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Memphis and Isabelle get hands-on taste of the trades

TAFE Queensland's Trade Taster program offers year 10 high school students a free opportunity to explore trades without committing to a full qualification. 

The program is designed to fit around school schedules, offering hands-on trade experience one day a week for nine weeks.

Memphis Eaton, from Ormeau Woods State High School has thrived in the program at TAFE Queensland’s Ashmore campus.

Inspired by his father's work in fabrication, Memphis loves learning different trades and tools.

"My favorite trades so far have been welding and fabricating. I love being able to make something out of nothing,” said Memphis.

“The teachers are lovely, helpful, patient, supportive and encouraging, while the TAFE Queensland apprentices have been super-helpful in helping me to navigate the campus,” he said.

The 15-year-old plans to continue training with TAFE Queensland and has encouraged his friends to give Trade Tasters a go.

Trade Tasters is a worthwhile program that I have honestly enjoyed so much, and I have actually tried to convince a couple of my friends to do it next school term,” he said.

Fellow student, Isabelle Andros from Pacific Pines State High School is an aspiring carpenter who enrolled to gain essential skills for her future career.

“The Trade Taster program is a great way to learn extra skills and knowledge for the trades I’m interested in,” Isabelle said.

The year 10 student aims to build a career in carpentry and plans to study construction at TAFE Queensland's Ashmore campus while completing years 11 and 12.

“It is definitely a new experience compared to school and it’s been amazing to gain an understanding of what it’s like to train and learn in a higher education setting,” she said.

TAFE Queensland Gold Coast General Manager, Karen Dickinson said the program's popularity has soared in recent years.

"Since 2020, over 2,000 young people have completed the Trade Taster program at TAFE Queensland on the Gold Coast, with students participating from more than 75 different schools in the region each year.”

"This surge in participation highlights the growing interest among students in exploring trade careers early on," she said.

After completing the Trade Taster Program students can continue training at TAFE Queensland with a pre-apprenticeship course or school-based apprenticeship throughout years 11 and 12 to get a head start on their trade qualifications while still at school.