The first class of Year 12 students to successfully complete the SchoolTech project at Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE graduated tonight (Thursday Nov 19).

Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said this successful project was the first of its type in Queensland.

“In 2008, these 42 students started their senior school education combined with the four trade areas of diesel fitting, construction, metal fabrication or electrical trades,” Mr Pitt said.

“Due to its success, the 2009 intake was increased to 100 students in eight course areas and in 2010 more than 200 students will study through SchoolTech.

Mr Pitt represented Education and Training Minister, Geoff Wilson, at the graduation ceremony.

”This evening’s ceremony not only represents the successful completion of secondary school and TAFE vocational courses by 42 students, but it is also a significant step towards developing a skilled workforce to serve local industry,” Mr Pitt said.

Mr Pitt said the students were graduating with Certificate II qualifications. They include the course’s only female graduate Nicole Jefferies who completed her training in electrical skills.

”I congratulate all the graduating students as they embark on their path to lifelong learning,” Mr Pitt said.

”I also thank Woree State High School and Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE for contribution to upgrading the local skills base.”

Mr Pitt said the Stage Government is committed to three out of four Queenslanders holding trade, training or tertiary qualifications by 2020.