An innovative program at Casuarina Senior College is equipping Darwin’s young people with skills they need to succeed in jobs of the future in local growth industries. The skills will hopefully keep them working and living in the Territory for longer.
CSC’s Top End Pathways in Technology (P-TECH) is piloting an educational model that encourages collaboration between industry, education and the community.
The aim of the program is to enable students to develop relevant STEM and employability skills as well as clearer industry-supported pathways to further study and local employment opportunities in two of the Territory’s growth industries, Energy and Defence Maritime Maintenance.
In 2018, all CSC students were introduced to P-TECH through a range of STEM based activities and information sessions.
CSC also trialled the P-TECH model by selecting 12 students to work with local industry mentors to find solutions to real NT-related problems.
One of these students, Imma Claire Elivera, worked on a project that used heat sensor technology to help make Darwin a more “liveable” city.
“P-TECH is a good foundation for students interested in pursuing a STEM career as it opens a lot of opportunities we don’t get from a standard school curriculum,” she said.
Building on the success of the trial, in 2019, CSC will promote P-TECH more widely by integrating STEM awareness building activities into the school’s curriculum.
All up, 100 science students and 70 Indigenous students will also be involved in a wider roll out of industry-based STEM research projects and activities. Energy Club NT recently joined the Top End PTECH Partnership, alongside Norship Marine, Austal, Thales Group, Royal Australian Navy, TRACE, Territory Generation, NT Power Water Corporation and others.
The P-TECH partners provide CSC students with industry exposure, mentoring, authentic project-based learning (either in the workplace or at school), access to the latest technologies used by industry, work experience and employment opportunities.
Energy Club NT chief executive Sonia Harvey said Top End PTECH was a “fantastic opportunity” to connect with local students to promote the extensive career opportunities in the region’s Energy industry.
“It’s essential that we engage students early to ensure these career pathways can be explored,” she said.
“Providing Territory jobs for Territory students will help to support existing businesses and new opportunities to come as the industry continues to develop in our region. There is no longer the need to leave the Northern Territory to have access to world class, innovative careers in the Energy industry.”
There are 13 partnerships across the country involved in the Australian Government funded P-TECH Australia Pilot. Each partnership has a different industry focus, dependent on the region’s growth industries.
The Australian Government has engaged Skilling Australia Foundation to assist local stakeholders to work together to implement P-TECH learning programs at all pilot sites.