A CEREMONIAL shovel full of dirt turned on Thursday was a symbol of how Orange is keeping pace with changes in school education.
Orange Christian School does not have a large enrolment, particularly through to year 12, however the commencement of work on a trade training centre there will help it keep up with the vocational focus that many high schools are offering their students.
Many students have no desire to undertake tertiary education however the importance of completing year 12 and keeping career options open is increasingly appreciated.
But for those extra two years of schooling to be of value for some students there has to be a vocational focus supported by modern facilities.
In the Bembooka Trade Training Centre the school will have state-of-the-art facilities for those students interested in careers in cooking and hospitality.
This expansion of vocational training, at government and non-government schools alike, is reflected in a course structure which allows students to complete year 12 and obtain a Higher School Certificate with subjects that may not contribute to university entry but will be vital to other career goals.
Vocational subjects available up to year 12 can advance students further along the path to careers in trades and services while also exposing them to the broader benefits of two more years of general education.
The Orange Christian School experience is similar to that of Canobolas Rural Technology High School and others in the city where the days of vocational subjects taking a back seat to the more academic subjects in status and in funding are long gone.
In their place are purpose built vocational facilities offering the very best opportunities to prepare for further study and exciting careers in health and hospitality as well traditional trades.