VCAL students set up shop

Catholic College Sale now has its own store run by students.

The store is open to the public and sells a range of products designed and created by students through the VCal program (Victorian Certificate of applied learning), with proceeds donated to charity.

College VCal coordinator Tim Johnson said the enterprise had been some 12 months in the making, and was aimed at broadening students’ employability skills.

“It’s very exciting for the students to have the opportunity to deal with the local public,” he said.

“These students [VCAL students] are wanting to get into trades, not so much go off to university, so having communication with the locals who … they don’t know, who come into the shop is really good for them. It will only benefit them for when they leave school, and give them some more confidence before they head off into the big world. Students need to have skills before they go out into the workforce. We can’t possibly expect any student to just go and do work placement and get an apprenticeship without any sort of experience – it’s impossible.”

Year 11 student and budding car salesman Tom Fleming said the program appealed to those looking to get trade-specific skills.

“I’m more of a hands-on learner and don’t really like doing book work, so this is great because it teaches us how to get a job quicker,” he said.

Mr Johnson said the school had been pleased with the program’s success so far, and was hopeful students would be able to see other pathways to the careers they want.

“We’ve had a good strike rate so far for the year,” he said.

“I had 16 year 12s in VCAL at the start of the year and we’ve dropped down to eight, so 50 per cent have already got apprenticeships, which is a fantastic outcome.”

The shop sells a range of products including handcrafted wood and metal items, candles, flowers and electrical goods. The shop is open Wednesdays from 10am to 11am, next door to Sale Medical Centre in Desailly St.