Story: School of Life
No basket too hard – life skills create new paths for young men.
A course in life skills is making a real difference to the lives and futures of young Indigenous people of North West Queensland.
The Course in Skills for the Future, currently running at the Mount Isa Institute of TAFE is providing participants with the motivation and willingness to further their educatoin and improve their future prospects.
Course participants include early school leavers, as well as those referred by youth and government agencies.
“Students, have all at some point, encountered barriers in continuing their education and training and sadly were placed in the ‘too hard basket’ by some,” says Mount Isa TAFE Director Joann Pyne. “We relied heavily on community input to develop a course that addressed the needs of these young people.
“The course is built around furthering important lifeskills training so these young people can use the skills in their everyday life while also gaining practical hands-on skills and experience in various facets of the Trade and Vocational Education and Training areas at our campus.”
Mount Isa TAFE’s Youth Training Coordinator Alvin Hava says many of the students had benefited from the exposure to positive role models of teachers and support staff.
“They have truly come out of their shell,” Alvin says. “There’s a sense of eagerness and open-mindedness to the training these students are undertaking.”
The students had completed a variety of projects, including planning and building their own BBQ plates using metal fabrication techniques and equipment. Some course participants are furthering their skills through studying the Certificate I in Information Technology and improving on their literacy and numeracy skills.
With the guidance of TAFE staff, the group has completed a beautification and landscaping project at a local art establishment by removing debris, building a level surface area and constructing garden beds, rock edgings, and planting native plants.
The next phase of the course will see students use hand and power tools while stripping down small motors and learning about each component before putting them back together and hopefully starting their engines.
Students will also be working on more community projects.
The group will also attend a cultural wilderness camp, where local Elders will teach the students about past and present issues as well as share stories and hand down valuable knowledge about significant cultural places in the local area.