Skilling Australia Foundation CEO, Nicholas Wyman, recently met with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the inaugural Tom Hughes lecture.
Nicholas discussed with the PM the importance of skilling up the next generation of young Australians and how important it is for the government to support innovative models like P-TECH.
P-TECH is opening new doors by giving high school students the knowledge and skills to seek out STEM education, training, and employment pathways. By providing the framework for employers to work in partnership with schools, P-TECH is helping to equip young people with both the technical knowledge and job-ready skills they need to succeed in life and work beyond school. It’s this combination of soft skills and STEM knowledge that provides the foundation upon which to forge interesting and cutting-edge careers.
As awareness of the importance of STEM skills grows, and educational outcomes decline, we’re seeing schools struggling to keep up. It’s a struggle made more difficult with around 20% of secondary maths and science teachers across all sectors (government, independent and Catholic) not qualified to teach the subject. And claiming excellence in STEM by just saying the words or posting a sign doesn’t make it real. The fact is, schools can’t do it alone—and we shouldn’t expect them to—we need collective action in order to ignite students’ interest in STEM. Central to this is enlisting the expertise of employers and employees in STEM-related industries to work alongside teachers in preparing young people for the future. That’s P-TECH in a nutshell.
It’s a great example of real support the Australian Government has given to encourage new education and training models focused on STEM knowledge, skills, and training for young Australians. It’s an important element of the Government’s broader innovation and science agenda and has been happening while most of us have been mesmerised by digital-tech start-up disruptors.
The Australian Government Department of Education and Training has engaged Skilling Australia Foundation to assist local stakeholders to work together to implement P-TECH learning programs at all 14 P-TECH pilot sites. More information can be found here