Secondary school students graduate from unique retail course
Twenty-five year nine students from Wanganui Park Secondary College will graduate with a Certificate I in Retail Services On Friday 29 June after successfully completing a unique retail program formed through a partnership with GOTAFE.
GOTAFE Commercial Manager Hairdressing, Beauty and Retail, Kate Storer said the program was designed to get year nine high school students work ready for casual employment in the retail and food industry within the region.
“Students complete subjects that would be utilised in a work place including; organisation at work, communication skills, operating retail technology, effective work in a retail environment and safe working practices as well as food hygiene units,” said Kate.
“The program also provides students with the skills to build their resume, prepare for a job interview and develop the confidence to apply for their first job.
“Generally the types of jobs they want are working at a local café, bakery or retail clothing store so GOTAFE set up a 'mock' retail shop in the classroom where students can practice their customer service skills, they even get paid with ‘fun money’ to replicate the working world.
“Typically schools offer programs in year 10 or 11 where students prepare a resume and consider a range of industries for employment, this program is designed to support and prepare students when they are seeking their first casual job in year nine.
“Ross Graham from the Hospitality team recognised that his own secondary school aged children were wanting a job where they could work during school holidays or after school to be more self-sufficient once they turned 15, but they lacked the confidence and basic skills required to secure casual work.
“Together, the retail and hospitality departments further developed the opportunity to provide training to students of an employable age and we soon approached local schools with the concept.
“Wanganui were very receptive from the outset and we worked with Assistant Principal Nancy Harcourt to further develop our idea.
“The first semester of the program is now complete with students graduating this Friday, it is really rewarding to see that the program has had great success, especially with a number of students gaining work as a result of the program.”
GOTAFE still maintain strong industry relationships and the feedback received from local businesses was invaluable in providing training that was relevant and gave students practical job ready skills. GOTAFE is now working with other schools in the region to implement this program in 2013.
For further information or if your school would like to be involved in the program please contact Kate Storer via the Customer Service Centre on 1300 GOTAFE (1300 468 233).