riggers certificate at the nearby Annandale Campus of Petersham TAFE College. Asked what a "rigger" did, he proudly pointed to the scaffolding around the building site next to the tram stop and said: "that".
On the tram, the student could not resist proudly showing off his certificates. After months of practical work on campus and study at night, the student explained his qualifications would allow him to work at the mines in Western Australia, at least doubling his income (needed for a large family, he explained). As well as working at heights outdoors, his training included working in enclosed space, such as a lift shaft.
This reminded me of how important to the real world education is. The mining industry is dependent on this form of training, to provide much of Australia's export economy and keeping the workers, and the community, safe. Esoteric discussions of educational theory are one thing, but an education system which facilities billions of dollars in export income and protects workers where one slip can be fatal, is another.
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