Sophie gets a head start

NOT many high school students finish school qualified to work in industry with no further study required, but Monaro High School graduate Sophie Underwood is one such student.

Ms Underwood is well on her way to a career in child care after starting a TAFE course in year 10.

She finished year 12 with a Certificate III in Child Studies under her belt last year and has already started looking for work in a child care centre.

"I had the opportunity to start the course in year 10 after speaking to Mr McElroy," Ms Underwood said.

"It was a really good course and I learnt a lot.

" I am applying for work in the industry and I might even look at overseas work."

Usually high school students have to wait until year 11 to start TAFE courses and they finish with a Certificate II qualification.

However, Monaro High careers advisor and TAFE co-ordinator Brad McElroy said there was a move to create more flexibility for students to start TAFE earlier in year 10.

"It's not all that common, and not all students are suited to the adult learning environment at TAFE," Mr McElroy said.

"Students need to apply to start TAFE early, and demonstrate a career path which Sophie did.

"She knew what she wanted to do. Sophie is quite a mature young lady and very committed to her studies.

"The Certificate III qualification has made her very employable."

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