Artist impression for the Australian Industry Trade College campus in Ipswich, which will open in 2020.
Artist impression for the Australian Industry Trade College campus in Ipswich, which will open in 2020.

Trade college pegged as 'catalyst' for youth employment

A NEW trade college will open its doors next year, after Ipswich was identified as the fastest growing area for employment in the state.

The Australian Industry Trade College will launch its fifth campus in North Ipswich in January and expects 110 students to begin in the first year, with that figure to balloon to between 200 and 350 in three years.

About 10 staff will be employed in its first year and it will ultimately rise to about 25.

A development approval has been submitted to Ipswich City Council for a $200,000 refurbishment of the campus and it is hoped work will begin in a month's time.

The college already has approval from the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board to open in 2020, joining campuses in Toowoomba, Redlands, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

"We've been asked to come to Ipswich for many years," AITC CEO Mark Hands said.

"We have a number of industry people who are on board who were asking us to join Ipswich.

"We've done research for many years and we see Ipswich as the fastest growing employment area in Queensland between now and 2020. Recent figures confirm that and AITC is ultimately a school that helps young people get employed.

"We sniff out where employment is going to take off and put a school there so it's going to put young people into employment."

Mr Hands said demand for the co-educational trade school - where Year 11 and 12 students complete their senior secondary education whilst beginning a school-based apprenticeship - was high.

The AITC has more than 600 apprenticeships and traineeships on offer.

More than 90 per cent of graduates achieve their senior school certificate, the Queensland Certificate of Education and an apprenticeship.

Students are supported into employment with a particular focus on instilling values of hard work and initiative, along with technical skills.

"We're already getting enrolments from the western suburbs (of Brisbane)... because of the train line people from Brisbane are coming out to Ipswich and also coming from Gatton... it's very exciting what's happening in Ipswich," he said.

"The AITC creates a whole new dimension of employment amongst young people that was lacking in Redlands, it was lacking on the Gold Coast, it was lacking in Marcoohydore and Toowoomba.

"We've employed over 2000 young people in 10 years and only 10 of those apprenticeships were advertised... we create employment."

An information session will be held September 18, 5.30-6.30pm at North Ipswich Reserve. Visit the AITC website to register.