Child Safety is everyone’s responsibility
Child safety is everybody’s responsibility. At the AITC, this means that every staff member from CEO to student admin, finance to facilities, marketing to managers, takes child safety training within the first three days of starting at the College. Additionally, every employee at the College holds a Blue Card, with the exception of teachers, who are required to keep their registration up to date.
A mantra used at the College is, ‘the standard you walk past is the standard you accept.’ This mantra has many applications, one of them being the safety and wellbeing of AITC young people. All College staff members are encouraged to own child safety and take on responsibility for speaking up when they see something that doesn’t look right. This process is mandatory in all schools, however at the AITC, there are additional considerations for wellbeing of young people and safety standards for work placements and apprenticeships.
Being an industry-focussed school, the AITC has an approach to safety that differs from traditional schools. The College runs rigorous workplace health and safety training for Rookies (newcomers to the College), which is completed at camp prior to the start of their first term. In addition to physical safety, the AITC places significant focus on the mental health and wellbeing of young people. Personal Industry Coaches provide first line coaching, mentoring, and support to young people on campus, and over the phone and email when they are in industry. Additionally, we invite guest speakers, such as Mates in Construction, to the College to provide valuable insights into the challenges faced during a career in industry.
With young people out in industry for around half of the school year, the AITC must balance child safety priorities alongside supporting young people in becoming self-sufficient and employable adults. With young people entering the College from fifteen years of age, staff are focussed on providing the help needed while encouraging and supporting them in becoming future industry leaders and well-adjusted adults.
During Safe Work Month, the College is focussing on one theme and aspect of safety each week. In the first week, the focus was on safe behaviours and choices, and the importance of taking a moment for safety. Week two of Safe Work Month fell in Mental Health Awareness Week, so it was only fitting that the theme was mental health and wellbeing. Next was a focus on child safety, with staff provided with two scenarios to consider throughout the week, after which time a follow up will be sent out to test employees’ knowledge of reporting and expected responses.
In the fourth and final week of Safe Work Month the theme is industry safety and preventing injuries. While Safe Work Month will wrap up at the close of October, the AITC continues to focus on safety throughout the year, with the mantra ‘safety is our first thought‘.