Southern Cross Vocational College Burwood has celebrated National Skills Week with a visit from the NSW Shadow Minister for Skills.
Prue Car, along with Member for Strathfield and fellow Shadow Minister Jodi McKay, met with Principal Patrick O’Reilly to tour Southern Cross and discuss how all NSW schools can be encouraging students to consider alternate pathways to university.
Funded by the ‘Trade Training Centres in Schools’ Initiative and Sydney Catholic Schools, Southern Cross allows students to work towards a non-ATAR HSC while earning Certificate II and III qualifications or beginning a trade apprenticeship.
Ms Car described the school’s facilities as “really impressive” and said the impact of technology, as well as skills shortages across the country, meant encouraging young people to go into vocational training was vital for the future of the job market.
“I think the whole school system is really mostly designed to get young people to university, but government needs to be looking at innovative ways – and learning from places like Southern Cross – so we can actually get young people into the VET System,” Ms Car said.
“As the Shadow Minister it’s really exciting for me to be able to look at this from a positive perspective of what a future NSW Government might be able to support.”
Mr O’Reilly agreed, lamenting that many parents still viewed university entrance as “the first prize”, with all other options relegated to second best.