Hamilton Hill: Port School students benefit from traineeships

Port School students Georgia Bleach, Hayley O’Neill, Cameron Lloyd and Conor Casserly with principal Barry Finch, mentor Tony Dockerty, Port School VET co-ordinator Steph Daniell and Fremantle MP Josh Wilson.
Port School students Georgia Bleach, Hayley O’Neill, Cameron Lloyd and Conor Casserly with principal Barry Finch, mentor Tony Dockerty, Port School VET co-ordinator Steph Daniell and Fremantle MP Josh Wilson.

A WORKPLACE training program has changed “the culture of expectation” for students at Port School, according to VET co-ordinator Steph Daniell.

The program, which is run through the Federal Government, places students in paid part-time traineeships while they finish high school.

With students from the Hamilton Hill school gaining experience in a number of fields, Ms Daniell said the program had done wonders for student confidence over the last year.

“The bigger picture in relation to this program is that it’s changing the culture of expectation for these young people and creating a more aspirational school environment,” she said.

“It started with me promoting the program to students.

“It’s now shifted, within a year, to them approaching me with what they want to do work-wise, so they’ve actually become pro-active in their own work pathways.”

Student Georgia Bleach said her time with Dome Cockburn had given her great experience.

“It’s taking a big step in life to actually work in that industry, put myself out there, work with different people, and get used to actually working so I have an idea of what it’s like,” she said.

“It’s done so much for me.”

Fellow student Hayley O’Neill spends Thursdays working with disability service provider Activ, while Cameron Lloyd is gaining experience with Port Kembla Tiles.

Conor Caserly works two days a week with Super Cheap Auto in Spearwood and hopes to become a mechanic.

Craftsman Anthony Docherty has employed one Port School student as a furniture-making trainee.

“I got mentored as a young bloke out in the Wheatbelt and I always appreciated it,” he said.

“Before this program I’ve never had apprentices but I always thought about passing on whatever I might have to give to young fellas.

“I think it’s really important.”

Fremantle MP Josh Wilson said the program was perfect for students at the school.

“This trainee initiative continues Port School’s amazing work in helping at-risk kids to get educated, find work, and feel loved and valued in their community,” he said.

Port School, in Hamilton Hill, aims to engage at-risk students who have not been able to achieve success in mainstream settings.

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