Skills centre fundraising heats up

ORANGE Christian School is banking on Friday night’s Fundraising Dinner to help kick start the first stage of its new Trade Skills Centre.

Finalising the contracts before construction is ready to go, Orange Christian School will help celebrate the venture with a three-course meal prepared by 2011 Masterchef winner Kate Bracks to be hosted at the school’s library.

Orange Christian School principal Melissa Brown was thrilled to have Bracks on board for the dinner and anticipated the new Trade Skills Centre to be a focal point for the school’s future education endeavours.

“There’s a skill shortage, and we’ve got a skill shortage in Orange in hospitality and construction,” Mrs Brown said.

“We’ve spent quite a bit of time liasing with industry as to what are the needs in Orange and where are the growth areas and really found those two areas. The building industry was certainly saying yes and the hospitality industry, with the number of cafes, fine wine and fine dining has exploded in Orange in the last little while.

“We’ve got a whole pile of young people who are looking for more than just a traditional HSC. They want to get those qualifications, have a uni option, but also know they could go down a trade pathway if they need to.”

The new centre will help train up young people suitable for industry and suitable for the local businesses, ensuring students are able to hit the ground running with suitable qualifications.

Mrs Brown said her school had liaised strongly with TAFE NSW.

The school’s library will be transformed on Friday night to host the dinner, with many of Orange Christian School’s senior students getting a chance to engage in the hospitality industry even before the Trade Skills Centre opens.

“A lot of our students will be working on the night,” community relations coordinator Peter Cooper said.

“She [Mrs Bracks] trains them all so they can do it.”

“When somebody comes out of your own community standing up and saying, ‘listen, it’s possible, you can do this’ then I think it gives kids something to look up to,” Mrs Brown added.

Construction on the new Trade Skills Centre will begin next month and is set to be finished by the end of this year.

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