Industry Office

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GPA Engineering site visit

Year 11 Engineering students recently learnt how critical it is for manufacturers to follow engineering designs as part of St Patrick’s Technical College’s P-TECH program.

The students visited GPA Engineering in Unley and heard from Principal Civil / Structural Engineer, Amilcar Guerra, about the importance of engineering and design. The students were shown a number of case studies of poor design or manufacturing, which resulted in serious failures of infrastructure, and how and why the failures occurred.

GPA 1Mr Guerra, who has nearly 20 years’ experience in civil and structural engineering, told the students good engineers had a strong understanding of workshop practices and the technical skills required to create designs. He said collaboration between engineers and manufacturers was important to create safe, robust and efficient infrastructure.

StPatsTech P-TECH partner, Century Engineering, arranged the visit to GPA. Century Engineering development manager Andrew Sinclair, who has been mentoring the students, also attended the meeting.

“In fabrication it is critical we follow the engineers’ drawings and get it right,’’ Mr Sinclair told the students.

“What has caused a fault could be as simple as an undersized weld or lack of fusion in the weld and a crack starts.’’

The Australian Government’s $5.1 million P-TECH pilot program has seen three employers partner with StPatsTech to help students realise pathways through science, technology, engineering and maths streams. These pathways can be through apprenticeships and vocational education or university and it is hoped the StPatsTech P-TECH program will help bridge skills gaps in Adelaide’s Defence industries.

Along with Century Engineering, which is a heavy manufacturer for a number of Defence contracts, the College has partnered with PMB Defence, which designs and builds batteries for the Collins class submarine, and Saab Australia, Australia’s most experienced defence system company.

Dale Williams

StPatsTech farewell to Holden

When you drive around Adelaide’s northern suburbs one brand of vehicle is seen more than any other – the Holden. The much-loved badge will today cease production in Australia when Holden’s Elizabeth plant closes its doors.

One person responsible for more than 10 Holdens, including classic models like the Torana, on northern roads is StPatsTech Old Scholar Dale Williams, 23.

St Patrick’s Technical College has reflected on its association with the company and its impact on the northern region.

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Dale, who lives at Two Wells, did his apprenticeship at Holden after graduating from StPatsTech’s electrotechnology program. He began his electrical apprenticeship in 2012 but left as soon as he completed his training.

“I was about half way through my electrical apprenticeship when they said they were closing. So all of us apprentices kind of knew the writing was on the wall in terms of us not having a job. There were 10 apprentices at the time and we all knew there would be no job after and as soon as were signed off we were out the door.”

“I left Holden on January 30, 2016 and I was able to get another job within a month. I now work in the lift industry and it’s something completely different.’’

Dale said after the announcement of the closure the mood at the factory changed. He said it was sad to see colleagues and friends made redundant over the past several years.

Dale is pictured with his dad Chris during one of Holden’s farewell events. Dale was able to put his first car, a 1976 Holden LX Torana with a V8 355 Stroker motor on the assembly line. Dale has a collection of more than 10 Holdens which he has restored.

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Defence industries open for Northern Adelaide students

As Holden’s Elizabeth plant closes its doors on Friday, a local high school is offering students 21st century alternatives in emerging industries.

St Patrick’s Technical College in Edinburgh North is at the forefront of helping industries meet future employment needs by training senior high school students in the skills identified as lacking by local Defence and advanced manufacturing companies.

Working closely with Adelaide-based Defence industry heavyweights Century Engineering, PMB Defence and Saab Australia through the Federal Governments $5.1 million P-TECH program, StPatsTech has developed projects to ensure students learn real-world skills sought-after by employers.

The college boasts a 98 per cent employment rate for graduates thanks to its Entrepreneurial Education model. The College encourages students to play to their strengths and abilities and tailors its programs to suit specific trade areas and also offers a unique School-based Apprenticeship model with extensive, strong links to industry.

As local, traditional manufacturing gives way to global economies and technological advancement, workers need to pivot their skills to ensure they are both employable and meeting the demands on industry, StPatsTech College Business Development Manager Patrick Kelly said this week. He said it was vitally important for South Australia’s emerging industries that today’s teenagers engage now with training to ensure multi-billion dollar projects earmarked for the region can source the skilled workers necessary for production.

P-TECH’s focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects will put students at the forefront of 21st careers. From 2018, Year 11 students can study both their senior school certificate and a Certificate IV in Programming at StPatsTech. This IT stream has been developed in partnership with Saab Australia and aims to produce the next generation of software engineers who have hands-on knowledge to bring engineering designers’ ideas to life.

Mr Kelly said 2017 has seen the conversation about the value of vocational education and training take on a national focus.

“Often seen as the poor cousin to university education we are delighted to see universities, government and business recognise the capacity and importance of vocational education and training,” Mr Kelly said.

Earlier this month we heard from Jennifer Westacott, CEO of the Business Council of Australia, who spoke about a new plan for tertiary education and training. In a speech to the National Press Club, Ms Westacott said Australia needed to be at the forefront of new technologies and ensuring the workforce can meet those requirements or it would be left behind globally.

“Our current occupational structures are also overly focussed on credentialising too many things as university qualifications. And, of course, this credentialising problem stems from the cultural problem that VET has a lower status than higher education,” Ms Westacott said.

“Once and for all we need to fix this cultural bias, reinforced by funding bias, that a VET qualification is a second-class qualification to a university one. It isn’t. In a world where machines and people will work together and technical skills will be needed by all workers, that cultural bias can only create damage.’’

Mr Kelly said Friday’s final closure of Holden’s Elizabeth plant was a sad day for the community. The company had employed some of the school’s students as apprentices as well as the College’s Deputy Principal Terry Neville, who began his apprenticeship at the plant in 1974.

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Virtual Hawaii

Staff from StPatsTech recently took a trip to Hawaii. That is to say, they virtually went to the Pacific islands thanks to an immersive experience at Saab Australia’s headquarters at Technology Park.

Saab Australia is one of the College’s P-TECH partners along with Century Engineering and PMB Defence. The three leading defence industry companies recently hosted teachers and staff for a professional development session to help the educators better understand the businesses and their specific work projects.

BHI-SaabFrom managing a battlefield, thanks to Microsoft’s HoloLens, to seeing inside the security system for a prison and learning how the Royal Australian Navy is able to combat missile and torpedo attacks, the College staff were able to get a picture of Saab Australia’s multifaceted business.

The group also heard from Kerryn Smith, Director of Industry at the Defence Teaming Centre, who spoke about the current and future employment opportunities in South Australia’s defence industries. Ms Smith said with the number of large defence contracts now in place, programs like P-TECH were integral in ensuring a consistent and well-trained local workforce. This workforce would ensure the on-going success and strength of defence industries in South Australia, Ms Smith said.

The group were hosted during the site visits by Saab Australia Managing Director, Dean Rosenfield, Century Engineering Managing Director, David Heaslip and PMB Defence’s Engineering and Program Manager, Claude Messina.

Earlier this year, StPatsTech announced its partnership with the three companies. The College has already started delivery of the industry led P-TECH Engineering program (with Century Engineering) and Electrotechnology program (with PMB Defence).

The Saab Australia P-TECH partnership will see the introduction of a new Information Technology program for the College in 2018 featuring a Certificate IV in Programming. This industry-level certification will see students concurrently study the IT qualification alongside a fully contextualised SACE course over two years. In addition, the students will receive unique mentoring, work experience and access to projects with Saab Australia.

Typically, Saab Australia recruits its next generation workforce as engineer graduates from software, mechatronic and electronic disciplines, but the world is changing. Fast.

Saab Australia’s People Development Manager, Rebecca Giovine says, “We know we need to engage with and inspire students early to show them the exciting, rewarding careers our industry offers. Our collaboration with StPatsTech through the P-TECH program certainly helps with that objective”.

College Principal, Rob Thomas, said the Certificate IV in Programming presents a great opportunity for students to gain valuable skills, industry mentoring and connections and real-world experiences.

“These P-TECH courses could lead to an amazingly diverse and interesting long-term career across a range of industries,’’ Mr Thomas said.

“The College is working to broaden the skills of students so they can take their place in the workforce and have the knowledge and skills which makes them more competitive in the jobs market and P-TECH will be a big part of that vision going forward.’’

Enrolments for all StPatsTech programs in 2018 are now open. Visit www.stpatstech.sa.edu.au for more information.

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Work experience

Undertaking work experience is the difference between securing an apprenticeship or not. The extensive work experience program at StPatsTech is one of the main reasons why the College has seen nearly 800 students gain apprenticeships over the past 10 years.

Whether it is a school-based apprenticeship started in Year 12 or a full-time apprenticeship following graduation, employers are consistently sourcing their newest tradesmen and women from the College’s work experience program.

For students, work experience can not only rule in potential career pathways, but importantly help you rule out jobs. It also helps builds technical skills, get a feel for the workplace and develop your confidence and communication skills.

Brandon Hwang, 16, from the StPatsTech Engineering program spent his latest work experience block at the College’s P-TECH partner, Century Engineering at Edinburgh North.

Working with the company’s 71-year-old boilermaker, Ken Tipping, Brandon said he had gained a good insight into the industry he’s keen to join.

“I’ve been able to see the type of work they do here (at Century Engineering) and how important precisions is,’’ Brandon said.

Ken said exposure to industry and workshops was important for potential apprentices to ensure they were on the right career path. “The students need to know if they want to be in this environment because it’s not for everyone,’’ Mr Tipping said.

Brandon is one of StPatsTech’s Engineering P-TECH students who, under the guidance of Century Engineering, are learning about the importance of Australian Standards in the welding and fabrication industry. As part of the 2017 P-TECH course, students will learn to do a fillet weld to the Australian Standard by the end of the year.

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Meet our latest SA Training Awards finalist

Madison ter Bogt, St Patrick’s Technical College Year 12 student and apprentice Chef at FINO Seppeltsfield, has been named as a finalist in the SA Training Awards 2017, School-based Apprentice of the Year Award.

Madison said she was very excited to be named as a finalist for the annual prize, which is part of the peak awards for apprentices and trainees in South Australia.

St Patrick’s Technical College last year celebrated with Old Scholar, Jack Donaldson, being named as South Australia’s Apprentice of the Year, while Rhys Ferrari, an electronics apprentice with BAE Systems, was a finalist in the School-based category.

“This nomination could change my career,’’ 17-year-old Madison said.

maddi2Madison is studying a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery with TAFE SA and under the guidance of head chef, Sam Smith, at the award-winning FINO Seppeltsfield.

“Madison is very committed to the industry in her care and attention she pays to products and technique,’’ Chef Smith said.

FINO Seppeltsfield has three apprentices in its kitchen at the moment, with Madison the only school-based apprentice. Past FINO apprentices, including, Sarah Voigt (StPatsTech 2011), have gone on to work overseas and in top, Michelin-rated restaurants.

Madison has big plans for her future as well. She hopes to travel the world to expand her culinary knowledge.

College Business Development Manager, Patrick Kelly, said the school was immensely proud of Madison’s shortlisting in the awards.

“Maddie is a fine example of the great outcomes possible for students when educators and industry work together,’’ Mr Kelly said.

“Madison is able to focus on her passion for cooking without sacrificing her education and being shortlisted as finalist will open even more doors to her.

“We are very proud of Madison and wish her all the best for the awards.’’

The winner will be named at the SA Training Awards 2017 Gala Dinner on 1 September at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

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The workforce evolving door

By Cara Jenkin, The Advertiser, Saturday 17 July 2017 – Pathways to a successful career can come from all directions, as one heavy diesel mechanic has discovered.

Aden Bird, 22, is a heavy diesel mechanic with CMV Trucks and St Patrick’s Technical College old scholar.

“I left Xavier College from year 11 to study year 12 at St Patrick’s because I really wanted to get into a trade and the StPatsTech mechanical program gave me a better chance to do that,’’ Aden said.

Aden said he liked the fact that StPatsTech Automotive teacher Mark Valente is a mechanic by trade as well as a teacher, so was able to impart real-world practical skills to the students.

Aden1“The thing about StPatsTech is that it doesn’t have just normal teachers who haven’t experienced the things that you want to do.’’

Aden was able to secure a full-time apprenticeship during Year 12 following a successful block of work experience with CMV Trucks.

The company has been a great supporter of StPatsTech having recently taken on another apprentice from the school following Aden gaining his qualification.

Aden said he enjoyed earning his own money during his apprenticeship and had been able to put together a $30,000 to $40,000 tool box as well as more than a dozen cars or motorbikes as hobby projects.

“My trade is also recognised worldwide so there’s no limit for me anymore. I would like to travel and maybe work overseas somewhere like Dubai where the diesel industry is very large.’’

St Patrick’s Technical College is located in Adelaide’s northern suburbs. Its unique education style sees students study their SACE as well as trade qualifications through the school’s partnership with TAFE SA.

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P-TECH Engineering project

St Patrick’s Technical College and Century Engineering’s P-TECH partnership has seen Year 11 students learn the importance of maintaining industry standards when it comes to welding.

The Year 11 Engineering students were accompanied by Century Engineering’s Andrew Sinclair and Simon Doe to Intertek AIS (Adelaide Inspection Services) at Wingfield recently. The field trip was designed to help students understand why quality assurance is important and how it is achieved within the engineering industry.

The students, under the guidance of Century Engineering, are working on a project (as part of P-TECH) that will see them undertake a gas metal arc welding project to the requirements of Australian Standard AS 15541.1. Once their welding project is complete, their work will be taken to Intertek AIS for testing against the standard.

The project is designed to help bridge the gap in welding standards and help students gain valuable, employable skills.

CENTURY AIS VISITDamien Lynch, Manager, Mechanical Testing Asset Integrity Management, gave a presentation about Intertek, explaining the business and the services it provides to a variety of industry sectors including the Defence Industry. He also explained the importance of the quality standards of welding and the consequences of failing to reach these standards.

A variety of methods used in testing welding sample were demonstrated and the students were shown both good and poor examples.

St Patrick’s Technical College is South Australia’s only school selected to be part of the Australian Government’s P-TECH program. P-TECH aims to bring real-life skills to youth while focusing on science, technology, engineering and maths subjects and encouraging innovation. It is unique as it brings industry partners into the class room in partnership with educators.

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Students blown away by wind farm

Energy. How much there is generated and where it comes from are a hot button topics for every South Australian at the moment.

Students from St Patrick’s Technical College were lucky enough to answer some of those questions on a field trip to AGL’s Hallett Hill Wind Farm recently to see energy in action.

More than 30 Electrotechnology students from Y11 and Y12 made the two hour bus trip north to Burra to take a closer look at wind energy thanks to AGL.

Y11ElectroHosted by AGL’s Asset Performance Analyst – Wind and Solar, Stuart Whiting and Vestas Australian Wind Technology’s, Hugh Cameron, site supervisor Hallett Hill, the students were given a tour of the internal base of a Suzlon Model S88 wind turbine.

Awed by the size of the turbines, Y12 student Conor Griffiths said he’d never been that close to a wind turbine before. “The overall size was overwhelming,’’ Connor said.

The students also made a visit to the information centre at Burra where Mr Whiting discussed where and why wind farms were located and how the farms were designed and planned. Students were also given an overview of the types of roles and skills needed to run a wind farm and the part the farms play in power production for the state.

Teacher Mr Michael Haddad said the students have been studying renewable energies as part of their classroom work and the field trip gave them insight into the industry, the technology and also employment options for their future.

Y12 student Isaac Brown said, “I learnt more about renewable energy that I didn’t know.”

“It was good to see what we learnt about in class being used in the real world.’’

Following the visit, St Patrick’s Technical College released an interim report that tracks past students pathways to employment. The report showed that 93 per cent of graduates will go on to complete an apprenticeship.

Business Development Manager for St Patrick’s Technical College, Mr Patrick Kelly, said industry site visits like the AGL tour were important to help give students in-class learning context. It also clearly shows students career outcomes they could achieve through apprenticeships and learning a skilled trade.

The interim report also showed that 99 per cent of respondents were employed following their graduation for St Patrick’s Technical College, which is located in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

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P-TECH Industry Launch

Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education & Training, will launch South Australia’s first P-TECH School in northern Adelaide as part of the Australian Government’s expansion of it’s innovation and science agenda.

St Patrick’s Technical College, in partnership with the Defence Teaming Centre, will become South Australia’s first P-TECH school in 2017, part of a $4.3 million initiative.

P-TECH SquareBUY TICKETS FOR THE LAUNCH >

The launch event will include a P-TECH Q&A panel presentation with representatives from the DTCSkilling Australia Foundation and Australia’s first P-TECH Pilot Schools in Geelong and Ballarat. Q&A panelists include:

> Jade Moffat – Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Manager, IBM Australia
> Steve Davies – Client Innovation Centre Lead, IBM Australia
> Kerryn Smith – Acting CEO, Defence Teaming Centre
> Janet Searle – Partnerships Manager, Skilling Australia Foundation

The P-TECH Industry Launch is your opportunity to learn more about this $4.3 million initiative, the benefits for local industry and how local employers can be directly involved from the very start of the program. The event is held in conjunction with St Patrick’s Technical College’s annual National Skills Week Business Lunch.

The first P-TECH school was established in the US by IBM in 2011 in collaboration with the New York City Department of Education, The City University of New York, and the New York City College of Technology. The first two Australian pilot sites in Ballarat and Geelong commenced in January 2016.