atEAST was established in April 1997 after the consortium schools completed an audit of their programs and determined that there was a group of students whose needs were not being satisfactorily met. After further evaluation, it was decided to prepare an application for funding to the Department of Employment Education Training and youth Affairs (DEETYA) to introduce part-time school based traineeships.

As a result, the atEAST Consortium, along with several other groups, received a grant from the Department of Education Employment Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA) to conduct a pilot program for the implementation of part-time School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs).

In 1998, approximately 20% of the students came from non atEAST schools (both government and non-government) and from as far afield as Hastings, Altona and Brunswick, which clearly demonstrated the need for this type of program.

Currently Year 10 students have the option of joining the atEAST SBAT Program as part of their Year 11 program in one of the following industries – Animal, Automotive, Beauty, Business Administration, Cabinet Making, Carpentry, Childcare, Disability, Electrical, Fitness, Floristry, Glazing, Hairdressing, Hospitality, IT, Landscaping, Plumbing, Refrigeration or Warehousing. SBATs in other industries may be available upon request.

The atEAST SBAT Program is quite unique and we believe it is the only school based program in Victoria which encompasses three days’ work in conjunction with VCAL and TAFE study. Our aim of the program is to enhance the employment and training opportunities for senior secondary students.

The atEAST SBAT Program is extremely successful and involves a partnership between the ten consortium schools, the Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), the employers and the many students that participate in our program.