Based on the key elements of the P-TECH model, the P-TECH styled learning program at Wyong High School has been designed by the school’s leadership team and local education, industry and community partners to suit local circumstances. In the P-TECH model, local employers partner with schools, TAFEs/RTOs and universities to strengthen students’ prospects of a successful transition to work by ensuring they develop the technical and personal skills employers are looking for.
To achieve this goal, the school works collaboratively with other education and training providers and a number of major locally-based employer partners including Mars Food Australia (Masterfoods), Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing Australia and the Central Coast NSW Business Chamber.
In January 2017, Wyong High School introduced an innovative P-TECH styled skills-based program that has provided an industry supported pathway for students to achieve a post-school qualification in areas of growing local employment demand. To prepare its students for the world beyond school, all Year 9 students at Wyong High School in 2017 participated in introductory P-TECH projects and activities to generate enthusiasm for STEM study.
This included opportunities to connect and build relationships with industry partners, and engage in hands-on, project-based activities, both at school and in the workplace. These experiences helped students to better understand the relevance of their learning to jobs and post-school pathways.
In future years, and with support from industry partners and industry mentors, students will have the opportunity to pursue formal STEM training as part of a nationally recognised VET qualification, while also undertaking their Higher School Certificate (HSC). With ongoing support from their industry mentor, and established connections with the school’s industry partners, P-TECH students will have the opportunity to extend their study beyond secondary school, and transition to a post-secondary education institution to achieve a STEM related diploma, advanced diploma or associate degree.
Participating in the P-TECH styled learning program has built student interest and skills in STEM, and raised awareness of the breadth and depth of STEM related training and employment pathways that are locally available. The program has been structured to develop the technical and personal skills students need to succeed at school and make a successful transition to further study and work beyond school.
The P-TECH pilot at Wyong High School is supported by the local community and the NSW Government.