1 December 2023

Wagga's first cohort of students completes 'Made for a Trade' program

| Jarryd Rowley
Start the conversation
Students graduate from the Made for a Trade Program

Thirty-three students successfully completed the Made for a Trade program at TAFE NSW. Photo: Jarryd Rowley.

Year 9 and 10 students from eight schools across Wagga recently graduated from TAFE NSW’s ‘Made for a Trade’ program.

The program allowed students to experience trade roles each Friday during terms 3 and 4 to help them better understand which career path they might choose following their schooling.

Throughout the program students participated in TAFE ‘Taster Days’, work readiness training, industry tours and work experience in fields such as welding, panel beating, construction, automotive, electrical work and cooking.

READ ALSO SES teams to assess flood-affected properties as continued soaking predicted for southeast NSW

Following their graduation on 29 November, students received their white cards and full work uniforms.

As a result of the program, students are now pursuing apprenticeship opportunities or looking to study vocational education and training subjects during their later years of high school.

Senior Project Officer at Training Services NSW Stacey Suidgeest said she was overjoyed with the success of the program in its inaugural year and was proud of the 33 students who graduated.

“This major trade program was created to help address the skills shortage in our region by creating an opportunity for students to learn more about options that are available while connecting with local employers,” Ms Suidgeest said.

“This program creates another option for students in high school to gain practical skills and industry knowledge across a wide range of trades during their last couple of school terms.

Student Owen Crouch working with wires in an electronics class

Student Owen Crouch working with wires in an electronics class. Photo: Supplied.

“By gaining a better understanding of a trade, it means the student is more likely to choose a trade that best suits them.”

Ms Suidgeest said a lot of businesses had supported the program and without them, it would not have been as successful as it was.

“Most of the students started the program unsure of what to expect. As they learnt new skills each week they have all grown in confidence and have all shown a willingness to learn.

“I believe that is strongly in part due to the groups that took the students on and showed them the way.”

Businesses involved in the program include Wagga Motors, Hutcheon and Pearce, RIC Electric, Transgrid, Interior Constructions, Riverina Water, GTES, Coolamon Chaser Bins and Thomas Brothers.

Students Owen Crouch, Logan Daniher and Charlie O’Reilly were three of the Year 9 graduates and were recommending others to take part in the future.

“We learnt a lot through the last couple of terms and made a lot of friends,” Owen said.

READ ALSO Warbird simulators ready for takeoff at Temora

“It helped give me an idea of what I can and want to do after school.”

“We tried things each Friday and got to learn a lot from people in each trade – I definitely enjoyed the more practical side of it,” Logan said.

“It was a great experience and I recommend it to people who are in Year 9 or 10 in 2024,” Charlie said.

The boys each said they were keen to look for electrician or diesel mechanic apprenticeships once they finished their schooling.

Applications for the 2024 Made for a Trade program are open and can be applied for through school career advisors or by contacting Stacey Suidgeest on 0477 341 030 or at [email protected]

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.