An innovative program launching in Brisbane will enable high school students to work closely with local businesses to develop the skills they will need to succeed in the jobs of the future in local growth industries.
The $5.1 million Australia Government funded Pathways in Technology (P-TECH) Australia pilot program will establish a site at Aviation High School.
Minister for Education Grace Grace and Member for Brisbane Trevor Evans announced the Brisbane site at the School’s Aerospace Experience Day on March 16.
P-TECH Australia will enable industry partners Airbus Australia Pacific, Brisbane Airport Corporation and PricewaterhouseCoopers to collaborate with students to develop their STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and employability skills.
Mr Evans said P-TECH Australia will give students a flying start towards an industry-supported pathway to a STEM-related qualification, which may lead to careers with industry partners.
“It’s a win-win for students as they learn, and for companies as they get a future specially designed workforce that is well-trained and fit-for-purpose. It’s a ground-breaking approach.”
P-TECH Australia is an adaptation of a world-leading educational model that originated in Brooklyn, New York in 2011 and has since expanded across the US and internationally. Ten P-TECH Australia sites are currently operational across Australia. The Brisbane site will be the 11th, with more sites to commence in 2019.
Minister for Education Grace Grace says P-TECH Australia is all about greater collaboration between schools and industry so young people can develop the skills they will need to succeed in the 21st century workforce.
“What we find is that schools can prepare you to be a world-class citizen, they can give you a fantastic education, but at the end of the day, we need to link with industry so that students can get a feel of exactly what it means to be in the world of work.”
The Government has engaged Skilling Australia Foundation to work with local stakeholders to implement P-TECH Australia learning programs at all pilot sites.
The current pilot site based at Tec-NQ in Townsville, North Queensland focuses on developing young people’s skills in the area of applied technology in the agriculture, energy and advanced manufacturing industries. Industry partners include Ergon Energy, Wilmar Sugar and Growcom.
The North Queensland P-TECH Australia Partnership has been thriving since its inception in 2017. Skilling Australia Foundation General Manager Andrew Sezonov says he looks forward to implementing another P-TECH Australia pilot site in Queensland.
“P-TECH Australia provides career opportunities for local students by bridging the skills gap and building a pipeline of talented young people who are able to enter the workforce with the skills and knowledge local employers need”, Sezonov says.