Crash course in spray painting at Try a Trade.
Photo courtesy of The Blacktown Sun
Hospitality, hair and vehicles may sound completely unrelated areas but they proved to be the three most popular stands at the recent Try a Trade vocational expo held last week at the Kevin Betts Stadium at Mt Druitt.
The two-day event was a collaborative approach between TAFE NSW WorldSkills, the Australian Defence Force and western Sydney schools and youth organisations. The objective was to give young people hands-on at various trades (or "trade bytes") and provide inspiration for vocational career paths.
Adam Lucas, state manager of TAFE NSW Worldskills, said the free event revealed the vocational areas currently of most interest to young people. Apart from the hospitality, hairdressing and vehicle stands attracting strong traffic, other stand-out areas included landscaping, which Mr Lucas described as "going through the roof".
Automotive also proved extremely popular. Ron Collier, head teacher of automotive at Blacktown College, said that Australia's auto trade is holding its own, despite the trade being impacted by global economic conditions, with automotive representing the greatest increase in enrolments at Western Sydney Institute over the past 12 months.
While for some students the lure of a career in the lucrative mining industry can be strong, Mr Lucas said the Try a Trade expo was an opportunity to encourage young people to consider trade qualifications in construction, electrical and metal trades where there is a current skills shortage.