New student skills grow better communities

A nature and reflection garden is now open for patients and their families in the grounds of Calvary Central Districts Hospital, Adelaide. It has been built by students improving their foundation literacy and numeracy while also learning construction and horticulture skills.

Today 25 students are graduating after participating in the ‘Building Better Communities’ collaborative project, an industry-driven pilot run through the Australian Government Language, Literacy and Numeracy Program (LLNP). It was customised for the foundation skills clients responsible for re-developing an empty lot into a new recreational area.

Parliamentary Secretary for Skills, Sharon Bird, said the graduation of the students was testimony to the value of the project.

“New ways of training that move students out of the standard classroom environment and into activities that are innovative and engaging will produce great educational outcomes like this,” Ms Bird said.

“Investing in the foundation skills of job seekers is critical for helping them reach their full potential.”

Of the 25 students graduating today, 18 have achieved Certificate II qualifications as a result of their work on the garden and facilities.

The Member for Wakefield, Nick Champion, said that lifting people’s language, literacy and numeracy skills has long-term benefits and it can really set them up for life.

“The pilot has been a great success and demonstrates that new ways of delivering training can deliver great results,” Mr Champion said.

The ‘Building Better Communities’ pilot began in March 2012, and is funded by the Australian Government, the Calvary Community Districts Hospital and the South Australian Government.