The Benefits of Vocational Learning

For many years there has been an outdated belief that students who are not academically gifted should follow a trade or enter vocational learning. This is based on a premise of two streams being academic or vocational, study or practical hands on, university or TAFE/training.

The truth is that today we have a more blended approach to academic and vocational learning providing the best of both worlds and is of greater benefit to preparing young people for the future. Our advice from our industry partners continue to emphasise the importance of ‘soft’ skills such as communication, teamwork, creativity and problem solving, leadership, motivation and commitment as critical for successful employment. Vocational learning allows for these skills to be well covered in training courses and work placement in addition to core skills related to a trade or vocational pathway. Academic Skills needed in engineering, automotive and electrical are increasingly more demanding in literacy and numeracy because of the rapid growth in technology and complexity of jobs.

There is no question that pathways to university are still the most popular at Cardijn, however opportunities to be involved in vocational learning and training is most beneficial with students able to complete their South Australian Certificate of Education, achieve an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for entry to university as well as achieve a Certificate 2 in training. Work placement and the additional qualification is a great asset when a young person seeks part-time employment or a traineeship or apprenticeship. Ofcourse all this is possible whilst still studying towards a degree at university.

Students at Cardijn College and Marcellin Tech have many options they can pursue in their pathway to further education, training and ultimately employment.

This week is National Skills Week and we celebrate our many achievements including an extensive educational program which involves academic and vocational learning/training at our main campus or at our Marcellin Technical campus.

This Friday, the South Australian Training Awards will be announced and we are very pleased that Jye Thomson, student at Marcellin Tech has been nominated as a finalist in the Aboriginal and Torrens Straight Islander of the Year and MTC Training our in-house RTO as a finalist in the Small Training Provider of the Year.

Dr Paul Rijken is principal of Cardijn College, a secondary co-educational school in the southern region of Adelaide with a total of 900 students and 120 staff. Marcellin Technical College is a campus of Cardijn College. It provides students in Years 11 and 12 with SACE, training and apprenticeships. It has an enrolment of over 120 students and 30 staff. Paul has been the principal at Cardijn College since 2005. He has a Ph.D. from Curtin University in Science and Mathematics Education. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders.

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