Try-a-Trade treat for animal shelter cats 

Mr Lyle Mellors… important for high school students to understand value of vocational education pathways

Animal welfare organisation the RSPCA will benefit from the Try-a-Trade event at Charles Darwin University’s Alice Springs campus next week.

Among the hands-on activities for visiting high school students will be the opportunity to make “cat scratching poles”, which CDU will later donate to the local animal shelter.

CDU’s Senior Vocational and Education Training Adviser Lyle Mellors said the activity would allow students to make something with their hands as part of a broader exercise to demonstrate the value of trades.

“Our construction lecturers will show students how to make a multi-tiered cat-scratching pole and then hand the tools over to participating students,” he said.

“In essence it will be a wood-work activity, but it will also entail a variety of higher-order skills, such as team work, communication, coordination and logic.

“We expect they might make about 40 poles over the two days.”

Mr Mellors said it was important for high school students to understand the value and viability of choosing a vocational employment pathway.

“The Northern Territory and Australia continues to have a great need for tradesmen and tradeswomen, especially in the skill shortage areas of automotive, construction, hairdressing, the food trades and others.

“Not only do trades offer a dynamic and flexible employment option rich with opportunity,
but evidence also shows that graduate ‘tradies’ hold their own against tertiary graduates in their salaries.”

Mr Mellors said he expected about 250 Year 9 students from Alice Springs’ secondary schools and several remote Central Australian communities to attend Try-a-Trade next week on 12-13 September.

“They will also get the chance to participate in activities in auto, welding, butchery, horticulture, child care, music/media and hairdressing,” he said.

Try-a-Trade is an initiative of World Skills Australia and is managed jointly in Alice Springs by Charles Darwin University, the Northern Territory Government, and Group Training NT.