Seventeen-year-old Michael Taylor is enrolled at SchoolTech, an alternative high school program that’s the brainchild of the TAFE Queensland Cairns campus, the Great Barrier Reef International Marine College and Woree State High School.
Through the SchoolTech program not only is Michael studying for his Queensland Certificate of Education, but he’s also completing a Certificate II in Engineering Pathways and a Certificate II in Maritime Operations, while undertaking a school-based apprenticeship.
“When I heard about SchoolTech I wanted to enrol straight away as I knew it would help me get a head-start working in the marine industry,” Michael said.
“I’ve always been on boats and on the water, and I thought it would be great if I could get a job doing what I enjoy,” he said.
SchoolTech students can study a range of industry areas including, construction, plumbing, engineering, electrical, automotive, and marine.
“I really like SchoolTech; it’s different to a normal high school setting as I study my Year 11 and 12 subjects two days a week, I spend one day training at the Great Barrier Reef International Marine College and then two days a week working,” Michael said.
“I like going out to the Great Barrier Reef International Marine College because I do training that’s related to obtaining a coxswains certificate; so I drive a boat, I learn about navigation and I also get to do firefighting training.”
Dennis’ Mobile Marine Owner, Chloe Goodyear said it’s great having Michael on board.
“Michael assists our mechanics with all sorts of jobs such as servicing and repairing outboard engines, computer diagnostics, wiring, maintaining the workshop and trailer repairs,” Ms Goodyear said.
“Taking on a school-based apprentice through the SchoolTech program has allowed our business to provide a young person like Michael with the chance to complete an apprenticeship and still graduate Year 12."
“It’s very rewarding to give a young person the opportunity to have a trade,” she said.