Pathways to Success
As part of a holistic education, CCGS students take part in a wide variety of academic and cocurricular offerings. In the senior years, some students are undertaking additional courses alongside their HSC, gaining qualifications and expanding their horizons before they commence life after school.
We spoke to three Year 12 students as near the end of their studies: Charli Pritchard Parker (Certificate III Tourism, Travel and Events), Harrison McGarry (Certificate III Business Services - Real Estate) and Cameron Norman (Certificate III Electrotechnology).
We also caught up with Year 11 student Maison Patrick who is in his first year of a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery to find out how the program has been so far.
How did you decide to pursue an alternate pathway?
Maison: I first found out about school-based apprenticeships from our Careers Advisor in Year 10. After hearing that I could still complete year 11 and 12 and receive my HSC certificate at the same time as completing a school-based apprenticeship, I made the decision this was the best fit for my senior years. The key is having a business to support you through this area and I am grateful to Bernard Mallet from L ‘Isle de France for providing me with this opportunity.
Harrison: I wanted to pursue a TAFE course along with my HSC to give me insights into what the real estate industry was like and whether it was a career path I wanted to pursue.
Cameron: I was originally looking into different trades, but I wasn’t confident enough to end my formal schooling. A T-Vet course in Electrotechnology meant I could experience what being an electrician was like while still achieving an ATAR.
What does a ‘day in the life’ of your apprenticeship look like?
Maison: Some days are the same as pre-Year 11 but those where I have work shifts can be hectic. On Fridays there is a short break after school before my 5pm start which typically ends around 10-11pm. Some evenings I can be prepping for entrees and mains and other nights this can be working with our pastry chef on desserts. I enjoy the attention to detail and variation of tasks. Hearing the feedback from our customers is always a lovely outcome for the team as well.
What has been the most rewarding part?
Charli: I recently went to Glenworth Valley for work placement. The experience and the knowledge I learnt is something that can’t be replicated in a classroom.
Cameron: To experience first-hand what it would be like to become an electrician. At the end of my placement, I was offered an apprenticeship from the company, which I might explore in the future.
Maison: My commitment to follow this pathway also enabled me to be offered a role at Margaret, Neil Perry’s award-winning hatted restaurant in Double Bay. As joint winner of 2023 Best New Restaurant in Australia and NSW Restaurant of the year, I was excited to be invited to join their team. I complete most of my hours here during school holidays. The combination of both restaurants really gives me a clear insight into the differences in cuisine, staff and the management styles of working with various executive chefs.
What is something that has surprised you?
Charli: I was surprised by the level of qualification this course provides. If I want to get a Diploma in the future, the time would be reduced as I will already have a Certificate III. This qualification can also make entry to university easier and can give me some credit towards future study.
Cameron: How many friends I have made and how much I enjoy working as an electrician. It has also made me appreciate how well organised CCGS is for offering this opportunity.
Maison: How quickly I am learning different techniques and how my confidence has also increased in Food Tech at school. I’ve learnt to take more risks in class and how focusing on your strengths creates more opportunities for you in the future.
How do you hope this qualification will help you after school?
Maison: The Certificate III in Commercial Cookery is designed to complete in three years. I aim to have two years of this completed upon graduation, enabling me to receive a full qualification as a chef by the age of 18. Ultimately, I would love to continue working in 5-star Michelin award winning restaurants throughout the world and one day have my own.