Head start for Top End’s budding builders 

Mararra Christian College students show off the tool boxes and dust pans they built

A chance to swap their text books for tools proved a hit with a group of Indigenous secondary students eager to get a head start in the trades industry.

The group of seven Year 10 students from Mararra Christian College (MCC) recently visited Charles Darwin University for a three-day work experience program as part of the Try a Trade initiative.

Hailing from East Arnhem Land, Central Arnhem Land, and Emu Point, the boarding MCC students got an in-depth look at the building, drafting and construction industry, from occupational health and safety issues through to the correct use of power tools.

MCC teacher aide Emily Gray said the periods of work experience at CDU were critical for the students planning their paths in Year 11 and 12.

“This is the second time this group has been on campus, in keeping with their personal learning plans,” she said.

“These trade-tasters are great pathways into the workplace and provide a real world application for their literacy and numeracy studies.”

Technician with CDU’s Trades Industry Division Philip Ryder said the students were given a holistic introduction to the world of drafting and construction.

“The aim is to build their knowledge base and give them the confidence to enter a trade of their choice and do well,” he said.

“Here they’ve had a chance to build tool boxes and dust pans, but more importantly they’ve got a head start.”