Firstly I would like to pay my respects to the traditional owners, the Woiwurung and Wathaurung people and their elders past and present.
It is indeed great to be here today for this opening.
I commend Emanuel College and particularly Chris Stock and the team here at the Notre Dame Campus, for all your efforts in delivering this marvellous facility. From the submission writing, the planning and scoping, the build and the final fit out.
I would also like to acknowledge Bobby Evans for his ongoing work in the VET/VCAL area ensuring that this building comes alive as an effective learning space with the right courses, the right teachers and a positive culture.
Providing access to the VET system, in partnership with Kangan TAFE, for students in Years 9 to 12 is at the corner stone of building the right environment.
The mission of the Trade Training Centre Program is to improve outcomes for young people.
- To increase engagement in learning
- To increase retention rates to Year 12
- To broaden pathways through vocational training.
Because we know, the reality is, that the longer students engage in formal learning the better their life outcomes.
I am confident that in this school, on this campus, that mission is what drives the leadership and the staff.
The Trade Training Centres program in schools was designed to address skill shortages in traditional trades and importantly in emerging industries.
It was designed to equip schools with the state-of-the-art, industry standard, facilities they need.
As a former principal, I would add, that time and time again I have seen, and research has borne out - that student’s pride in their learning environment leads to increased self-esteem, manifesting in improved student outcomes.
I am sure given the quality of the build we see here today that this building will also deliver on that score.
Six years ago, when this program started, schools struggled to offer meaningful VET programs.
Today, here at Notre Dame, we see fifty students are already benefitting from the electro-technology courses offered at this facility. It is also great to see this facility being utlilised by the students in the VCAL program.
These new Trade Training Centres are concrete evidence of Federal Labor’s determination to ensure every young Australian can get the skills they need to succeed, no matter what field they want to build a career in.
The Trade Training Centres in Schools program goes beyond building facilities though; it also encourages schools to work with local businesses.
This investment is a win for businesses because Trades Training Centres help ensure students get the skills which local employers need.
Schools are encouraged to work with local employers who can support the schools with expertise, equipment and provide on the job placements, school based apprenticeships and traineeships for students.
I suspect Dallion and the team at WynBay LLEN have played a hand in developing relationships and partnerships to support the school in these facets of the program and in this centre being fully utilised.
This centre is part of the Hobsons Bay cluster, meaning it has students coming not just from Emanuel College, they are coming from across the region including from, Laverton College, Mt St Joseph’s, Point Cook Senior School and Williamstown High School. A great example in cross sectional , network and regional co-operation.
I would like to finish on a pet topic of mine.
Investing in education sends a strong message to students, their families and the community about the high value of education.
The Federal Government’s contribution of $1.5million for this centre is part of 6 years of funding of over $1.4 billion for more than 510 Trade Training Centres benefitting more than 1,290 secondary schools across Australia.
Hundreds of thousands of students are actively participating in training, from agricultural and aeronautical studies to hospitality and engineering studies, across Australia.
Hundreds and thousands of students are receiving those strong messages about their value, the value of education and the value of being lifelong learners.
Once again I congratulate all of those involved in getting this facility delivered and wish all the current and future students, who study here, all the best for the future.