A certificate, diploma and/or degree represent more than a piece of paper. They each mark an opportunity.
"The most fulfilling part is that you are with the students' through their journey," Holmesglen Advanced Building Technology Teacher Harry Houhoulas says.
While an individual decides to study in order to learn a new skill, the bigger picture suggests they are also taking the necessary steps to enter a career. Building and construction is one industry where the pathway from education to industry is clearly defined. It's a motivation Harry works alongside when helping students achieve their aims.
"I enjoy helping people, and seeing the end result of them getting their certificate and them getting a job and doing what they want to do," he adds.
Building as an industry, and as a study choice, has many options and career streams. Harry observes the inspiration to enrol in a course is different for everyone. Some people are drawn to building and construction to eventually run their own business, work for themselves or even help build their own house. Additionally, some see a qualification as a "stepping stone" to obtaining a builder's licence.
Equally, what represents the common student has also changed. There is no set representation. Harry notes that Holmesglen is seeing a lot more international and mature age students.
"A lot of the people that are coming to course have been working in the industry for 30 years and realise they can't do what they do on site or with the tools forever, and they want to pursue a managerial position, for example. A lot of managerial positions these days require you to have a certificate or diploma, in addition to your experience," Harry explains.
Enjoying a close relationship with groups such as the Australian Institute of Building, Holmesglen's courses are designed to both provide the important skills when in the workshop and also encourage students to complete practical work in the field. "We always recommend when they're progressing through the course that they receive some experience outside of here, so they have a clearer picture," Harry says.
When at Holmesglen, codes and standards and structure principles are essential teachings, but communication skills are also a main area of focus.
"That's a big one we push, communication skills. If you end up becoming a builder you need good people skills and communication. It's a very important part."
Furthermore, with respective building and construction courses also offered online, the flexible delivery gives people of all circumstances a chance to become qualified.
"We designed the course not to be five days a week because we want to them to go out and hopefully spend two days looking for work in the industry."