Townsville Bulletin – August 28, 2018: Here in Townsville, our hardworking trade professionals drive our local economy.
A wealth of regional infrastructure programs and growth in the resources sector has put our skilled workforce back in action. This has driven increased demand for apprentices, which creates excellent employment opportunities for our region’s young people.
“Some may argue that young people with their penchant for online gaming and smartphone usage have lost the industrious attitudes necessary for a career in the trades,” said Ross Jorgensen, operations manager (executive) at local senior school and training provider Tec-NQ.
“But new technology brings a new way of operating in the world around us.
“Today’s young people have the potential to drive the integration of these new skill sets within the trades.” According to Mr Jorgensen, technology provides the capacity to work smarter and more effectively. By combining science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) with the practical capabilities of our trade workforce, our region has the opportunity to take our economy to the next level.
In July this year, Tec-NQ introduced integrated technologies in Year 10 TecPREP. In 2019, the P-TECH (Pathways in Technology) program will be introduced at Tec-NQ as an integrated technologies enterprise qualification.
“P-TECH is a world-leading educational model that offers high school students an industry supported pathway to a STEM related qualification,” Mr Jorgensen said.
“The Australian Government has invested in a P-TECH pilot and has engaged Skilling Australia Foundation (SAF) to help local stakeholders work together to develop and implement the program at 14 pilot sites across the country.” P-TECH enables students at Tec-NQ to develop a range of transferable STEM skills in alignment with pre-apprenticeship qualifications in electrical, engineering and information technologies.
“The North Queensland P-TECH Partnership, supported by Growcom, Ergon Energy, Wilmar Sugar and James Cook University is redefining skills development and creating career pathways for our local industry,” Mr Jorgensen said.
“Local manufacturers are investing in robotics and machine integration. Farmers within the region are investing in wireless control systems and automated equipment to maintain and manage their vast operations. Our energy infrastructures are adapting to renewable energy production and distribution.” The P-TECH pathway introduced by Tec-NQ will equip students to identify, integrate, operate, maintain and repair new technology in industrial settings for STEM careers in a range of industries, including advanced manufacturing, energy and agricultural technology.
For the past 10 years, local senior school and training provider Tec-NQ has been a key supplier of trade skills and industrious young apprentices for industry.
“Tec-NQ’s work-based education model is supported by hundreds of local employers, giving students experience in the workforce and connecting them with employment opportunities right here in our community,” Mr Jorgensen said.