Large scale partnerships led by government
Governments across Australia have taken very seriously the challenge of ensuring Australian students have access to high quality STEM education, not only with the National STEM School Education Strategy, but with substantial policy interventions. Nationally, the Australian Government is rolling out the P-TECH program. The P-TECH model was first established in 2011 in the United States by IBM and a consortium of education partners in New York City. In January 2016, Australia’s first two P-TECH sites commenced in Geelong and Ballarat, with an additional 14 P-TECH sites being established across Australia. Under the P-TECH model, schools work with participating industry partners and other education providers (TAFEs, Registered Training Organisations and universities) to deliver elements of the P-TECH learning program, including mentoring, workplace visits, and opportunities for hands on project based learning that draws on real world issues. Secondary students participating in P-TECH are able to achieve two qualifications, their Senior Secondary Certificate of Education and a STEM related diploma, advanced diploma or associate degree. The key objective of the partnership is to provide a seamless pathway and continuity of support for students as they complete and transition from school to further education and work. The Australian Government engaged an intermediary organisation (Skilling Australia Foundation) to support the formation of effective and sustainable education and industry partnerships at each P-TECH site. Importantly, a locally based Industry Liaison Officer and Steering Committee works with the partners to design and implement a learning program that meets local community needs.
Case Study: Pathways in Technology (P-TECH) Pilot
The Pathways in Technology (P-TECH) pilot is improving pathways to STEM related tertiary qualifications through long term partnerships between industry, schools and tertiary education providers. A key element of P-TECH is local industry engagement.
Secondary students participating at P-TECH sites are being introduced to jobs where STEM skills play a major role now and in the future.
In Port Stephens, Hunter River High School has partnered with Jetstar Airways, Varley Group, BAE Systems and Ampcontrol to introduce an innovative skills based program focussing on aeronautical and related aerospace industries. Year 9 and 10 students attend weekly workshops and undertake a pathway in advanced manufacturing and engineering, starting with a Certificate I in Engineering, Certificate II in Aero Skills or Certificate III in Aviation. While the P-TECH pilot is only in its early stages, 76 of the 130 students from the two original P-TECH sites selected a STEM related pathway in 2017.
Taken from: Optimising STEM Industry-School Partnerships: Inspiring Australia’s Next Generation Final Report.
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