18 January 2017
ST PATRICK’S Technical College, Edinburgh North, is partnering with the Defence Teaming Centre (DTC) to become South Australia’s first P-TECH school, part of the Australian Government’s $4.3 million P-TECH pilot progra
m. StPatsTech and DTC are working with employers from the defence industries sector to develop STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) projects and provide mentoring opportunities for students to enhance their employment pathways in emerging technologies.
The P-TECH program, adapted from a US-model pioneered with IBM, centres around the creation of an education, industry and community partnership. Beginning this year the St PatsTech – DTC partnership will see technical staff from the world’s leading defence industry employers working alongside the College’s teachers and students on projects rich with industry specific skills.
The P-TECH pilot draws on many elements that exist at StPatsTech today – mentoring, workplace visits and industry collaboration. P-TECH brings these together and focuses on building long-term partnerships. It provides an industry supported pathway for students to achieve a qualification that strengthens their employment prospects.
Students such as Rhys Ferrari (Electrotechnology Class of 2016) and Jack Donaldson (Metals & Engineering Class of 2011) have already benefited from the relationship StPatsTech has with local defence industry employers. Rhys is an electronics technician apprentice at BAE Systems while Jack completed his trade as a pipe-welder at ASC in 2016. Both boys were recognised at the 2016 SA Training Awards – Rhys taking out the People’s Choice Award with Jack taking out the state’s highest honour, named as South Australia’s Apprentice of the Year. P-TECH will provide the opportunity for many more StPatsTech students like Rhys and Jack to develop the emerging skills necessary to enter the workforce in the ever growing defence industries sector.