Hands-on Trades Career Expo offers opportunities for local students

Hands on: Flexible Learning Centre Benalla principal Brad Hearn; Tony Molinaro from Aroma Deli Cafe; students Matilda, Mason and Paige; and Career Youth Worker Lynne Sidhu. Photo by Simon Ruppert

Winton Motor Raceway welcomed students from across the north east as it hosted the Hands-on Trades Career Expo on Thursday, May 5.

More than 1000 students, from 43 schools, poured through the gates and were able to get hands on with a multitude of trades.

The expo featured 60 exhibitors including local and regional TAFEs, emergency services, universities and much more.

At the Expo APM employment services was on hand to host a business networking lunch promoting employment pathways with a focus on women in trades.

Local schools were involved in the running of the expo with FCJ College students taking part in event-management duties and the Benalla Flexible Learning Centre operated a coffee van on the day.

Flexible Learning Centre principal Brad Hearn said the school was grateful to have had a lot of community support to get its coffee van back up and running.

“We’ve re-established the coffee van through a local community COVID grant,” Mr Hearn said.

“Our youth worker Lynne Sidhu has been working with the kids to do that.

“We’ve just had nine students trained as baristas through GOTAFE Shepparton.

“That has been a really great opportunity provided through a partnership between Australian Rail Track Corporation and the local LLEN network.

“The local LLEN network has paid for that course for these young people which offers real-life skills.

“We’ve talked about how much coffee is around in Benalla. If you can make a coffee you’ve got a job for life.

“And that’s what it’s about. Training these young people to have skills for life.

“And we’re really blessed here today to have a number of students working.”

Mr Hearn said the Flexible Learning Centre had been operating the coffee van at Waminda Community House, on Ballintine St Monday mornings.

“Last term we were there every Monday, providing coffees to the community,” he said.

“That’s on hiatus at the moment, but we are looking forward to getting that back up and running soon.”

Opportunities: Benalla SES were at the Hands on Trades Career Expo and were able to show local students some of their vehicles and equipment. Photo by Simon Ruppert
Skills: Glen Lesley was showing students how to flip the perfect pancake, among other things, at the GOTAFE mobile campus at the Hands on Trades Career Expo 2022. Photo by Simon Ruppert
Opportunities: Students learn what Wodonga TAFE can offer at the 2022 Hands-on Trades Career Expo. Photo by Simon Ruppert