Kwinana youth open GATE to a better future

Thursday, 07 November 2013

Kwinana youth open GATE to a better futureAn innovative Challenger Institute of Technology course is helping teenagers pursue a pathway to further education and employment, through creative learning.

The Urban Gaining Access to Training and Employment (GATE) program, run at the City of Kwinana's Zone Youth Space, was launched earlier this year.

The program is designed to create a supportive, holistic learning environment for young people who have disengaged from education.

Challenger Institute access and participation program manager Jim Thompson said the program incorporated computing, health, life skills, career development and maths classes as well as integrated literacy and numeracy activities.

"The purpose of the program is to develop the skills required for students to be able to transition into mainstream education and training," Mr Thompson said.

"The classes also help address the students' life skill needs and can be personalised to support individual career goals. For example, students wishing to enter into pre-vocational courses in engineering or construction are taught basic maths and measurement in class."

Mr Thompson said a major component of the program is the student art project involving students creating aerosol artworks, which are exhibited at the Kwinana Freak Festival.

"The art program is an essential part of Urban GATE because it provides an opportunity for students to express their creativity," he said.

"We've had access to an aerosol artist who has worked with the students and integrated a lot of the literacy and numeracy skills they need, such as designing and measuring their own stencils."

The course, which runs three-days a week, helps students explore career pathway planning to assist them transition into further education and training or employment. The delivery environment also offers young people direct access to youth workers and counselling support.

Kwinana teenager Bryce Rondin (17) said that the course would help in his pursuit of further training opportunities.

"The course is helping me get better at maths and English, so I can get a better job and get into TAFE courses easier," he said.

Urban GATE is supported by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, the City of Kwinana, Department of Education, The Smith Family and Bridging the Gap. Applications are now open for the Urban GATE course next year.

PHOTO CAPTION: Urban GATE students working on their art project

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