STEM careers on horizon for students

STEM careers on horizon for students

STEM careers are on the horizon for a cohort of Sydney students who participated in a range of workshops facilitated by a major technology giant.

The Federal Government invested $5.1m to pilot P-TECH – a world leading educational model which originated in Brooklyn, New York in 2011 and has since expanded across the US and internationally.

The pilot involves the establishment of long-term partnerships between industry, schools and tertiary education providers that enable businesses to play an active role in the learning and career development of their future workforce.

Last week, students from McCarthy Catholic College in Western Sydney participated in a range of workshops facilitated by Western Sydney P-TECH Industry Partner, Telstra.

Partnering with industry enables innovative approaches to the way learning is delivered; approaches that would not be possible if education or industry acted in isolation.

Working together provides opportunities for students to engage with the world of work and better understand the relevance of their learning to jobs and post-school pathways.  

Christopher Smith, executive director of business technology services at Telstra, said the company was proud to be working with McCarthy Catholic College as part of the P-TECH program.

“In today’s fast-changing workplace, there’s a greater need to create vocational pathways for high school students that are focused on technology,” Smith said.

“Through our involvement in this program, we hope to give young people the support and confidence to explore the growing career opportunities in technology available to them.”

Smith said that participating in the P-TECH learning program will help to build student interest and skills in STEM, and raise awareness of the breadth and depth of STEM related training and employment pathways that are locally available.

The program will be structured to develop the technical and personal skills students need to succeed at school and make a successful transition to study and work beyond school.

The Australian P-TECH pilot commenced operation in Geelong and Ballarat in 2016, with approximately 100 students participating. There are now 10 P-TECH Partnerships established in seven jurisdictions, with over 35 industry leaders signed on as Industry Partners.

By forging partnerships between industry and education, P-TECH learning programs have been able to offer a range of opportunities to over 1,000 Australian students in 2017 alone, with that number set to increase in 2018 as the remaining four sites are announced.

Some of the partners that have committed to the various partnerships so far include IBM, BAE Systems, Saab Australia, Thales, Jetstar Airways, Mars Food Australia, Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing, PwC and Telstra, to name a few.

The Australian Government Department of Education and Training has engaged the Skilling Australia Foundation to assist local stakeholders to work together to implement P-TECH learning programs at all 14 P-TECH pilot sites.

The P-TECH pilot at McCarthy Catholic College is supported by the local community and the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta.

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