Ipswich students learn tricks of the trades at Ecco Ripley

POSTED August 25, 2020

A group of more than 20 local high school students swapped the classroom for the construction site when they attended the ‘hands on’ Construction Skills Queensland Try’a Trade event yesterday at Sekisui House Australia’s Ecco Ripley development.

The Year 10 students from Ipswich Grammar, Redbank High and Springfield High Schools tried their hands at sought-after trades such as carpentry, bricklaying and plumbing to get a real feel for a career in construction.

Construction Skills Queensland, in partnership with Sekisui House Australia, welcomed Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard MP to join the students and talk about trade and job opportunities in the construction industry.

Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard MP said it was fantastic to see students have a go and learn the tricks of the trade and have the opportunity to walk through a construction site to see the professionals in action.

“The Palaszczuk Government spends nearly $1 billion annually on vocational education and training programs, which supported more than 240,000 students last year,” Ms Howard said.

“Our priority is to ensure Queensland students have the opportunities, skills and training for the future of work, and the CSQ-funded Try’a Trade Program provides them with the chance to experience a trade and get an insight into an in-demand, critical industry.

“Both Construction Skills Queensland and Sekisui House Australia should be congratulated on their commitment to upskilling students and laying the foundation for a successful career in construction.”

Guided by Sekisui House Australia’s onsite building managers, students also had the opportunity to tour the Ecco Ripley development and neighbouring Ripley Town Centre, a $1.5 billion masterplan, including a walk-through of houses currently under construction.

Construction Skills Queensland Chief Executive Officer Brett Schimming said the Try’a Trade Program aims to encourage high school students to try a career in the building and construction industry.

“The construction industry is a great place to build your career with so many options to earn while you learn and develop your skills,” Mr Schimming said.

“Many students are told by teachers and their families that going to university is the best possible move for their career, but this may not be the best choice for all individuals.

“We like to surprise people with the fact that employment rates from VET students who train as part of an apprenticeship are as high as 97%, compared to 69% from university.”

Sekisui House Australia CEO and Managing Director Hide Seguchi said the organisation was thrilled to partner with Construction Skills Queensland to provide long-term opportunities for local students and the construction industry.

“Ripley is one of Australia’s fastest population growth corridors, with 55,000 homes to be delivered over the next two decades,” Mr Seguchi said.

“It makes sense to grow and nurture our local skills base, and provide local students with job opportunities that are close to home.”

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