The P-TECH styled model provides a framework for effective cross-sector collaboration and enables industry to be actively involved in supporting young people to gain the skills and understandings that will strengthen their prospects for employment. The support industry provides includes, but is not limited to: working with teachers to align classroom learning to the skills employers need; providing opportunities for hands-on workplace learning; supporting authentic project-based learning (either in the workplace or at school); offering mentor support for students; and enabling access to the latest technologies used by industry.
The P-TECH pilot draws on many elements that exist in schools today, such as mentoring, workplace visits and industry and school collaboration. However, what is different about the P-TECH styled model is the way it brings all of these elements together. The focus on a long-term partnership between educators, employers and community, the combination of elements that make up the model, and the sequencing of student learning is what makes it unique. P-TECH provides a flexible framework for ongoing collaboration and shared decision making, enabling local communities to respond to changing circumstances.
Senior secondary students involved in the P-TECH pilot are on a pathway to achieve two qualifications. Firstly, their Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, which will feature a STEM related and vocational education components. P-TECH students will then extend their studies beyond secondary school to achieve a STEM related diploma, advanced diploma or associate degree. The P-TECH styled model enlists the support and expertise of industry to help prepare students for the world beyond school at a time in their lives when they are making decisions that will influence their career path.
The support and opportunities provided through the P-TECH styled model are particularly important for those young people living in communities with high youth unemployment and where the labour market is shifting to a modern knowledge and skills-based economy.
Collaboration between the education and industry sectors strengthens the connection and alignment between student learning and the skills that employers need. In addition, the relationships students develop with their mentors and partner organisations improve their prospects when employment opportunities are available with a partner organisation, or within the partners’ broader business networks.
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