The Aus­tralian Govern­ment is in­vest­ing $5.1 mil­lion in the P-TECH pi­lot pro­gram, which of­fers stu­dents an in­dus­try sup­ported path­way to a STEM re­lated diploma, ad­vanced diploma, or de­gree.

The Australian Education Reporter - - EDUTECH 2018 - EMMA DAVIES

CE­CIL An­drews Col­lege was the first school in WA to pi­lot P-TECH and Prin­ci­pal Stella Jin­man is set to present its suc­cess on the na­tional stage at the EDUTECH In­ter­na­tional Congress and Expo in Syd­ney.

“At EDUTECH I’m pre­sent­ing the new and in­no­va­tive ways that we can bet­ter meet the skills gap, and how we con­nect ed­u­ca­tion to the world of work,” Ms Jin­man said.

“We can give stu­dents strong aca­demics, real world work­place skills, as well as the 21st Cen­tury skillsets that they’re go­ing to need to be suc­cess­ful in a rapidly trans­form­ing mar­ket­place,” she said.

The P-TECH pi­lot in­volves long term part­ner­ships be­tween in­dus­try, schools and ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion, which sees stu­dents en­gag­ing di­rectly with com­pa­nies like Austal, Thales Group, Civmec Con­struc­tion and Engi­neer­ing, Deloitte Aus­tralia, Dat­a­com Aus­tralia, HP and TAFE WA.

“We’re mov­ing away from the tra­di­tional [ed­u­ca­tional] mod­els into hands-on, in­dus­try ori­en­tated ex­pe­ri­ences that un­lock a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties for the stu­dents to be able to get qual­i­fied, en­gage and bet­ter un­der­stand the rel­e­vance of their learn­ing,” Ms Jin­man said.

The col­lege recently held a P-TECH World of Work (WOW) Day, where the skills of a pre­vi­ously dis­en­gaged stu­dent Jay­den Ruku­ata­wood (year 11) was dis­cov­ered dur­ing a vir­tual weld­ing ex­er­cise.

“The in­struc­tor from Civmec was blown away by his high score in the ex­er­cise. The pro­gram is open­ing up stu­dents’ eyes to the skills they have which could be ap­plied across in­dus­try ar­eas and the po­ten­tial em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Ms Jin­man said.

“Jay­den has now se­cured a TAFE VET in schools place in Cer­tifi­cate II in Au­to­mo­tive Body Re­pair which is a panel beat­ing pre-ap­pren­tice­ship and now his at­ten­dance of 2 days at TAFE and 3 days at school is 100 per cent.”

The pro­gram also of­fers em­ploy­ers the op­por­tu­nity to play an ac­tive role, con­nect­ing young peo­ple with the skills em­ploy­ers want and need from the next gen­er­a­tion of work­ers.

“We’re work­ing in real time with the busi­ness and in­dus­try part­ners who are ac­tu­ally help­ing our stu­dents nav­i­gate and de­velop the skills they are look­ing for in fu­ture em­ploy­ees,” Ms Jin­man said.

“The in­dus­try men­tors are showing stu­dents the range of op­por­tu­ni­ties in the world of work and what it might look like in the fu­ture and jobs or ca­reers they might not have thought about,” she said.

“The stu­dents don’t just need links to em­ploy­ment, they ben­e­fit from busi­ness in­sight and the real life con­ver­sa­tions with in­dus­try. The pro­gram is at­tract­ing more and more al­lies and the win­ners are the stu­dents.”

With glob­al­i­sa­tion, eco­nomic re­forms and tech­no­log­i­cal im­prove­ments chang­ing the na­ture of work and fu­ture jobs, the P-TECH pro­gram has a role to play in help­ing to build a more skilled labour force and strengthen Aus­tralia’s com­pet­i­tive­ness on a global scale.

“Stu­dents are com­ing up with com­ing up with ground-break­ing, world class sci­ence solutions and solv­ing world prob­lems be­cause of their cre­ativ­ity,” Ms Jin­man said.

“They are con­nect­ing with the men­tors, sur­pris­ing them, com­ing up with new ideas, and showing our part­ners that these chil­dren are worth in­vest­ing in.”

“The part­ners are see­ing that they’re part of a col­lab­o­ra­tion and they’re meet­ing their own fu­ture work­force through the pro­gram,” she said.

“Cre­ativ­ity is the most price­less com­mod­ity. All these com­pa­nies want em­ploy­ees who are in­de­pen­dent, cre­ative thinkers.”

To learn more about Ce­cil An­drews Col­lege’s suc­cess­ful P-TECH pi­lot visit the free expo main stage at EDUTECH at 10:20am on Thurs­day 7 June, where Ms Jin­man will be joined by two stu­dents Mutinta Nanongwe (year 10) and Ali Alyassin (year 11) to dis­cuss the re­sults of the pi­lot.

“Cre­ativ­ity is the most price­less com­mod­ity. All these com­pa­nies want em­ploy­ees who are in­de­pen­dent, cre­ative thinkers.”

(left to right) Ce­cil An­drews Col­lege stu­dent Mutinta Nanongwe, Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Si­mon Birm­ing­ham, and Prin­ci­pal Stella Jin­man.

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