I attended the Orientation today. It mainly involved a tour of the campus and a brief run down on various appropriate contact people (Learning Support, Counsellor, Student Support, etc). There was also a very short numeracy/literacy test. This comprised a short 3-4 paragraph statement about Ohm about which we then had to answer a few basic questions. Then followed a couple of rather simple mathematical questions, the most complex of which required us to calculate the area of a circle if given the circumference.
We were given our enrolement package which simply outlines TAFE policies on various things like security, smoking, vehicles, dress code, eating in class, mobile phones, etc. Mostly common sense stuff. It does mention that we will need protective clothing, but then fails to specify exactly what that means. Presumably our teacher will let us know.
It also turns out that classes don’t start until 19/02/07. Apparently there is some refurbishment going on at the campus and not all classrooms are available yet.
The two main providers of national level training packages for the electrical industry (Metals, Engineering & Manufacturing or MEM, and Utilities, Technology & Engineering or UTE) are in the process of altering exactly what core competencies they require of a pre-vocational course. The end result to me is that the course I will be completing is somewhat pared down from what I was expecting. The upside is that it will be cheaper for me, but I won’t learn as much. 🙁
I technically had until classes start to complete my enrolement, but since I was there anyway, I paid up.
We weren’t given a timetable, but we were told that classes essentially run from 8am to 4:45pm Monday to Friday. A few of the younger students seemed to think that was a rather long day. In a class of about 25-30 I was one of maybe 4 adults seeking a career change. The rest seemed to be straight out of school. Should lead to some interesting dynamics.
We were warned that the trade requires quite a high level of maths, but it was more in the nature of a “head’s up” than a “you’re all DOOMED!”. Having just nailed a High Distinction in a Discrete Mathematics course at uni, my reaction was “bring it on.”
We were also told that the drop-out rate for electrical apprentices is around 10%. I seem to remember reading that it was closer to 40%, but I can’t cite the exact source. Still, 10% sounds rather low.
Anyway, that was about it. I’m not expecting anything major to happen now for three weeks when classes start.