Residents of Melbourne's west and staff from VU School of Construction Industries had the opportunity to celebrate success on 8 March 2012 with the graduation ceremony for graduates of the Building and Construction Program.
Local dignitaries including Minister for Housing, Children and Early Childhood Development Wendy Lovell, the Director of Neighbourhood Renewal Dr Harald Klein, Moonee Valley City Council Chief Executive Neville Smith and City of Moonee Valley Mayor Jim Cusack attended the event at Holland Court. The special guests enjoyed the opportunity to meet the students and residents to hear first hand the positive impact this program has made in their community.
The Carpentry Department at VU's School of Construction Industries in conjunction with the Flemington Neighborhood Renewal and the Department of Human Services (DHS) Economic Participation Unit (EPU) has been running a program for public housing tenants where they could try a trade. Fifteen residents commenced the initial Trade Taster, Building and Construction training. Fourteen were from Ethiopian, Eritrean, Somali or Lebanese backgrounds. Similar to VU's Pre-apprenticeship, this program helps the participants develop important basic trade skills, acquire some experience and gives students a realistic expectation of the work involved in a particular trade.
Glenn Bethune, project leader for VU, can see great futures for these students who could easily have had trouble completing a traditional course. "It's inspiring to see these young people take control of their lives and build a future. I am so proud of our team's commitment to delivering such positive training outcomes"
The project was the construction of mini-house that benefited not only the students involved but also the other tenants and the wider community. The program has been a great success with eight students securing jobs by the completion of the training. VU has strong partnerships with employers and the community. VU offers Pre-apprenticeships in Bricklaying, Carpentry, Engineering - Fabrication, Engineering - Machining, Joinery/Shopfitting/Stairbuilding, Plumbing and Signage.
For any enquiries about training for building trades contact the school on 9919 8493