The Y WA made history on February 23rd with the open of our first ever school campus in Western Australia! ‘The Y Vocational School’ will provide high-quality education for young people who are looking for alternative learning to mainstream schooling.
The new school opening marks an expansion of the Y WA’s (also known as YMCA WA) community services portfolio. The school was officially opened by Member for Mirrabooka, Meredith Jane Hammat MLA BA, who unveiled a commemorative plaque.
Navit Shchigel, Principal of Y Vocational School explains “we know once young people drop out of school they face lifelong poorer outcomes, in areas including earnings, welfare dependency and health than those who did not. These early interventions and supports can help change the course of a life.”
There is a growing need for alternative schools and a more holistic approach to learning, as more and more young people become disengaged from traditional schools.
The Y has always supported young people and so we have spent the last two years building this new service to fill the gap.”
The Curriculum and Re-Engagement School (CARE) will provide a safe and nurturing environment, while developing key skills in literacy, numeracy, employment skills and vocational training. Intentionally low student to teacher ratios limit class sizes to just twenty to start with, whilst the culture of the students and staff is nurtured. Each class is staffed by a trauma-informed teacher and social worker. Students are additionally able to access a psychologist for one-on-one support and counselling, as well as wellbeing classes.
In addition to learning and emotional development, the Y WA has established connections to local business to ensure guaranteed career pathways, work experience and apprenticeships for students.
Dr Tim McDonald, Chief Executive of the Y WA, said: “We are delighted to open our first vocational school in WA. We believe all young people are capable of success, they just need the right environment and guidance – and that’s what we will be providing. We are planning on building upon the success of our Mirrabooka Campus in the near future to enable us to build additional campuses around the Perth metro area, as we know there is a growing need for alternative learning where students are better equipped and ready for the world, equipped with the skills they need to achieve at life and at work.”
The Y is the world’s oldest and largest youth movement, supporting young people globally for over 175 years. Their services include early learning centres, out of school hours care, gyms and recreational facilities, youth centres, case management, youth festivals, and school attendance strategies. The Y Vocational School marks their latest expansion of their offering.