Last week I attended Cecil Andrews Colleges P-TECH Careers Expo, including a tour of their $5 million state-of-the-art STEM Centre on their Seville Grove campus.
Cecil Andrews is leading the way in STEM education teaching their students the practical skills they need to be ready for the jobs of the future.
The school is working hand in glove with industry leaders like CIVMEC, Austal, Datacom and Thales who provide the students with placements, practical knowledge and leadership support for the students.
I was able to try my hand at a virtual welding test and was taken for a ride in their custom built electric car which the students put together in conjunction with South Metropolitan TAFE, and is capable of speeds of up to 130km/h.
It was important for me to see firsthand the partnerships, teaching facilities and hear directly from students, industry partners and be updated by Principal Stella Jinman on the STEM program and challenges faced by Cecil Andrews College.
Schools like this are giving our local students firsthand industry knowledge and experience making them job ready.
Principal of Cecil Andrews College, Mrs Stella Jinman:
We are the only P-TECH school in Western Australia and we take great pride in this. We are very proud of our programs, our STEM centre and the P-TECH Pilot program which we were chosen to be a part of and the opportunities that it affords our students.
By listening to industry, we help them deliver what they need and therefore have their support in productive relationships that grow students as whole learners.
Our industry partners Austal, Civmec, Datacom, HP, Thales and Deloitte help by teaching and mentoring students to learn in meaningful ways, and the STEM disciplines connected to all subjects gives them a sense of purpose and relevance that influences their lives on many levels so that even people with marginalised backgrounds flourish.
Our annual P-TECH Career Expo and long term partnerships with industry, not only engages students but parents and everyone gets involved giving students lots of positive encouragement and support structures with the true benefits of local community. We often see it in sport but not in Science where we as a Nation have been falling behind. What we are doing reverses that trend.
Through our innovative Education and Business and tertiary partnerships, we are becoming a lot more student centric. Giving our students the tools of learning which set them up for the future.
They are getting industry skills, science knowledge and soft skills that are relevant to them no matter where they are on the planet and they are developing very good problem solving ability and team work that is transferable and in high demand.
P-TECH is an Australian Government initiative to support future generations of young Australians and equip them for the workforce of the 21st century.
Globalisation, economic reforms and technological improvements are changing the nature of work and the types of jobs that will be available in the future with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills playing a major role.
Cecil Andrews College is the only P-TECH school in Western Australia incorporating STEM innovation and Digital Technology teaching into its curriculum.
The P-TECH learning program at Cecil Andrews College has been designed by the schools leadership team and local education, industry and community partners to suit local circumstance. In the model, local employers partner with schools, TAFEs/RTOs and universities to strengthen students prospects of a successful transition to work by ensuring they develop the technical and personal skills employers are looking for with a focus on defence and engineering.