Fresh start for early leaver

An achiever: Courtney Townsend-Booth is delighted to realise a dream. Picture: Marco De LucaCOURTNEY Townsend-Booth has reason to celebrate this week.

The 18-year-old Craigieburn resident is among 50 students in Hume who graduated yesterday from a Spectrum Education and Training (SET) course run by Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre.

Twenty of its students have already secured jobs in the aged-care and children’s services sector, while six have enrolled in further study or are continuing their work placement.

Ms Townsend-Booth, who left school in year 10, said: “It feels good because I’ve never really accomplished anything. I would always bail out halfway through. I never wanted to do things, or I would lose interest.

“I’ve always wanted to do aged care, but I never had the chance because I was too young.

“I left school at the end of year 10 and I didn’t know what I was going to do.

“I would go to TAFE and universities, but they wanted me to be of age and then I heard from Spectrum and they said it didn’t matter how old I was and they enrolled me.”

Ms Townsend-Booth graduated from the certificate III course in aged care and will next try to obtain a certificate IIII in disability.

SET manager Fiona Knowles says the graduating students could help improve Hume’s ‘weak’ employment record.

“In the past 12 months there has been a visible rise in employment numbers, but the unemployment rate [in Hume] is still at an unacceptable high of 12.1 percent,” she says.