Let’s be real, normal school just doesn’t work for everyone. In the past this has left many of us high and dry as we struggle through the school year. If that’s you, then you don’t need to freak out any more. Applications are open for Diversitat’s Youth programs, and not only do they offer you the same qualifications as regular schooling, but they’re pretty awesome as well.
“The difference between [Diversitat courses] and mainstream [is] we offer the same qualifications, but we’ve been able to compress them into three days a week instead of five,” says Program Manager Barry Hocking.
“There’s a little bit of work to do at home, but not too much. Our trainers are pretty skilled in making them very hands on. So it’s not all based in the classroom. The trainers are pretty mindful of keeping [students] moving about as much as they can.”
Open to people aged 15-19, Diversitat Youth has four classes available. If you’re keen on a more traditional education (but with a twist), the Express & SWEET programs teach VCAL and are held at the old post office on the corners of Ryrie and Gheringhap Streets. Using a project based approach, you’ll find yourself learning about reading and writing through event planning, and you’ll do maths by painting and cooking.
Diversitat also have a Young Parents Program available, which is a little more flexible with the age bracket of students and also covers VCAL curriculum. “It’s not every day of the week, it’s three days, but you can bring the baby along as well to class for a day, and you also have a day without the baby as well where we assist the clients with child care,” explains Hocking.
And if none of these options float your boat, then you can also enter the You Turn Trade Program held in North Geelong, which gives you a Certificate 1 in Work Education. Covering painting, panel beating, mechanics and construction, it doesn’t give you a trade qualification, but it is a Trade Taster, giving you a work readiness certificate.
“Mainstream school has a lot to offer, and has sort of evolved into the right thing for most young people. So we cater for those who mainsteam isn’t working well for—when classroom based learning just isn’t their thing,” says Hocking.
If you’ve had a go at normal schooling and it isn’t for you, then Diversitat Youth courses might just be. “Ideally you would have had a go at mainstream but it possibly didn’t work and you’ve been referred on, or you’re not doing anything. You realise you really need an education [and think], ‘What I’ve done in the past just hasn’t worked and it’s time for a fresh start with something a bit different’,” he says.
Once upon a time school was our only option, but the folks at Diversitat have changed the game by making learning surprisingly fun. If you’re struggling in mainstream school or need an alternative, then Diversitat Youth courses are well worth checking out. After all, education is about giving you the brightest future possible. So we may as well enjoy it while we’re there, right?
Barry sums it up by saying, “The different between us and school is the fact that it’s a shorter week. It’s possibly more relaxed because we don’t have school uniforms and bits and pieces, so [there’s] less reasons for students to sort of lock horns with management of the program. And the fact that we try and do as much learning as we can project based, rather than purely chalk and talk.”
Diversitat Youth programs are open for the year and have a rolling intake.
For more details call
VCAL programs: 52233222
This interview was published in Forte Magazine issue #633 and can be found online here.