Port Stephens Examiner – July 5, 2018: A new wave of Hunter River High School students are now considering whether they want to pursue the pathways in technology, or P-Tech, program after taking part in an open day.
Representatives from Jetstar, BAE Systems, Varley Group, Ampcontrol Group, University of Newcastle, UAVAir and RDA Hunter – the school’s industry partners for the P-Tech program – spoke with year 10 students on June 26 as part of a drive to recruit the next P-Tech class for 2019.
“It was great being part of opening possibilities in young people’s minds, to see the sparkle of interest ignite in their eyes,” BAE Systems’ senior maintenance manager, John Fraser, said. “Let’s hope it converts into P-Tech mania.”
Jetstar’s apprenticeship facilitator, Julia Willis, said she hoped the information students received during the open day would help them make informed decisions about their future.
“The students were great and hopefully they received the information they require to make decisions for their future,” Ms Willis said.
Hunter River High School was one of 12 schools, the only in the Hunter region, selected to pilot the P-Tech program in 2016.
Through the program, the Heatherbrae school works with industry partners to help students achieve better results in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and create school-to-technology industry job pathways.
“P-Tech is teaching our students to apply skills and knowledge in a real work place setting,” Hunter River High School principal Deb Dibley said.
“The partnership is built up with talented people from different companies. We are all working together to ensure our students can apply the skills to help shape up their future.”
The inaugural P-Tech class, involving students in year 9 and 10, finished the program in November 2017.
By completing the P-Tech program these students moved into year 11 and 12 with advanced study options.
They could pursue a pathway in advanced manufacturing and engineering starting with a Certificate I in Engineering or a pathway in aero skills, commencing with a Cert II in Aero Skills (statement of attainment only), or a Cert III in Aviation.
The June 26 open day introduced the next wave of students to the P-Tech program.
Throughout the day small groups of students moved around stations allowing them to listen first-hand from the industry partners to better understand their company culture and pathways that lead to possible future employment with them plus discuss what subject selection would look like as a P-Tech course of study.
“Our industry partners were willing to take part in our open day and do what’s needed to open up the minds of our wonderful year 10 students,” Liana Nadalin, the school’s P-Tech/industry liaison officer, said.
“We have a strong connection with our partners and their knowledge allows us to strengthen the skills of our students that creates positive attitudes and prosperous future goals.”