Youth Projects

Collaborating with VCAL students to host Try a Trade

Horsham College VCAL students share their experience and assist senior primary school students to try their hand at the interactive trade displays. Courtesy of Wimmera Mail-Times.

In November each year Skillinvest hosts a Try a Trade expo for over 300 senior primary school students from the Wimmera region in western Victoria. 

The aim is to give grades 5 and 6 students an opportunity to explore vocational careers as they prepare to transition into secondary school. The expo features 25 highly interactive trade displays.

Since 2011, VCAL students from Horsham College have assisted Skillinvest to plan and stage the event. The students bring a wealth of energy and creativity to the event plus knowledge and skills they developed over the previous 12-24 months through VET in Schools, structured work placements or School-based Apprenticeships.

The VCAL students are rostered on trade displays that match their industry experience and career interests.  They perform the role of trade assistants working alongside qualified tradespeople.  The VCAL students assist the primary school students to have an interactive experience, and chat about the vocational education and training opportunities they can look forward to at secondary school.


East Gippsland Food Cluster Traineeship Program

In 2012, Skillinvest founded the program with the aim of connecting young people with a diverse range of career opportunities and developmental pathways in the agrifood sector.

A program centres on rotating School-based Trainees across a range of local food producers whilst upskilling local students in the community.

School-based Trainees complete Certificate II or III in Food Processing and are given the opportunity to transition into permanent employment and tertiary studies. 

Due to its early success, the East Gippsland Food Cluster Inc. implemented a three-year strategy (2013-2016) to further grow the concept. The program has received considerable media coverage and community interest which has resulted in more parties becoming involved.  Now an expectation exists for additional growth of trainee and participating business numbers, benefiting the sector and community as a whole.

The partners include:

Bulmers Farms Bonaccord Patties Pies
East Gippsland Shire
Wellington Shire
Dennison Foods
Maffra Cheese Southern Rural Water Dyers Transport
East Gippsland LLEN Federation Training Regional Development Victoria
East Gippsland Food
Cluster Incorporated


At the 2014 Victorian Training Awards, the program won the Victorian Industry Collaboration Award.

You can find further information about the East Gippsland Food Cluster program through their website or Facebook page.