At a P-TECH meeting on July 18, special guest Minister for Industry and Skills David Pisoni expressed his support for the Northern Adelaide P-TECH Partnership and emphasised the importance of industry involvement in training and skills development.
“Industry needs to be the driver of skills development,” Minister Pisoni said. “Skills training being industry-led will lead to long-term careers here in South Australia.”
The Pathways in Technology (P-TECH) Program enables industry to play an active role in the learning and career development of their future workforce. This world-leading educational model offers high school students an industry-supported pathway to a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related qualification, providing them with knowledge and skills to prepare them for the jobs of the future.
The Australian Government supports the program and has engaged the Skilling Australia Foundation to assist local stakeholders to work together to implement P-TECH learning programs at all 14 pilot sites across the nation.
The Northern Adelaide P-TECH commenced in February 2017 and is currently the only site in South Australia. Aligned with regional skill demands, the partnership provides industry-supported pathways in Engineering, Electrotechnology, and Information Technology, with an overarching focus on defence – a major growth industry in South Australia.
Minister Pisoni says most people aren’t aware of the scale of the projects and the opportunities that the Federal Government’s expenditure on defence has brought to South Australia.
“The Marshall Liberal Government has a strong plan to ensure that South Australians are skilled for these future opportunities.” Minister Pisoni said.
The State Government will invest $200 million over the next four years to create more than 20,000 apprenticeships and traineeships.
“Our main focus is increasing the number of apprentice and trainees here in South Australia –programs like P-TECH will help us achieve that because it’s connecting education with industry,” Minister Pisoni said.
P-TECH Northern Adelaide involves students at St Patrick’s Technical College working closely with industry to develop specific skills and knowledge that will equip them for a STEM-related career.
Century Engineering, SAAB Australia, and PMB Defence are the industry partners involved in developing and implementing the P-TECH program in Northern Adelaide. TAFE South Australia is the education partner involved in supporting pathways to post-school qualifications. Additional program supporters include Defence Teaming Centre and Catholic Education SA (CESA). The partnership has recently been announced as a finalist in the Industry Collaboration category of the 2018 South Australia Training Awards.
Following the meeting, PMB Defence CEO, Stephen Faulkner, lead a tour of PMB’s premises. Faulkner said it’s important that the defence industry works together to raise awareness of the opportunities in the defence industry in order to combat a skills shortage.
As well as helping to develop and implement the program, PMB Defence hold student tours to give them exposure to the industry and the “real world of work”. The team also help design projects linked to electrotechnology, so students can learn skills that are relevant to real-life industry problems.
“When you’re learning about something that is industry-related, it gives you a real purpose in what you’re doing. Hopefully some kids will be inspired to come and work at PMB Defence and the defence industry here in general, because there are going to be a lot of job opportunities coming through,” Faulkner said.