MEN AT WORK: The trade school site at Ballina High.
MEN AT WORK: The trade school site at Ballina High.

Another brick in the wall as work begins on trade school

By ALEX EASTON alex.easton@northernstar.com.au CONSTRUCTION has begun on a new $2.35 million trade school at Ballina High, aimed at letting students enter a trade while continuing their HSC.

The trade school, which was promised in the lead-up to this year's State election, will allow students entering trades to keep their options open.

"Some people at the young age of 14 or 15 don't know if they want to go to university or do a trade," a spokesman for NSW Education and Training Minister John Della Bosca said.

"So you might have some who do the trade training and who might then decide they want to do engineering." Because the trade school will be integrated with the high school, such people will still earn a score on the University Admissions Index and will have the option of going to university.

The Ballina High trade school will cater for students entering the hospitality and construction industries. The new complex is expected to take about six months to build and will include a new construction workshop adjoining the school's existing carpentry workshop, six carpentry benches, a portable mobile dust extraction unit, an outdoor brickwork area, an outdoor wood block, and indoor and outdoor storage.

For hospitality students it will include a commercial kitchen, preparation areas, food and material storage, and an outdoor dining area for 22 guests.

Work on the trade school comes hot on the heels of a commitment by Federal Vocational and Technical Education Minister Andrew Robb that the region's Commonwealth technical college, promised by the Federal Government before the last election, would go ahead.

But Mr Della Bosca has criticised the Commonwealth technical colleges for lacking the 'facilities or expertise' trainees needed.

Ballina High's Errol Ussher said the trade school and technical college were similar, the key difference being the trade school was more tightly integrated with the main school.



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