Based on the key elements of the P-TECH model, the P-TECH styled learning program at St Patrick’s Technical College, in Edinburgh North, SA has designed by the school’s leadership team and local education, industry and community partners to suit local circumstances.
In January 2017, St Patrick’s Technical College introduced an innovative P-TECH styled skills-based program that will provide an industry supported pathway for students to achieve a post-school qualification in areas of growing employment demand. This includes the skills and qualifications required to support construction and ongoing management roles across a range of defence industry projects of national significance.
To achieve this goal, St Pat’s Tech is working collaboratively with other education and training providers and a number of locally-based employer partners including the Defence Teaming Centre, a leading industry association, and a consortium of local defence industry employers, including Century Engineering, PMB Defence and SAAB Australia. Further major local employer partners are expected to join the partnership in the future, providing additional resources and practical opportunities to St Patrick’s Technical College students.
To prepare its students for the world beyond school, over 30 Year 11 students at St Patrick’s Technical College in 2017 will commence P-TECH courses focused on Electro-Technology and Engineering. Students will take part in a range of industry supported learning experiences and Cross Disciplinary Studies that will extend their education beyond traditional classroom exercises.
This includes 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 will help students to better understand the relevance of their learning and how it can be applied in the workplace.
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 South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). 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.
In addition to pathways in Electro-Technology and Engineering, from 2018 P-TECH students will have the opportunity to enrol in an industry supported pathway to a Diploma in Software Development. Participating in the P-TECH styled learning program will build student interest and skills in STEM and raise awareness of the breadth and depth of STEM related training and employment pathways that are locally available. The program will be 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 St Patrick’s Technical College is supported by the local community and Catholic Education South Australia.