is a truly great one. An enterprise which becomes the “first choice of industry employers”. An enterprise which effectively transitions young people into working careers as they graduate from school. An enterprise which is not hoping to achieve this, but is achieving this now. As we move into a new season in 2021, we continue to grow the quality of our program while growing to meet high enrolment demand. Our newest campus in Ipswich is undergoing a large-scale development to include additional learning spaces, large breakout areas and more young people. Some of the architectural renders provide a sense of the scale of this project. The expansion is expected to be ready by July, 2021. Either way – our plan is to grow our people, our programs and our property footprint from an exceptionally GOOD enterprise to an exceptionally GREAT enterprise. I hope you enjoy the journey with us through this edition of Blueprint.

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JOEL’S INSPIRING

DETERMINATION DRIVES CAREER FORWARD Joel Rosser enrolled at the AITC Robina campus for the beginning of Year 11 in 2017. His goal was set towards achieving his Year 12 Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) and getting a head start in his chosen career as a light vehicle automotive mechanic. After some disappointments and challenges along his journey Joel never gave up. He was so determined to achieve his goals he approached over 70 workplaces for work experience to secure an apprenticeship. An amazing AITC alumni, Joel completed Year 12 and was named as a finalist in the Automotive Apprentice of the Year in 2018, and in 2020 he was awarded the TAFE 3rd Year Automotive Apprentice of the Year.

His remarkable journey began with making some life choices. “I knew where I wanted to go in my future and my previous school did not support a trade-orientated career path. Leaving a mainstream school was absolutely the right decision for me. There were many who did not agree with, or understand, my move to the AITC. But the main goal was to secure an apprenticeship before I finished Year 12.” While in mainstream school Joel was diagnosed with ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder – and found English difficult, which prompted the change. “I was in advanced classes in Maths and Science in Years 8-10, but the way my previous

school was structured I was not going to be able to get a QCE. I was going to be given limited choices, with my options being drastically cut because of what the school thought I could achieve – I would never have passed English or the Humanities subjects because of the number of essay-based assessments required.” Switching to the AITC changed the trajectory of Joel’s life. “Everyone at the AITC was a mentor in one form or another, everything was a lesson. We were taught things that we would not get in other schools — from cold calling to being a valued employee,” explains Joel.

“We were taught how to be part of a business, how to run a business. We were taught general knowledge and basic things that were beneficial for you as an employee. The teachers expected different things from us, depending upon our abilities, strengths and weaknesses and most importantly our willingness to apply ourselves. We were responsible for our own outcomes. The staff were always encouraging us and actually cared about us getting the most out of what was offered.” Due to some initial challenges with being signed on as an apprentice the experience forced Joel to step way out of his comfort zone. “I had to pick up


EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

The AITC taught me I was capable of much more than I was comfortable doing and more than I ever gave myself credit for. If you want it, you must go out and get it.

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Your QCE opens doors, it allows you to do things that you would have been restricted to previously. It can still be converted into an ATAR to attend a university if that is what you want. the phone (which I hated) and knock-on doors. I got on my pushbike and rode from one end of my local council area to the other and knocked on every workshop door along the way. I asked 78 workplaces for work experience before one said yes - Graeme Jensen at Tipler Autos at Beenleigh. This place also happens to be the place I was signed on as an apprentice, and now I am a 4th year apprentice. The whole experience taught me keep getting up, keep pushing and stay focused on your goal.” Without the training, support, encouragement, and mindset that the AITC provided, “I am sure I would not have persevered with finding work. I would not have had the knowledge behind me, or the faith in myself, to keep on keeping on. If I hadn’t learnt what I did at the AITC, I would not have met my current employer, who has always taught me more than was required. I work in a workshop where the customers say the ‘workflow represents the work quality’, and I am very proud to be a part of that.” Joel is “excited to finish” his apprenticeship, become a tradesman and continue within the industry. “I want to keep ticking the boxes in specialised areas like getting the different licenses that are available to qualified tradesman with further education.” Joel reflects on a story which confirms that he’s on the right career path. “During a weekend away with some mates four-wheel driving — there was nothing like the satisfaction of being able to fix a mate’s car in front of them when they thought all hope was lost,” says Joel. “We continued with our weekend without the expense of a tow truck or cutting the trip short.”

IN THE COMMUNITY Community is at the heart of the AITC and the College remains an avid supporter of local industry awards. Most recently, the AITC sponsored the awards evenings for the Master Builders Association Queensland and Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, rewarding local employers for their fine work and impact on their community.


EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

NEW FACES FOR A NEW YEAR With the continued growth of the College (Ipswich is set to expand with stage two and three of the construction of the campus due for completion in July this year), the AITC has added several experienced educators in cross-campus roles. We would like to welcome Richard Doreian, Tim Saal and Donna Loughran to the College for 2021 and beyond. As you will see from their profiles, the College continues to gain high-quality educators and leaders, something that will benefit our young people both in the shortand long-term of their industry careers.

+ Tim Saal DEPUTY HEAD OF INDUSTRY E D U C AT I O N ( W E S T E R N )

Tim Saal is passionate about seeing each young person make the most of their time at the AITC and maximise their opportunities. As Deputy Head of Industry Education (Western), Tim provides leadership for the Toowoomba and Ipswich campuses and Campus Managers Di Tumbridge and Yvette Pratt. He will also focus on engaging with the local communities in both cities. Tim’s inspirational leadership and understanding of young people is grounded in his background, which includes 13 years mental health and suicide prevention across Australia. He would like to help the organisation grow and “truly be the leading provider of industry education nationally.” “The AITC provides opportunities to young people that weren’t available earlier,” explains Tim. “This lack of opportunity 15 years ago was a significant factor in my decision to leave education at that time.” While researching the AITC, “the more I began to understand the AITC and its values, and the philosophies and leadership of the College, the more I knew I had to be involved.”

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+ Donna Loughran DEPUTY HEAD OF INDUSTRY E D U C AT I O N ( S O U T H E A S T )

Recently migrated from Sydney to sunny Queensland, Donna Loughran has 25 years’ experience in secondary education and is passionate about industry education. “I hope I can use the skills I have gained in my past experiences, and in my educational career, to make a strong contribution to the fantastic work that’s already being done here. I want to continue in helping to develop more future leaders of industry.”

+ Richard Doreian DEPUTY HEAD OF INDUSTRY E D U C AT I O N ( Q U A L I T Y )

Richard Doreian, and his family recently moved to the Sunshine Coast from Melbourne to join the AITC; while based at the Sunshine Coast he oversees all campuses in a role aimed at helping improve the learning experience of our young people and to set them up for success. “I’m lucky I’m able to move across different campuses and see the fantastic work everyone is doing. It’s great to share the best practice that’s happening across all campuses so we can operate at the highest level,” says Richard. “We have a real opportunity at the AITC to bring industry back into the classroom and make sure it’s embedded in all of our teaching and learning.” Richard’s role is to “make team leader’s (teachers) lives easier by providing opportunities for them to continue to develop their craft and their practice.”

As the College’s new Deputy Head of Industry Education (South East), Donna will be working closely with the two campus managers and teams at Redlands and the Gold Coast. “I’m really excited because they’re two really different campuses with really different school communities,” says Donna. “I know that together, with the team leaders from each of the campuses, I will be able to achieve some great student outcomes and create industry leaders of the future.” “I have absolutely found my tribe! I am absolutely in the right space. I can’t wait to get my journey started! If I was going to design a school, this would tick every box that I had. It’s got everything a young person needs to enter the world confidently and to face any pathway they choose. It’s important to help young people develop the skills they need to successfully negotiate through the world and that’s our job as educators.”


EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

BUILDING A

STRONG F R O M S H Y YO U N G GIRL TO CO N F I D E NT

CAREER

YO U N G WO M A N , E L L A’ S J O U R N E Y AT T HE AITC H AS B E E N C H A R AC T E R I S E D BY D E T E R M I N AT I O N , P E R S O N A L G R OW T H AND BUILDING A BRIGHT FUTURE.

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You have to be proud of what you’re doing and who you’re working for. Being part of the AITC - I take pride in that. You don’t just join the school you go through an interview process.

B U I L DI N G Ella O’Shannessy commenced at the AITC in 2020 as a fairly timid Year 10 young person. She struggled with the challenges of the Rookies Camp and was at the point of refusing to participate; however, after her Industry Consultant, Camille Carroll, gave her some words of encouragement, Ella accepted the challenge and completed the activities. The sense of achievement she felt on completion left Ella with an ear-to-ear grin – and a thirst for more. This transformation has resulted in Ella continuing to push herself in ways that surprised and delighted her.

“You have to be proud of what you’re doing and who you’re working for. Being part of the AITC — I take pride in that. You don’t just join the school you go through an interview process.” Camille says, “Ella is a wonderful example of a young person taking full advantage of the opportunities offered at the AITC and making them work for her.”

L I U B THE

Since beginning at the AITC Gold Coast campus, Ella continues to push herself by creating a strong career path. Now a confident young woman, Ella has come a long way from the shy, anxious rookie in Year 10. “I’ve learnt a lot since I’ve been at the AITC and with my apprenticeship,” explains Ella. “My teachers from the AITC and TAFE — and my AITC industry consultant, Camille, helped me work on my confidence before going into the workplace. They taught me to work on myself and my values.”

Within weeks of starting at the College, Ella attended a TAFE Trade Taster and seriously explored career options she had never considered. Bricklaying appealed to her during this process and her trainer, Graham Huxtable, saw some real potential in her. He linked her with an employer who he knew was a great tradesman and someone able to nurture and push the right apprentice to achieve their best.

BLO

Ella began her work placement with employer Lyle Banks, from Banksy Brick and Block, and they had a great connection. Lyle’s feedback said it all. “Ella is amazing. I couldn’t fault her. Her attitude was the thing that most impressed me! I just have to show her once—most kids you have to tell constantly. Ella has been incredible.”


Her enthusiastic energy on the job convinced Lyle that he wouldn’t find a better apprentice, and she was signed-up in early December 2020. “Every Industry Block I go to them and during holidays,” says Ella. “When I finish Year 12 I will be working with them full-time.” “The highlight of being at the AITC and having an apprenticeship has been learning more about myself, the people around me, my job and my team.” Another positive aspect is becoming a mentor to younger AITC students and sharing her experiences. Suffering from anxiety, Ella admits in the past she’s never been able to talk professionally to large groups of people. “Having work experience and taking classes has boosted me mentally and physically. It’s an amazing achievement to be able to talk to people, especially a classroom size.”

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EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

Because of Lyle’s guidance, Ella had a positive work experience outcome. “When I started bricklaying the team taught me so much,” says Ella. “They talked me through everything they were doing and let me try things. That was a big part that made me want to go back to them.”

it’s worth it. I like to be in a position to tell people not to give up on what they’re going for.” Ella continues to impress and has developed in ways that both she and her family can hardly believe. Her new confidence has translated into her educational learning and she is on track to achieve her QCE at her Graduation in 2022. “It’s important to finish Year 12 because it’s good for your resume,” explains Ella. “Employers will always look up a little bit more to you than possibly if someone else had a resume without a Year 12 certificate. Finishing your education is important, you learn so much from it. You will learn a lot about yourself when you finish.” As she sets her sights on an incredible future ahead, Ella offers advice for new young people coming into the AITC College community. “Work with yourself, the people around you, the teachers, the industry consultants and you will get to where you want to be. Remember that in the end it’s going to be worth it. We all have difficult areas and difficult times. Hold on to the fact that you will get there and not to let that feeling go — it’s going to be worth it in the end.”

Recently she spoke with Year 10 young people about her journey as a female working hard in trades. “I talked to them about what I went through — physically and mentally to get here and get my job. Talking about my experiences has helped their confidence — especially with female students going into trades. It’s made me a lot more confident in what I’m doing and who I am as well.”

G N I D L

Early on some people outside the AITC questioned Ella’s choice of bricklaying as her work experience block. “A lot of people came to me and said, ‘You can’t do that because you’re a girl.’ It was a big challenge; however, I’ve definitely taken that on board and proved them wrong. I’ve grown within myself to overcome any challenges. I’ve overcome these hurdles and I’ve succeeded.

The highlight of being at the AITC and having an apprenticeship has been learning more about myself, the people around me, my job and my team.

OCKS “Being a female in the industry — it’s quite a big thing,” she explains. “I’ve been able to tell young people that it’s going to be hard work—especially getting into what it is you want to do. To get where I am today it’s been a hard struggle but

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this is r see it in action

check out our youtube channel to see our 2021 rookies feature


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Be prepared. BE challenged. BE READY.

rookies What began as a bi-annual camp near Toowoomba lasting for two or three days, has evolved into a comprehensive induction program which, from July, will be split into three segments: Be Prepared, Be Challenged and Be Ready.

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Be prepared. Be Prepared is the three-day preparation stage held at each campus and focusses on the challenges ahead at Emu Gully. “We set out what the AITC is all about, what to expect, what young people can expect of us, and what we expect of them in terms of character and values,” explains Lee Smith, the AITC’s Deputy Head of Industry Education (Strategy). The Emu Gully Adventure Education Group also come to each campus for an incursion to introduce themselves and describe how the week will look. “The Emu Gully team show how the ANZAC values align with ours and what young people need to focus on in order to be successful at the AITC — character, values, resilience, grit, determination.”

employability. “These initial three days will give young people some of the tools necessary to be successful for the following week.” This will include safety training in preparation for their first work experience job at Emu Gully. ‘Be Prepared’ will give young people a chance to create new friendships for the task ahead. “Then we will be speaking to them and to their parents about how they can get the most from the challenge week itself,” explains Lee. By building friendships with peers and staff beforehand, as well as understanding what’s expected, this stage will help reduce the level of anxiety in parents and young people. “This way young people are relaxed and ready and understand what’s going to happen, so they can get into it from day one, really enjoy it and get the most out of it.”

TEAM

As well as expectations and values, young people are also taught the elements of theory around safety and


EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

The other part of Challenge Week are the values activities, which are facilitated by the Emu Gully team “who are phenomenal at this,” explains Lee. They organise several different activities that are purpose-built for developing teamwork and leadership and are typically based around epic events in Australia’s history.

BE challenged.

During the Challenge Week, over 400 young people and staff across all five campuses come together for five days at Emu Gully. Challenge Week comprises two core parts — work experience and values work. During work experience, young people will be working for their first employer, which is Emu Gully, and their supervisors are the AITC staff. The work can include ground work or building projects — all low risk activities.

S E U L A V

Without giving too much away, they work as a team to overcome physical and/or mental challenges. Physically challenging activities such as the truck pull, rock climbing and storm-the-fort, require leadership, communication and teamwork and can deliver some extremely rewarding outcomes. “All of the activities draw on the ANZAC and the AITC values. It’s very exciting, a lot of fun, a lot of smiles, a lot of tired young people but it’s good.”

MWORK “In the evenings we have the opportunity to bring our young people together to do some night activities, storytelling, those kinds of things. It’s amazing.”

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M AT E S H I P Be ready. The Be Ready program strengthens team building and character and sets young people up for success. It also builds the bond between young people as well as the bond between staff and young people. “It’s an opportunity for them to start working together and understand and respect each other,” explains Lee. “By the time they get onto campus they’ve already got those shared stories and what happened during the challenge and that’s really powerful.” Lee says, at the completion of the Rookies Program, “it’s important that they feel part of the AITC. They understand this is it… They can say, ‘I’ve burnt my ships, the past is behind me, the AITC is now my future and I can see it ahead of me!’. They know their future is set out and they’re going to be successful.”

The Rookies Program focuses on the core values of courage, mateship and perseverance. This will enable young people to challenge, inspire and empower with every opportunity they encounter at the AITC.


EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

Laying You’ve got to build the foundations first. Like any good house it’s only as good as its foundations. You make sure they’re strong. Completing schooling through to Year 12 creates strong foundations to be successful.

STRONG FOUNDATIONS

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WITH AN APPRENTICESHIP IT CAN BE TEMPTING FOR A YO U N G P E R S O N T O Q U I T S C H O O L E A R LY I F T H E Y ’ R E O F F E R E D F U L L-T I M E WO R K W I T H A F U L L-T I M E PAY C H E Q U E . H OW E V E R , L E AV I N G S C H O O L E A R LY C A N C LO S E D O O R S T O F U T U R E C A R E E R P O S S I B I L I T I E S .

The Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) is Queensland’s senior secondary schooling qualification. It is internationally recognised and provides evidence of senior schooling achievements. Industry professionals look favourably on Year 12 seniors who achieve their QCE as it shows commitment and resolve. More importantly, the QCE sets students up for future success as Lee Smith, the AITC’s Deputy Head of Industry Education (Strategy), explains. “We’re told by industry that a successful apprentice is a wise apprentice,” says Lee. “We want our young people to go into their apprenticeships educated so they can be successful. It’s also clear to us and others, that by completing Year 12 and achieving their senior certificate, there’s a better likelihood of successfully

completing their apprenticeship post school.” We provide a collaborative approach which focuses on everybody finishing with Year 12 and their apprenticeship or traineeship. There are three elements to what the AITC does — industry, education and support. “These three pillars work alongside each other to help our young people stay on track.” The AITC employs dedicated staff who are focused on ensuring young people work hard and graduate. For example, “our Industry Staff — many would think they are working on work experience and focusing on the employer side — they fully understand the importance of Year 12 graduation. We employ Personal Industry Coaches (PICs) whose key role is to help support, coach and mentor young people

throughout their program,” says Lee. The final part of that support is more external. “We work hard to help educate employers and parents around the importance of completing and graduating from Year 12. We actively look for employers who understand the importance of that. We do a lot of work with parents where we focus on the long game, it’s not just about getting young people employed, it’s about ensuring they are successful.” Having those professionals on hand provides a supportive network for young people and parents. “Every young person is allocated an Industry Consultant, you also have Campus Leadership, Team Leaders and the Education Team as well.” Lee says there’s a systematic approach at the AITC which ensures a successful


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A systematic approach at the AITC ensures a successful work/school balance with two distinct blocks — education and industry.

work/school balance with two distinct blocks — education and industry. Education Block consists of five weeks whereas the Industry Block consists of five to seven weeks. “We aim to ensure young people finish their schoolwork in their Education Block before they go out to industry. It’s about making sure things don’t drag—that’s when people get into trouble and start spiralling. If academic work is creeping into the Industry Block then you will have problems with those two mindsets happening concurrently. We’re strict in terms of where young people need to be at any given point and also making sure we have that extensive network to support our young people.” It’s important to have that encouragement from many avenues as some young people spend a great deal of time in work experience

E D U C AT I O N B LO C K

I N D U S T R Y B LO C K

runs for five weeks each term for young people to complete their senior school certificate

spend five to seven weeks engaged in a range of work-based experiences as an apprentice or trainee

building their confidence and skills. “A young person, for example, may complete 800 hours of work experience before landing their apprenticeship,” says Lee. “That resilience, that grit, is built through our professionals supporting our young people throughout the Year 10 to Year 12 journey.” Ultimately the lure to leave school early before achieving QCE is a struggle between short-term gratification versus long-term goals. “It’s about what you want to achieve. It’s not just about getting that initial employment it’s about getting sustainable employment — it’s about being able to complete that apprenticeship, not just start that apprenticeship.” Lee advises to “look beyond the short-term instant gratification that

comes with the idea of full-time money and the full-time opportunity. Play the smart game, play the longer game.” Our AITC alumni provide a unique retrospective, “they have businesses of their own and they want an AITC apprentice,” explains Lee. “They want to support them through to Year 12 and make sure they get their senior certificate because they appreciate its importance. They didn’t necessarily see it then. But they come back to us as alumni and say, ‘I get it — I understand why this is important!’. Some of these alumni are going to university for the first time and their careers are moving forward but they’ve got that foundation which allows them to achieve and do whatever they want to do. All of these things are possible because they completed Year 12.” P

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S YS T E M O F S U P P O R T During their AITC journey, young people are surrounded by a support team to guide,

PERSONAL

coach and lead them to education and

I N DU STRY

employment success.

COAC H E S

INDUST RY

TE A M

CONSULTA N TS

LEADERS

YO U N G P E R S O N

E D U C ATI O N L E A DE R S H I P

CA MP US LEA DERSHIP


EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

CELEBRATING OUR SIGN-UPS Here we celebrate the outstanding performances of our young people, displaying a selection of sign-up photos during 2021. To see more of these momentous achievements, see our social platforms.

A A R O N PA R K E R 12 February 2021 + General Electrician

Throughout his work experience, Aaron gained consistent positive feedback and Balec Electrical was happy to sign him up. What impressed the company was Aaron’s willingness to work throughout his school holidays, his great attitude and high work standards.

B E N P E AC O C K 15 January 2021 + Boat Repairer/Builder AARON HOUL ISTON 23 March 2021 + Plumber

Aaron selected plumbing as his trade of choice, organising work experience with Zach from Aced Plumbing Solutions. He immediately made a great impression. Zach was more than ready to have an extra set of hands to help get the job done and thought Aaron the perfect fit.

Ben trialled many industries before trying marine craft construction with Riviera Boats Australia and found his passion. With Ben’s attitude, work ethic and willingness to learn this craft, Keira and Adam were quick to offer him this remarkable opportunity.

ELLI HENDERSON 11 March 2021 + Hairdresser

Stacey, owner of Davissa, loved Elli’s work ethic, awesome attitude and enthusiastic, positive approach to work. After her first day Elli immediately knew this industry was meant for her. It didn’t take long for Stacey to offer her the position — what a fantastic team!

A L L A N M C G OWA N 17 February 2021 + Carpenter and Joiner

Patience, perseverance and persistence can describe Allan’s attitude. He was lucky to secure work experience with Parish Constructions. Afterwards Andrew invited Allan to join the team as a permanent fixture. P

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DY L A N G O U N DA N 14 January 2021 + Fitter and Turner

A I DA N M C C U B B I N 6 April 2021 + Cabinet Maker

Aidan established an excellent reputation as hard working, polite, enthusiastic, with a willingness to try new things. Bruce from Foreshore Kitchens was looking for a suitable addition to his cabinetmaking team who was expected to meet certain criteria. It wasn’t long before Aidan was offered an apprenticeship.

C L I V E D U TO I T 17 February 2021 + Electrician

With Clive completing his Certificate II in Electrotechnology, his confidence has grown. He has gained a wealth of industry knowledge, learnt and retained skills from previous work experience employers. This experience put Clive in a great position and impressed Bernard from Ozzie Electrical and Solar.

Since starting at the AITC Dylan has completed a variety of engineering work experiences. He has been a constant standout and always received excellent feedback. Excited about his future as fitter and turner Dylan has been signed-up by Protech and will be working on a large infrastructure project in Brisbane.

E T H A N D R AY 28 January 2021 + Carpenter

G E O R G I N A C O S G R OV E 12 April 2021 + Cook (Large Restaurant)

Georgina was signed-up as an Apprentice Chef with Hotel Monier in Darra. She displayed a great attitude and work ethic during her placement and impressed the head chef, Anthony, with her desire to work and learn. She has integrated well with the team and has shown initiative and strong communication skills.

Ethan made a great impression on John from JJ Contractors in his work experience placement, showing great character and attitude towards his work. Ethan is now joining the company as their sole apprentice, demonstrating our values and the success of the AITC schoolbased apprenticeship model.


EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

HILARY FORSTER 2 March 2021 + Sheetmetal Worker (First Class)

Hilary was signed up as an Apprentice Engineer (Light Fabrication Trade) with Nissen Industries at Yamanto. She completed work experience in many different trades but found the engineering trade is her career focus. She has completed a number of placements with Nissen Industries and is an excellent team member.

J AC K WA L M S L E Y 15 February 2021 + Electrician

J O N AT H O N B R A D F I E L D 18 March 2021 + Carpenter

J O R DA N K E N N Y 19 February 2021 + Cook

After completing his Certificate II in Electrotechnology Jack remained focused on work experience and obtaining his apprenticeship. He completed work experience with three employers - all with glowing feedback - and also worked through the holiday period.

Jono made a positive impression on his TAFE instructor which led to his selection for work experience with the Innovative Design and Build Group. His instructor’s intuition proved correct, Jono received consistently fantastic feedback and quickly became an invaluable member of the team.

Jordan has been single-minded in pursuing commercial cookery. Demonstrating a strong desire to work in the hospitality industry, Jordan’s initiative impressed Anthony Gavin, Head Chef, at the Caboolture Sports Club. He was happy to offer Jordan a schoolbased apprenticeship.

J AC K DA R G A N 23 March 2021 + Education Assistant

Originally a primary student at Saint Brendan’s, Jack made a clear decision about his future at the school. The school staff said Jack’s bright positivity is what the children love most in the classroom. He now plans to complete his Traineeship in Education Support Services and become a primary school teacher.

JEREMY GAUDRY 25 March 2021 + Pressure Welder - Engineering

The industry team took Year 10 Rookies to visit the Protonautics workshop where they met Chris. Jeremy called for work experience and immediately impressed with his manner, work ethic and motivation. The team were more than happy with Jeremy’s performance and were keen for him to join them. P

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J O S H P U R DY 10 February 2021 + Plumber

In his work placements with Andrew Gleeson Plumbing Josh showed his work ethic and enthusiasm. He made a great impression and was offered an apprenticeship—a great reward for all the hard work during the work placements. Well done Josh and thank you Andrew Gleeson Plumbing.

KADE HARPER 18 March 2021 + Childhood Education Manager

Kade is embarking on his career in Early Education and Childcare with the awesome team at Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure, Mermaid. Kade has been signed-up into a Diploma and will continue on the education pathway to becoming a primary school teacher.

K Y L E A LVA R E Z 19 March 2021 + Carpenter

Kyle’s work experience placements as a carpenter soon saw him gain a reputation as an outstanding apprentice prospect. Wade from WMN Constructions started looking for an outstanding young person to add value to his business. The AITC had just the right person to fit the bill.

K R I S T Y- L E E YO U N G 3 February 2021 + Automotive Electrician

Kristy-Lee has been successful in securing an apprenticeship as an Auto Electrician with Clagiraba Auto Electrical, quite a departure from previous work experience in childcare. But this has really sparked some joy for Kristy-Lee and is a fantastic outcome for a hard-working young lady.

KEIRA HAIGH 22 March 2021 + Childhood Educator Assistant

When Keira first worked in childcare everyone could see her potential. Keira was a little shy at first but worked on this. She reached out to Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure in Ashmore and booked more work experience. The team was thrilled with her newfound confidence and took her on as a trainee.

NILS WEISS 4 February 2021 + Parks and Gardens Tradesperson

After trying heavy diesel, construction and horticulture Nils found a perfect fit with Hallsmark Property Services. They were impressed by Nil’s friendly and polite disposition as well as his willingness to listen and learn quickly.


EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

R I L E Y G AT T E R A 23 March 2021 + Boilermaker/Welder

After trying different industries Riley enrolled in Certificate II Engineering. He worked hard and tried his best with every presented opportunity in metal trades. Dan from Aluvan Welding and Fabrication was looking for an energetic young person with the right attitude. He saw these qualities in Riley and offered him an apprenticeship. LIAM PLUMMER 16 February 2021 + Heavy Commercial Vehicle Technician

Liam exhibited incredible persistence since commencing his work experience with Daimler Trucks in early 2020. He loved working with the team and received overwhelming feedback. They all enjoyed having Liam on their team — a fine example of persistence and hard work paying off.

J A D E N C R A N S H AW 24 March 2021 + Marine Technician

OSKA LANGE 24 February 2021 + Light Vehicle Mechanical Technician

Jaden has shown great perseverance in seeking out and achieving his dream of becoming a Marine Technician. He has experienced several different marine opportunities and found the right fit with Marine Affair.

Since 2020 Oska has been undertaking work experience with Bruce Lynton Jaguar. He has been extremely proactive in creating this opportunity and has made the most of it. His persistence and conduct are outstanding and resulted in a position in their business.

OLINA POND 4 February 2021 + Electrician

Olina was always driven to become a sparky. She quietly went about her Education Block and once out on work experience really shined. Her positive attitude and willingness to learn was consistent in her feedback which impressed the team at Pugin Power.

THOMAS KENRICK 22 March 2021 + Sheetmetal Worker (First Class)

Tom held several work placements, gaining valuable experience, building employability skills and developing confidence. When the opportunity arose with the team at Action Sheetmetal & Roofing, Tom was ready. The whole crew was impressed and he was offered the apprenticeship within a few weeks. P

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EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

Getting young people

industry-ready The AITC is committed to enriching and deepening the learning of our young people in industry. This includes programs like ‘Build a Wall’ for Year 10 students, which helps them gain an understanding and knowledge surrounding construction processes. The program directly relates to trades and provides an insight into business quotations, real life risk assessments and construction requirements. AITC Industry Consultant, Todd Firth, heard about the concept of ‘build a wall’ and thought it would be a great project for the AITC. “By improving the skills in our young people, the project helps them enormously before heading out to Industry in Year 10,” explains Todd. “I saw its potential and connect-ability to our Rookies Camp learning outcomes.” Our young people love the project and learn a lot from it. “It also gives us the opportunity to coach, mentor, build confidence, skills and work closely with young people in small teams. It helps gain an understanding of their journey and where they want to go and what motivates them.” The feedback is always positive from everyone regardless of what industry pathway they want to pursue. P

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IN SHORT

‘Build a Wall’ has since been renovated into ‘Build A Room’ by providing a comprehensive risk assessment exercise, along with a building quotation exercise. This includes adding plumbing, electrical conduit work, stud timber framing, plastering and painting and even a hung door — if there is time to fit it. The risk assessment, quotation and build of the room lasts roughly one week in total. The learning throughout the week is immense for a young person who has never considered a group of projects like this before. When risk assessing and quoting the project, Year 10’s have their learning from Rookies Camp reinforced and need to think like a builder. Pricing products, hourly rates, tax, personal protective equipment (PPE), risks, site management and many other things become areas of learning during these times. After this, they need to work closely with one another in small teams to build the room. This requires an emphasis on safety, patience and focus. There are many coaching, community, mentoring, failure forward and succeeding moments as the project progresses. “The excitement and sense of achievement after finishing the project is amazing to see and be a part of,” says Todd. “This project improves our young people’s employability, hand tool skills and industry knowledge. It is scalable to every campus and group and improves the standard of our young people across the organisation.”

Rookies units relating to this project

Self-awareness. Identifying risks and hazards, understanding young worker risk profiles, effective communication. Understanding the hierarchy of controls, employer responsibilities, worker responsibilities. Understanding manual handling, applying manual handling techniques. Beliefs, thoughts and actions. Understanding risk assessments. Learning outcomes

To become proficient at using all hand tools associated with this project, equipping young people for their future pathways. Gain understanding and knowledge surrounding construction processes, related trades and insight into business quotations, real life risk assessments and construction requirements. Experience an assimilation of theoretical and practical skills through the multi-task project.


EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

CREATING INNOVATORS + ENTREPRENEURS

using des ign technologies The point of difference at the AITC is how we develop and nurture Australia’s industry leaders in the classroom.

Redlands Team Leader, Rhys Cassidy, teaches Year 10 Design Technology students to develop crucial skills for future-proofing their career. By using Agile Project Management, our young people are being taught resilience, how to take risks, implement user feedback and create product-market fit. These are transferable skills that will allow young people to be entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and innovators and add value to the businesses and industries they work in. Having these transferable skills will future-proof young people who will need to adapt and be flexible in their changing work environment. There is a likelihood that automation/robots will impact on jobs in the next five to ten years. “Research from the Foundation for Young Australians also reveals that young people are going to have up to 17 or 18 jobs across five different careers,” explains Rhys. This means there is a necessity for young people to challenge themselves and adapt. Rhys has been working towards challenging his Year 10 young people with a special redesign project. His Design Technology students are given

a task to prototype and redesign something already existing in industry: a tool, piece of technology process, or item of equipment. “The focus is to redesign it in the context of the changing nature of industry due to things like Artificial Intelligence, automation, machine learning, block chain technology and 3D printing,” says Rhys. At the beginning young people may come into the classroom with a very small range of ideas of what’s available to them. “We want to push them outside that initial context with the idea that their job may change considerably. One of my big focuses is to get them to be as self-directed in their learning as possible. I want them to develop the ability to learn, and continue to learn, and to understand how they learn. This is so they can continue to upskill and retrain themselves and be hungry for that further learning—so they’re not standing still.” “I want them to see there are a whole range of possibilities,” says Rhys. “There are many things we cannot predict in terms of technology advancements; therefore, we need to be agile in our approach.”

Design allows a different thinking process in the creation of this particular project. “We use Agile Project Management (for self-directed learning) and students use a Kanban board to manage their project over the term.” They brainstorm and do the initial design, receive feedback from users, organise user research via interviews and surveys. They take that feedback to redesign their project. Then they create a prototype and make a 3D model using SketchUp. Then they refine the idea after more feedback. Young people use a design thinking framework from the State Library of Queensland called ‘Design Minds’, which is: Inquire, Ideate, Implement and constantly reflect. “This allows young people to enter or exit that design cycle at any point as it’s not a linear process,” explains Rhys. “They may need to change their design, create ideas, organise a prototype for hands-on learning. In Design they can prototype with various materials so they can see something come to life, show someone, get some feedback and make changes.” Many subjects at the AITC are integrated across other subjects. P

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“I want them to see there are a whole range of possibilities,” says Rhys. “There are many things we cannot predict in terms of technology advancements; therefore, we need to be agile in our approach.”

For this particular project students completed one piece of assessment. However due to its complexity, “it met the requirements for both Literacy and Design Technologies and was a richer assessment/learning experience for them.” During their Literacy time students conducted deeper research about changes happening in industry. “At the end of the day there are over 500 different traineeships and apprenticeships and different industry pathways that are available,” says Rhys. As Team Leaders, we need to make sure they’re not going to have a “narrow view of their options or limit themselves.” It’s about expanding career horizons. “For example, a student may be thinking about carpentry but in actual fact they have a remarkable ability in 3D modelling. That young person may also

love video games, so they have the tools which will allow them to design things that could potentially be used in video games. These skills could also be used in engineering or to improve processes in manufacturing. These kinds of transferrable skills can be taken into a range of different industries.” “The great thing we’re doing at the AITC is we start exploring work options and the interests of our young people as early as possible. With this experience in different areas they can get a sense of the things they enjoy and recognise the things they’re really good at.” Their confidence changes considerably when they are given different technology challenges. “They come in and often they’re not confident with sketching for example,” explains Rhys. “My whole idea for this course is to build their

skills — so they can go from a back-ofthe-napkin basic sketch to a 3D model using SketchUp. Then they can take this 3D model into virtual reality and show this to potential users in an immersive environment.” It’s important for young people to find different avenues in software applications. “We are asking them to be constantly mindful of the different technologies that are available. We promote the possibility of looking for new solutions. The 3D modelling and design integration are great hard skills they can develop. In the classroom we also “focus on transferrable soft skills such as being a self-directed learner, being able to teach themselves and learning from others quickly. It’s important to remain open to learning new things.”


EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

In their own words

YE A R 1 2 + F LOR I ST

OLIVIA THOMSON

Mainstream school didn’t really work for me. I didn’t know what I wanted to do and that worried me, especially thinking about after school, then I heard of the AITC. The AITC is a great school and it’s helped me figure out what I want to do once I leave school. I have a traineeship in floristry – I never thought I would get into floristry but I like the creativity and the freedom, you pick and choose the flowers and it’s beautiful. I’m learning a lot of skills on the job

including colour theory, shapes, and how they work together, how to utilise empty spaces and to bring focus to certain points. The traineeship has given me more confidence. I’m not so nervous meeting new people and I see the world very differently now — it’s not so grey — it’s full of colour. I want to finish school this year and my traineeship, which will be in two years. Once I’ve completed that, work full-time – hopefully at Blooming Gorgeous – and maybe in the future I’d like to start my own floristry business.

TOOWOOMBA

It’s important to finish Year 12 to achieve my QCE because that certificate is needed in a lot of careers. I feel like school would be a waste of time if you didn’t achieve it.

Olivia’s advice

Don’t stick with the one industry you’re looking at. I definitely recommend trying new things because it worked for me. I thought floristry wouldn’t be for me but I tried it and it was perfect. It was really fun and I enjoyed it. Have an open mind to try new things.

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Don’t waste an opportunity, just hook in and have a go!

B R YC E J AC O B S E N

YE A R 1 2 + AGR I C U LTU R E

I’ve always been interested in agriculture and was looking at dropping out of mainstream school and finding a job on a farm. Before I did, the AITC opened in Toowoomba so I figured I may as well come here, find a job and get my Year 12 Certificate. It’s important to get your QCE because if you want to change your career later on you have an education behind you.

HARRY COPLAND

Y EAR 12

I found a job with a fella called Scott McKenzie in St George working on a few properties he owns. I have family and friends out that way and had some contacts so I went out there and did a few weeks work experience. My boss must have liked me because when I asked for a job he said yes and we went from there. Scott also owns an earth moving business so I get to drive heavy machinery. Plus I fly to each property and each job— not many people get to do that. Most of the time I fly from Toowoomba to St George and home again, or from St George to Longreach or Charleville. It’s a good opportunity with plenty of variety. I’m ahead of a + CAR P E N TE R lot of other people my age.

A couple of years ago I had this realisation that I wanted to work with my hands rather than sitting at a desk all day. I started at the AITC at the beginning of 2020 in Year 11, and I like it because it provides valuable education and understanding about trades and the workplace. You understand your responsibilities on the job and it takes you on a steep learning curve.

I’m about one year into my four-year apprenticeship. I’ve definitely learnt a lot. When I first started I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know anything. It’s good now because my boss can send me off somewhere and know I can do it to his standards. Working out at St George has built my confidence, given me new independence and helped me grow up. I’m also applying for scholarships at Clifton Airfield for my pilot’s licence. My family are proud of me for everything I continue to do.

Since the beginning of 2020 I’ve been working as a carpenter’s apprentice. Carpentry has a lot of variety — there’s a lot to learn and the people I work with at Prestige Patios and Outdoors are a great team. I work there throughout the Industry Blocks for about seven weeks each time. From working out in the real world I’ve learnt how important it Har ry’s advice is to listen, to work in a team, take the time Don’t waste a chance. If you get and pride in what you’re doing and don’t offered work experience — then rush. take it. What makes you stand It’s important for me to finish Year 12 and achieve my QCE because after I finish my apprenticeship I can still apply for University if I wanted to. I want to eventually run and own my own carpentry business.

out to prospective employers is taking feedback on board in a positive way. Learn from feedback, your work experience, your team, your teachers and keep on working hard.


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WORK EXPERIENCE Creating opportunities for all and how to excel in the workplace

LOTS TO SHOUT ABOUT Becoming an apprentice and the qualities employers look for

IT IS ROCKET SCIENCE Career opportunities in advanced manufacturing and industry

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How to... E XC E L I N WO R K E X P E R I E N C E When educating young people as leaders in industry, the AITC works hard to make sure they are prepared for their career journey.

Finding work experience (WEX) marks the beginning, but having the right attitude in the workplace is where young people really make an impact. It’s where they shine, where they learn and where they grow. Mark Crane, business owner of Marjac Automotive, has worked closely with the AITC Sunshine Coast campus for several years and given hundreds of valuable hours in work experience to many of our seniors. However, after WEX, the next step is a crucial one — to be signed-on as an apprentice or trainee. Mark talks about the importance of work experience and how it gives young people a chance to stand out from the crowd. Initially WEX is about “seeing what capabilities a person has to give.” Through the AITC “they are semiprepared, so they’re not like they’ve just come off the street with no understanding of what employment is all about,” says Mark. This time allows an employer to understand how that person may fit

in with the team and be a valuable apprentice/employee. “For example, Jackson [AITC senior] turned up two weeks ago and I saw something in him,” explains Mark. During work experience “it was important to motivate him and to give him encouragement.” Once finishing his education block, Jackson was signed-up as a school-based apprentice. “Jackson is attentive, passionate, and when he turns up, he is ready.” Mark says it’s about “all those little things — when kids come in alert and they’re ready to go. Jackson was in at 7:20am for an 8:00am start, he’s here, walks straight in and starts into the process.” When a young person starts WEX at Marjac Automotive they are buddied with a technician. From the first day “you’re looking at their posture, their alertness and where they’re at,” says Mark. “It’s important they walk in with an open mind, that they’re ready and aware of the workplace. We know they’re new and they’re not going to jump in and rebuild motors straight away. But they

need to be attentive, be responsive and listen. “With Jackson you see that. He’s only been here a couple of weeks and he’s working hard, he’s alert and aware. I’ve had to educate him about getting a haircut! I made him aware about my expectations and he’s stepped up.” Growing and learning is a constant part of WEX and it’s important to think about future possibilities after signing-on as an apprentice. “There’s no reason why an apprentice shouldn’t start thinking about being a boss one day,” explains Mark. It comes with proving your abilities during work experience, having the goal to be an apprentice and then having that drive to learn more. “I am a mechanic but I’m also a business owner. When you become a business owner there’s more responsibility, you work out money, wages, time, people.” There are many things to learn in a business workflow. “It’s important to understand how the whole place runs, understand from the customer walking in the door, to giving them the price of


EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

WO R K EXPERIENCE

C R E AT E S OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL Mark is no stranger to hard work and has over 40 years’ experience as a mechanic.

the job, to doing the job card, to handing it out, supplying the parts before the mechanic gets it, then the mechanic does his job and presents it back. “It’s about giving your best work to the customer, understanding the profit of the job, and understanding the cost of the business,” explains Mark. To have big goals like this Mark advises the importance of further studies such as business. There’s no reason why apprentices “couldn’t own this business in three years’ time. It’s good to think about the future and commit yourself. Imagine if they bought the business off me and owned it. It would be good to take something good and work with it, rather than build a business on your own. Imagine a young person who’s 18-years-old and in four years having the ability to own a percentage of the business he’s working in?”

“On the last day of Grade 10 I started fixing cars and haven’t stopped. I still love it, still passionate about it. I worked in a service station with Dad. When he saw something in me, he sacked the mechanic and said, ‘Right you’re on your own. Teach yourself. Learn the ways. Do what you’ve got to do.’. Now I run my own business on the Sunshine Coast, I’ve got six staff, a nice workshop, good workshop flow, keeping the workplace happy and doing a quality job for every car that comes in the door. I also do classic cars as a side thing. That has a difference in the workshop, so it’s not just every day normal cars, we have a bit of variety.” With a successful business Mark places importance on working with a great team and has high standards for his employees. He offers advice to businesses about finding a team member who’s going to be that perfect fit. All businesses should take the opportunity and organise work experience with the AITC. “They have the work cover, insurance is organised and all that is set up with the AITC. All the background is done. Young people come to work prepared, and you get them for a quality amount of time and you’re giving students a purposeful work structure. “Someone coming from the AITC is actually ready and they have the backing of a College which understands what you want and what you need. “The difference with the AITC is they’re doing subjects that relate to the trade. They’re preparing kids for everything industry related and providing them with a variety of trades they can try. “Work experience kids straight from mainstream school wouldn’t have the same technical awareness. With the AITC they’re made aware of the workplace. You’re not looking at someone who is blank.” When young people turn up for work experience it’s important for the business owner to understand they’re not raw. “They will have an understanding of what they’re needed for. They will add to that business and become part of the team. It’s all a team effort. If you’re playing football on a Saturday morning, even if you don’t know your team members, and it’s your first game you’re still part of the team.”

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T H E R E ’ S A LO T T O

shout

ABOUT - BECOMING AN APPRENTICE

At the end of each 5-week block every AITC campus celebrates the achievements of their young people with a traditional Roof Shout. This tradition celebrates many things, including the end of an Education Block as well as all the sign-ups that have occurred in the last Industry Block. Those who were signed up get to ring a large bell, signifying the commencement of their apprenticeship or traineeship and marking the next step in their career journey. Glenn English, Industry Engagement Advisor based on the Sunshine Coast, explains, “those who were signed up with an apprenticeship while they were out at industry at the start of the year will get to ring the bell and be presented with their certificates. “This symbolises reaching the pinnacle of what they’ve come to the AITC to do. They want an apprenticeship, they’ve got an apprenticeship, they get to ring the bell to say ‘Hey, I’ve done it!’.” Young people at the AITC can get an apprenticeship at any time in any trade, in any industry. “It can be an apprenticeship, a traineeship, it can be

in business or it could be in electrical, or any of the traditional trades,” says Glenn. “Once they signed-up, that’s the beginning of their apprenticeship. The young people ringing the bell during Roof Shout are apprentices. They’re getting paid employment as an apprentice and they’re working in their apprenticeship when they’re not at school.” Glenn has over 19 years’ experience working in the industry and has two trade certificates as a panel beater and a spray painter. He’s worked in training organisations, recruiting companies, other trade colleges and apprenticeship centres. Glenn has been with the AITC since 2019 and helps to create and nurture new and existing relationships and partnerships with industry. “The idea of work experience is to give young people experience in the trade, that’s also to put them in front of employers who may be hiring. Instead of having to sit down and do a half hour interview with a complete stranger, our young people get anywhere from two to

five weeks working in a particular trade. If the employers like what they see, then they offer an apprenticeship. That’s the plan!”

The roof shout exists in many countries but in ancient housebuilding folklore, it is written that the homeowners must supply food and drink to thank the builders for their hard work once the roof has gone on a new build.

Qualities of an apprentice

Glenn offers some advice about the qualities employers will be looking for in an apprentice. “They’re normally looking for someone who is hard working — it’s a given. Somebody who shows initiative, somebody they can


It’s important to be able to communicate and to be personable. “That’s how they choose their apprentice sometimes — it’s more about communication skills. They can teach the practical skills for a trade,” says Glenn, however “they can’t teach attitude, they can’t teach initiative. If you’ve got that before you start, you’re already on the front foot.” Some young people already have those skills, “they go to the workplace and they’re brilliant, they hit the ground running and they go for it.” Sometimes others may initially receive negative feedback. “If we get that feedback, we sit down with our young people. We say, ‘Look, the employer said you need to work on this…’ Once we’ve worked on that we talk to the young person, we help them get their confidence back up and they go out to another employer, and we build them from the beginning to the end.” It’s a journey that starts in Year 10 as a Rookie and finishes when they graduate at the end of Year 12. It’s important for a young person to be, “actively involved in the journey and to own the journey. I can’t be doing it for them, and Mum and Dad can’t be doing it for them — they’ve got to be willing.” Glenn says it’s incredible to see the learning curve of dedicated students at

EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

talk to. If you’re working with somebody for example, who is a plumber, and that plumber is driving from job to job, you need to be able to have a conversation while you’re in the van with them. You can’t just be sitting there staring out the window.”

the AITC. “Sometimes a young person will start at Rookies Camp. You’ll be looking at them thinking ‘That one’s going to be hard work!’. By the time they’re signed-up as an apprentice you can see their maturity. They get the message, they understand this is what we’re working towards and this is how we’re going to get there. “They go from being a kid coming in as a Rookie to a young adult getting an apprenticeship. Once they start that apprenticeship and they start getting paid you can see a complete change in them. They’re finally getting the feeling of ‘Hey I’m an adult now!’. By the time they graduate they’re not the same person.” Sometimes a young person may want to leave the AITC early once they get employment. However, Glenn cautions, “A lot of employers want to see a QCE. They want to see kids who finish Year 12 — who are able to finish what they start. It’s also beneficial if you want to go on to further studies. Once you’ve finished your apprenticeship that’s not the end of it. You can go on and do diplomas, advanced diplomas, you can go to university. If you’ve got your QCE, getting into University is a lot easier.” Families who are interested in the AITC should contact the College for an interview. “If your young person wants an apprenticeship, if they’re keen, if they’re committed to a trade pathway, then organise an interview. It doesn’t matter if they don’t know what that pathway is. That’s our job to work with them and get them across the line.”

C H A R AC T E R COUNTS

Glen’s advice ON GETTING AN APPRENTICESHIP Hard working Dedication Initiative Communication skills Personable Great attitude Actively invested Finish what you start Take feedback on board Learn from your feedback

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IT IS

rocket SCIENCE

PFi Aerospace is a division of the Products For Industry (PFi) Group, is a locally owned and operated business in Darra servicing the industrial sector that produces safety systems, mechanical and electrical installation jobs, robotics turn-key systems, automation projects, design and the build of custom machinery. The AITC CEO, Mark Hands, recently interviewed key personnel from Products for Industry (PFi) to discuss the potential career opportunities in advanced manufacturing and industry.

Gavin Dunwoodie, Managing Director and Group CEO of PFi heads a fast-growing business looking for enthusiastic people. His business covers a broad range of mechanical and electrical trades as well employing degree-qualified engineers. Generally, PFi is based around fine assembly manufacturing issues such as laser cutting and 3D printing, then combining those technologies into technical trade-based environments to produce things like rockets, hence their aerospace division. “Forget what you used to know about a trade,” advises Gavin. “Most of the qualifications we look for come from a great attitude. Young people need to be driven in this industry, they have to be motivated, they’ve got to want to make change. If they can do it, if they can apply themselves, then I can guarantee they will get a positive outcome here.” “The world needs us and our business is growing fast,” says Gavin. “Grades are important, but what I’m looking for is that level of motivation to make a change. If you are stimulated by interesting things, you have to keep nurturing that, you have to keep working at that because a trade is not what it used to be. Advanced manufacturing is here and it’s getting big very fast.”

“I’m looking for people now, so if you are motivated, I’ve got jobs!” Gavin has employed an educator from the STEM area to promote PFi Aerospace and to help schools understand there are huge opportunities in this area. Britt Cleary, Education Manager, PFI Aerospace explains, “The Aerospace/STEM industry is an exciting area that holds many employment opportunities. When you’re looking at things like rocketry or aerospace equipment you can be part of it with us.” Britt began working in the industry as a woodwork and metalwork high school teacher. She soon realised young people had a misconception about what industry and trade was really all about, in particular for young women. “We want to promote Aerospace to women. There’s a whole new area of trades out there. The first thing is it’s not all about grades, it’s about personality and transferable skills. We really need young people of Australia to come and work within the aerospace industry in general. Australian made is so much better!”


EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

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REFLECTIONS Our CEO Mark Hands sits down with Amy Horneman to talk wisdom

I’M IN! Campaign raises money and hope for Cambodia

ALUMNI IN FOCUS AITC graduate finds her way into the field of forensics

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PERSPECTIVE &REFLECTION

THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN VISION MAGAZINE, PUBLISHED BY THE VICTORIAN

WISDOM AT A YOUNG AGE

ASSOCIATION FOR GIFTED AND TALENTED CHILDREN

BY AMY HORNEMAN AND MARK HANDS

APPROVING IT’S REPUBLICATION IN BLUEPRINT.

Amy: I have a distinct memory of being in about year 6 at school (so the year must have been about 1991) and standing outside in the quadrangle space which was used for school gatherings and assemblies; I was listening to my school principal telling us a story.

I don’t remember what the story was, but I remember him at the end of the story outlining his vision for our school, that we would be a school that instilled ‘wisdom at a young age’ into our students. This memory is not a stand-alone one, however, as I have a clear memory of this type of ‘talk’ being delivered at least twice every week. The principal used to stand up at school assemblies every Monday morning and every Thursday during whole school chapel, and tell us stories that led us to wisdom. If you multiply at least two such talks a week by 40 weeks per school year by 10 years of schooling in one place, that equates to somewhere in the vicinity of 800 opportunities this principal chose to take to speak into my life. And I’m only one of thousands of students who went through that particular school under his leadership. That’s a lot of influence and a lot of wisdom being imparted to young

people, some of whom have gone on to be leaders and influencers in their fields, and many of whom, over the years, have been gifted individuals who have had and continue to have the capacity to give back to their societies the talented outcomes of their inherent giftedness. When considering this edition of VISION and the theme of wisdom and education of gifted children, I was reminded of that school principal and the ardent and adamant teaching of wisdom he gave to us as students, and the constant inspiration that has been in my life. As a result of me making contact 23 years after I had graduated from school, he agreed to being interviewed on the subject of wisdom. His name is Mark Hands and he is the founder and CEO of the Australian Industry Trade College (AITC). Here is what the AITC website says: “At the Australian Industry Trade College, we help your young person find their passion and then pursue that career through an apprenticeship or traineeship… AITC provides a threeyear program for young people in Years 10 to 12 that focusses on developing character and values, academic and enterprise skills, employability skills and

(WWW.VAGTC.ORG.AU). THANKS TO VAGTC FOR

industry readiness... The College aims to seamlessly blend senior education and vocational training to engage young people in purposeful learning experiences with real world industry relevance… With five campuses on the Gold Coast, Redlands, the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Ipswich, the AITC is proud to educate tomorrow’s industry leaders.” It is interesting to note that the wisdom that was taught so intuitively at that school all those years ago has become a systematised approach to education of the whole child. This school (AITC) finds, at the heart of its mission, character and values development through the explicit teaching of wisdom as a means to academic, enterprise, employability and industry skills training. The guiding questions for this conversation and a summary of the key ideas on wisdom which came up during the discussion are as follows •

What is wisdom?

Why is wisdom so important, both for individuals and for a school?

What does a life of wisdom bring to individuals and to the worlds they inhabit?


at the AITC called the Wisdom Program. We teach our students that you can have lots of knowledge — we’re flooded with information — but if you don’t know how to apply that knowledge and deal with that information properly, meaning you don’t have wisdom, then you’re just an educated fool. Wisdom says, “Just because something is knowledge, doesn’t mean it’s correct.” Wisdom is the correct application of knowledge and it gives us a framework for knowing how to deal correctly with stimuli. Wisdom whispers: it’s not often the loudest voice in the room. You need to pause and listen – it’s the gap between stimulus and response. Then in that gap, you refer to the framework in your mind, and draw your response from that. If it’s a good framework, it will be from wisdom and will produce good results. We use the ‘Inside-Out Model of Education’: heart (believing) and head (thinking) first – inside, then behaviour and actions – outside. At the induction camp we have at the beginning of each school year, we stand up and talk to the students and say, “The AITC is not as much a school as a rite of passage. We teach you wisdom, because we want you to ‘believe right’; because beliefs become thoughts, which become actions. The idea behind wisdom is that it’s not about what you do, but what you believe.” We start with our school values as foundations (respect, pride, courage, honesty, mateship, hard work and safety) and then teach them wisdom through the Wisdom Program. Interestingly, the education system seems to see values

and wisdom as a poster of ideas on the wall, but actually it’s about beliefs. If we get those right, that changes the way people behave. We say to our students and to their parents, “Before you learn how to cut timber or build a boat, you need to learn about your beliefs, and we are here to change them.” So we give them a wisdom talk every week to help change and shape these beliefs into ones that will allow them to have a framework for operating out of wisdom in their lives and in their work. We’ve realised that wisdom is absolutely fundamentally important to the success of the school. This is the only school in Australia that graduates young people with both their senior education and a full-time job in an apprenticed career. We’ve placed over 300 young people into career employment this year. Why is wisdom so important in the school? So many teachers in the education system see that success is all about your skills and your knowledge, and we will teach you these things, but that’s the tip of the iceberg. Success is actually about what you believe. And if teachers are not clear about what they believe, and about what education is really all about, they will make the OP [ATAR] what it is all about and promote the idea that success in school subjects is what sets students up for the future. But that’s not the real world and you need to be able to deal with the pressures and the challenges of the real world if you are going to be successful. Do you know why people are actually successful? Because they are wise. You need a wise narrative to guide you in the real world and to make you the kind of person who can

contribute what is needed in your world. The Wisdom Program is a full program that principals across our campuses are taken through to run with their students; it deliberately teaches young people about changing their beliefs through topics such as: values, beliefs, thoughts, actions; choice and consequence; failing forward; first thought wrong; and the power of your words.

EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

Mark: We actually have a program

We use storytelling as the instrument to teaching wisdom; stories are like an anaesthetic that puts the brain (thinking) to sleep so that you can get to the heart (believing) and that’s where the real work happens. We have certain stories we always tell the students and they get to know, over time and through constant reference, what the narratives mean in terms of the wisdom they are being taught. One of these is the Lion Story which tells about how a boy in the Maasai tribe becomes a warrior: “At 14 years of age, he leaves his parents and goes away from the tribe with two warriors for as many weeks, months or years as it takes for him to learn to kill a lion. He then comes back to his tribe and has to go back out and kill a lion on his own. When he’s brought the lion back to the tribe, this rite of passage is celebrated and he moves from standing with his parents to standing with the warriors. It’s then his job to teach the younger ones, and the cycle continues. So the wisdom in that story is that you’re an adult when you start making adult decisions and behaving in adult ways, and you need to constantly be reflecting on where P

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you’re up to in that story, rather than taking a victim mentality or blaming your lack of success or failure on others.” But we don’t just tell the young people stories about other people; I often tell deeply personal stories about my own life and struggles, and make myself very vulnerable with them. And then when I combine this with the other stories we always tell, like the Lion Story, then there’s the portal to wisdom right there, because they’ve come along with me in the storytelling and now their hearts are involved. The question of what wisdom brings to individuals and their worlds begs the fundamental question, ‘What is the purpose of education?’ It’s more than to just teach skills to get a job and live happily ever after, but rather to pass on your talent, your insight, your wisdom to the next generation and to be what I call a ‘righteous influence’ in the world; this is easily affirmed by the fact that service and giving is the most wonderful experience in life. When we started this school, we sat down

and asked ourselves, “Why are we doing this? Is it to get young people educated and get them jobs?” We went beyond that and said, “No, we want young people, once they achieve that, to say, ‘I was given this [gift, skill or capacity] in order to make a difference in the world, and to reform the world and improve the world.’ There’s that little light they have.” The Lion Story teaches our young people what their purpose in life is all about: it’s not just about ‘killing the lion’, but it’s about teaching others to do the same. There is a strong sense of service, of giving back, of mentoring and sharing your success with the world, of teaching the next generation to give. Amy Horneman (Editor, VISION Magazine , VAGTC) & Mark Hands (CEO, AITC)

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EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

I’m In!

C A M PA I G N R A I S E S M O N E Y A N D H O P E F O R C A M B O D I A

Every second year since 2013, the AITC has sent International Service Project (ISP) teams to the city of Siem Reap in Cambodia. The ISP, in partnership with New Hope Cambodia, provides emergency help to poor communities through donations of money, food, time and trades. Projects have included erecting homes, painting buildings and maintenance work on a school. While the College’s next ISP trip wasn’t scheduled until late 2021, the tremendous toll that the COVID-19 pandemic took on the economy of the Siem Reap community meant that an additional support effort was urgently needed. Because hands-on support was obviously out of the question due to travel restrictions and safety concerns, the AITC launched the ‘I’m In!’ campaign, with the aim of raising $20,000 by November 2020. The response from AITC families, staff, industry and the community exceeded all expectations!

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“It was a fabulous feeling when we surpassed the $20K. It was so much more than we imagined we could do. It was great!” enthuses Jenny Marsden, Gold Coast Student Services Coordinator. The pandemic altered the pace, fabric and nature of the lives of the people in Cambodia. In direct response to COVID-19, the Cambodian Government announced the suspension of all schools and universities, and international tourism, until further notice. This decision had a devastating impact on the Siem Reap economy, making some of the area’s poorest students even more vulnerable. Hotels, restaurants, bars, tour guides, tuk tuk drivers, chefs, cleaners, gardeners, supermarkets, markets, clothing and electronic stores, and maintenance services were all impacted.

Eager to help New Hope Cambodia, the AITC initially set a goal to raise $20,000. The college reached out to communities across the five campuses to give what they could and say ‘I’m In!’. With the help of an exceptionally generous community, the AITC raised $30,040 in approximately two months.

Funds were raised through general donations, corporate donations, activities on campus and VET projects on campus. A small group from the AITC found an employer in Crows Nest to help which was a huge benefit to everyone. The team organised to help Brendan Schick from Blueberry Crest, “because of COVID they couldn’t get fruit pickers,” says Jenny. “A small team of us went and helped out by picking blueberries for the day. Whatever we picked the farmer donated funds —so he donated $1,112,” says Jenny. The team consisted of ten dedicated young people from Ipswich and Toowoomba and a few staff. “It was a stinking hot day but it was lots of fun. We helped the farmer and he helped the Cambodian project.” The AITC provides ongoing support to New Hope Cambodia, and Jenny is looking forward to when the ISP team can head back to Siem Reap. After being on every trip so far, Jenny says, “it’s fabulous because you get to change the lives of the Cambodian young people. You also see a journey of our young people and watch them change as well. They come back less selfish, they appreciate their parents a lot more and they realise they don’t need half of the material things they have — it’s life changing.” New Hope Cambodia provides free education to children and young people from some of Siem Reap City’s poorest areas. Many of their students come from families living on less than $100 a month. The school provides hope and opportunity for young people to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families.

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EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

S I L K Y OA K S C H I L D R E N ’ S H AV E N

GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING To the AITC, a sense of community and ‘giving back’ can help a young person change their mindset, which is an important factor in making them employable. Young people need to learn to look beyond their own needs and see what their work actually does for other people. The Gift of Giving program allows AITC young people to complete projects while becoming more deeply engaged with their local communities and gaining practical skills which will help develop their career. The following is just one of the many Gift of Giving projects that the College completed in 2020.

Young people from our Ipswich campus travelled to Silky Oaks Children’s Haven in Manly West to undertake an important outdoor project. Silky Oaks ensures children and their families are protected, nurtured and empowered to build better lives in a safe environment. Over several days, the AITC team dismantled the existing playground and constructed a garden using repurposed pieces of the old playground along with many plants donated by Bunnings. Regional Industry Officer Dave Breeze said our young people were inspired by the work of the not-for-profit organisation to create something amazing.

“We had access to the tool shed and our imaginations. Our young people worked really hard on the project, and the outcome surpassed ours and Silky Oaks’ expectations.” “Our Gift of Giving projects provide a great opportunity for us to check in on young people and see how they are progressing with their hands-on skills, their attitude, and to take note of where they need to improve,” Dave explains. Silky Oaks CEO Aaron Thirkettle was thrilled with the project, “As a non-profit, we keep in mind that our resources are in our relationships, so the partnership with the AITC from a values perspective, aligns with what we stand for. Repurposing pieces of the old playground had symbolism for us, in that even though the old playground wasn’t useable anymore, there were pieces that were. It shows us that everything has potential.” P

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Award winning graduate finds her way into the field of forensics Like many young people in their senior years of school, AITC Alumna Neisha Luck started at the College not knowing what career path she wanted. Trying more than twelve different trades, the self-confessed maths nerd wanted to get a good feel for what she really liked. While at the AITC she won several prestigious awards, excelled at her studies, and was known for her incredible work ethic. Due to her hard work, Neisha was offered two different traineeships and began working in the field of finance. Since graduating in 2020, she chose a path at university into the intriguing world of criminology and forensics. As one of the first AITC Sunshine Coast campus starters in 2018, Neisha “was done” with mainstream school. “I didn’t think I would go to Uni. It was absolutely nerve wrecking because the AITC was new to me and it was a gamble.” She admits if she hadn’t come to the AITC she wouldn’t have gone too far in life. “I was running with the flow, but I wasn’t getting anywhere.” Finally making headway, Neisha found the College to be different “where everything works perfectly. I’m a handson learner and everything is hands-on at the AITC.”

Neisha worked on the process of elimination with career prospects. “I tried everything from baking to optical dispensary, veterinary nursing, screen printing, everything you can think of I tried it all,” laughs Neisha. “I wanted to feel happy going to work every day. I hated the idea of not enjoying work.” While looking for that perfect career Neisha achieved excellent academic results and received several awards. These included Trainee of the Year for Amalgamated Industries, the Principal’s Award and the Academic Excellence Award in Mathematics. She also received Australia’s most prestigious secondary school accolade — the Caltex Best All Rounder Award. The award celebrates Year 12 students who excel in their studies, possess leadership qualities, have the right attitude and play a positive role in their community. With her many academic successes, and aptitude for math, Neisha found work in the finance department at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). “When I started in finance it was something that made sense to me and clicked in my head compared to everything else – it just fit. “The environment I was working in, the people I worked with — I enjoyed every

second of it and they were keen to sign me on straight away.” Working in an 18-month contract, “I gained so many learning experiences through my position in finance but my absolute main takeaway was team work. The team I was working in was absolutely amazing and you could tell they were experienced professionals.” Currently Neisha works at the USC Library on weekends while studying a double degree with criminology/ forensics and psychology at USC. “I have always been interested in criminology. I am the sort of person who listens to true crime podcasts and documentaries while doing everyday activities like cooking. Everyone thinks I’m weird but truly it just fascinates me.” While working on her degree Neisha believes the AITC values have made a huge impact on life, university and at work. “The AITC values made me open my eyes and realise how much they match with everyday life! Always having them in the back of my head while going on in life has helped me with more opportunities. The value of courage always stuck with me. It made me look at myself in the mirror and face whatever was going on in my life.”


EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

The AITC showed me how strong I can be. It showed me how to keep pushing through life and live my dreams.

AWA R D S

Hardwork: Values Award 2018 Principal’s Award Academic Excellence Award: Mathematics Trainee of the Year: Amalgamated Industries Caltex Best All Rounder 2020 Mathematics, English, Industry Awards Leadership Award

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Jada and Olivia showing each other some support on the Toowoomba campus

Nathan Reynolds, Gold Coast Campus Manager, lending a hand in the classroom

Sunshine Coast young people being put through their paces during their fitness program

Sausage sizzle at the Sunshine Coast campus before Roof Shout

To learn more about the AITC visit www.aitc.qld.edu.au or connect with us via social @aitc_qld Redlands young people Stevie and Mikahla with Team Leader Rhys Cassidy


EDUCATING TOMORROW’S INDUSTRY LEADERS

mpus Gold coast young people stopping for an impromptu photo on campus

Sunshine Coast young people take a moment’s reflection at Mt Ninderry during their Rock Walk

Young people at Ipswich — Georgina, Amber and Hillary — all signed up with bright futures ahead

Thumbs up at Redlands campus during Roof Shout with Industry Consultant Matt Sweetman and young person Elliott with his sign-up pic

Gold Coast young people at Roof Shout ringing the bell to celebrate their sign-ups

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