Adult Learner’s Week with a side of brekky

September 04, 2017

From left to right: Neil Thomas, Rima Mehta, Sue Henson, Karen Hagan, Heather Berryman, Peter Minchin, Lesley Hjorth, Kerrie Boyd, Michael Pratt, Jill Bryans, John Raccanello (bottom).

THEY say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but nobody said anything about a free breakfast.

Free breakfast will be on the menu at Campaspe College of Adult Education this morning for local business owners and members of the public, who will be given a taste of what the college offers.

The breakfast is kick-starting Adult Learner’s Week for the college, which will throw open its doors to the public for a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on inside the old 208 school building.

College general manager Karen Hagan said she hoped locals would stop by, sit in on a class and chat to trainers about what courses were on offer.

‘‘A lot of people drive past, see the old school building and don’t really know what goes on inside, so we thought we would get everybody in and showcase what we do,” she said.

The courses cover everything from welding to fashion design and everything in between.

“The courses we offer are about getting people jobs, work experience, and giving them an idea of what they might want to do in life,’’ she said.

The breakfast will be cooked by the students of Craig Short chef Danswan, who describes himself as a tough teacher who pushes his students outside their comfort zones.

“I get my students to do lots of work placement. I slot them into local restaurants and functions around the town and make sure they’re absolutely job ready. That’s what this is all about,’’ he said.

Craig said he wanted to do his bit to tackle local unemployment, which many of his students faced after being made redundant from factories such as Heinz or Murray Goulburn.

“We really want these students to succeed. It’s got to happen. This town’s got a ton of work, we just need to get the students into the right workplace,’’ he said.

Aside from getting students into work, the college helps disadvantaged locals develop the general life skills needed to get back on their feet.

Peter Minchin teaches a general education course to “disengaged youth” who are no longer in mainstream education.

“A lot of our students have not had the most fortunate run in life. They might have family dysfunction, alcohol and drug addiction, mental health issues or intellectual disabilities,” he said.

Peter’s courses include basic numeracy and literacy, as well as resume writing, home cooking and other broad life skills.

“We work with these students to rebuild some self-esteem, get them back onto track and hopefully give them a bit more confidence to get out there and do something in the real world.”

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