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Celebrating jobs @stpatstech

We do not measure our success by ATAR scores. Our measure of success is apprenticeship/traineeship numbers.

Apprenticeships and traineeships not only give you new skills and qualifications, but can lead to unexpected and exciting career pathways in the future.

As of May 2018, nearly 850 St Patrick’s Technical College students have commenced an apprenticeship or traineeship across a diverse range of trades. Through our eight courses on offer, students have gone onto careers as:

  • Agricultural Mechanical TechnologySbATWall PG 2018 - 311
  • Airconditioning and Refrigertion
  • Auto Electrical
  • Automotive Body Repair Technology
  • Automotive Electrical Technology
  • Automotive Heavy Commercial Trailer Technology
  • Automotive Heavy Commercial Vehicle
  • Automotive Mechanical (Light Vehicle)
  • Automotive Mechanical Technology
  • Automotive Refinishing Technology
  • Automotive Sales
  • Automotive Vehicle Body
  • Bricklaying / Blocklaying
  • Business
  • Cabinet Making
  • CarpentrySbATWall PG 2018 - 368
  • Civil Construction (Plant Operations)
  • Commercial Cookery
  • Commercial Mechanical Technology
  • Concreting
  • Data and Voice Communications
  • Electrotechnology – Data and Voice Comms
  • Electrotechnology – Electronics & Communications
  • Electrotechnology Communications
  • Electrotechnology Computer Systems
  • Electrotechnology Electrician
  • Electrotechnology Systems Electrician
  • Engineering – Fabrication Trade
  • Engineering – Mechanical Trade
  • Engineering Technical
  • ESI – Distribution
  • Floor Covering and FinishingSbATWall PG 2018 - 373
  • Flooring Technology
  • Food Processing (Retail Baking – Combined)
  • Furniture Making (Cabinet Making)
  • Hairdressing
  • Horticulture
  • Hospitality
  • Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)
  • Hospitality (Kitchen Operations)
  • Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology
  • Manufactured Mineral Products
  • Mobile Plant Technology
  • Outdoor Power Equipment Technology
  • Plastering
  • Plumbing
  • Retail
  • Retail Baking (Bread)
  • Roof PlumbingSbATWall PG 2018 - 378
  • Roof Tiling
  • Spare Parts Interpreting
  • Tiling
  • Transport and Logistics (Road Transport)
  • Wall and Ceiling Lining

Click on our Enrolment section for more information or book a tour via this link today!

Sam Smith, Head Chef, FINO with new School-based Apprentice chef 
Kurtis Joyce.

School-based Apprenticeships continue to soar

St Patrick’s Technical College this morning saw its 848th apprentice commence work.

Kurtis Joyce has been studying his SACE and Certificate II in Commercial Cooking with the College since 2017 and was today signed by FINO Seppeltsfield to a School-based apprenticeship. He follows in the footsteps of Class of 2017’s Madison ter Bogt and Class of 2013’s Sarah Voigt at the prestigious Barossa Valley venue. Ms ter Bogt was named as a Finalist in the 2017 South Australia Training Awards for her work at FINO.

St Patrick’s Technical College Principal Danny Deptula said the College has seen nearly 25 students commence their apprenticeship since January this year. In the decade since the College opened its doors 848 students have commenced apprenticeships or traineeships, with 94 per cent going on to complete their training.

“As Northern Adelaide’s leading trade and technical senior secondary educator, St Patrick’s Technical College has been at the coalface of youth employment since 2007,” Mr Deptula said.

“Kurtis joins hundreds of St Patrick’s Technical College Old Scholars to begin their career with a local business and we know through our own research that 98 per cent of those past students remain employed,” Mr Deptula said.

“Even better, 87 per cent of past students remain in the great North of Adelaide and nearly 60 per cent are employed in the area.”

Mr Deptula said the emerging Defence industries centred around RAAF Base Edinburgh and maritime manufacturing as well as recent announcements of business investment in the north, opportunities for the area’s young people were plentiful.

Kurtis’s school work and timetable will be adjusted to enable him to spend as much time learning from the chefs at FINO Seppeltsfield as possible. As a School-based Apprentice, Kurtis will complete his SACE and graduate Year 12 – an important step if he wishes to go onto further education later in life.

Also beginning their School-based Apprenticeships recently are:

James Watson with Golden Grove Interiors (Cert III Carpentry)
Cristian Neve with Xtreme Concrete Constuction (Cert III Concreting)
Cain Gerrits with Gerrits Plastering (Cert III Plastering)
Bill Hannam with RS Burbidge (Cert III Plumbing)
Leith Cappelluti  with MTA-GTS (Cert III Automotive)
Santiago Bribiesca-Diaz with Mayfair Hotel (Cert III Hospitality)
Isaac Trembath with Stairlock (Cert III Carpentry)
Jayden Tingey with Truckelec (Cert III Auto Electrical)
Chelsea Doman-Hicks with Hotel Kingsford Pty Ltd (Cert III Commercial Cooking)
Noah Neilson with A Class Kitchens (Cert III Cabinet Making)
Brock Mead with Booth Transport Tanunda Inc (Cert III Engineering)

St Patrick’s Technical College strongly urges our community to support those businesses which support local jobs.

New teacher Tom Bruce operating the HD TV and One Note systems to improve learning and teaching in the classroom.

Tech in the class room

St Patrick’s Technical College students are learning in a more effective, collaborate way thanks to technology in the classroom.

This year staff have integrated the use of smart TVs, Microsoft Surface Pro tablets and Microsoft OneNote into one powerful educational tool.

Using the OneNote programs, students have access to their own personal digital workbooks where they can make notes, annotations and save work accessible by their teachers at any time of the day. Teachers are also able to provide curriculum, resources, notes and assignments which students can access anywhere and anytime through the program.

One of the College’s newest and youngest teachers, Tom Bruce said the technology provided real-time updates between teachers and students, which improved work flow.

“It’s very important for students to be exposed to new technologies especially for those hoping to go straight from school into the workforce,’’ Mr Bruce said.

New teacher Tom Bruce operating the HD TV and One Note systems to improve learning and teaching in the classroom.

New teacher Tom Bruce operating the HD TV and One Note systems to improve learning and teaching in the classroom.

“The biggest advantage of technology in the classroom is it makes the students more efficient and the teacher can be very responsive in supporting them and providing guidance and feedback.’’

Mr Bruce said the three technologies combined meant he was not simply at the front of a classroom presenting information on a whiteboard. The entire class was linked through the program and he can move around physically and digitally to individual students. Teachers can also bring up information and resources on the classroom’s interactive LED screen in one tap.

St Patrick’s Technical College is undertaking a technology refresh to ensure its students and staff have access to current technologies and improving their learning outcomes.

Brad Grimes March 2018 (17)

Bradley revs up in the water

17-year-old St Patrick’s Technical College student Bradley Grimes will spend the upcoming school holidays hoping to prove he could be one of Australia’s next Olympians.

Bradley, who is studying StPatsTech College’s Automotive program, will be competing in the Georgina Hope Foundation Australian Age Swimming Championships in Sydney over eight days from April 21.

He will be competing in the 17/18 Men’s 1500m, 400m and 200m freestyle and hopes to impress selectors looking for the next generation of Olympians ahead of 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The national titles come after a hugely successful South Australia Age Championships for Bradley in January. He walked away with 13 medals including gold in the men’s 17 and under 1500m and 400m freestyle and 100m backstroke; seven slivers and three bronze medals, including in the Open Men’s 1500 freestyle.

Swimming under Playford Aquatic Club coach Carole Margrison, Bradley represented South Australia at last year’s Pacific School Games finishing the event with three bronze medals.

Bradley trains eight times a week and is aiming for make the next FINA World Junior Championships and in the long-term Commonwealth and Olympic Games.


Michael Olszewski from Stratco.

Industry links brings jobs to youth

One of Australia’s largest producers of quality building products is also one of St Patrick’s Technical College’s strongest industry allies.

Stratco has taken seven StPatsTech students for apprenticeships in the past five years and one of its senior executives was so impressed with the College he now sits on the StPatsTech College Board as a director.

Michael Olszewski manages Stratco SA’s trade sales and oversees its rigorous apprenticeship program and has been with the company for 30 years.

“Five years ago we were looking for apprentices and we were not getting the quality so I started ringing around high schools in the Northern area and I contacted StPatsTech,’’ Mr Olszewski said.

“I went and did a presentation and we opened the work place up to the College’s work experience program. As a result of that we were able to identify some really good students.’’

Mr Olszewski said the StPatsTech board is industry-focussed, which means the College is able to better prepare students to meet employer needs.

Mr Olszewski said Stratco has a rigorous screening program to ensure the right person is in the right apprenticeship. This includes work experience blocks, aptitude testing, physical tests, medical reviews and a probationary period of employment.

“Before we sign anyone up we will offer them part-time employment to give us a chance to watch them. We are looking at things like work ethic, enthusiasm, punctuality, cleanliness and social skills. Most of our apprentices do come from StPats because of the quality of the students in showing these skills,’’ Mr Olszewski said.

“Most of our apprentices are from StPatsTech because of the preparation done at the College for the students to enter the workforce. Those work ready skills are often what gets the StPatsTech students over the line.

“And we as a company invest a lot of time and money into our staff so we hope they will be loyal to us in return.’’

Mr Olszewski said the close working relationship between Stratco and StPatsTech had resulted in positive outcomes for the six apprentices.

Kjel Lillie – SbAT 2017


Keen to get straight into the workforce after graduating high school, 19-year-old Kjel Lillie knew he wanted to secure an apprenticeship.

Originally interested in plumbing, he soon realised it “wasn’t my cup of tea” and a stint at Stratco as part of StPatsTech’s extensive work experience program helped Kjel focus on his career path.

“I came here for work experience, I liked all the people here and the atmosphere,’’ Kjel said.

“I wanted to go straight into the workforce and I didn’t want to go to university and get a big HECS debt. I wanted to get an apprenticeship and knew I couldn’t do that at my old high school, so I switched to StPatsTech.

“At the end of my work experience time with Stratco, through StPatsTech, they offered me an apprenticeship and I was more than happy to take it.’’

Graduating Year 12 with his SACE in 2016, Kjel began his apprenticeship at the start of 2017 and says he loves the work.

“They are great to work for, all the bosses are really friendly. It’s definitely the best job I’ve ever had.’’

The feeling is mutual with Mr Olszewski describing Kjel as one of the best apprentices the company had seen.

“He’s reliable, honest and his attitude and work ethic is something the production managers have not seen before,’’ Mr Olszewski said.

Jacob Prescott – SbAT 2013


In 2011 Jacob Prescott knew he wanted to become a tradesman and saw St Patrick’s Technical College as his best pathway into an apprenticeship.

Then an up-and-coming footballer, Jacob was the recipient of the Central Districts Football Club scholarship to StPatsTech. Although a shoulder injury derailed his promising football career, Jacob has landed on his feet after securing an apprenticeship with Stratco. While his football injury impacted on his work, Stratco could see the potential in Jacob and have supported him through his apprenticeship.

Jacob said the company offered him the opportunity to move into the business-side of the trade by becoming an estimator. Using his trade knowledge, Jacob’s role is customer-based, providing quotes for material, supply and installation of Stratco’s products.

He said one of the best things about the company was the positive working environment.

Jacob was recently promoted as the Head Estimator for Stratco’s Alice Springs store and has begun a traineeship in sales.


World Plumbers’ Day 2018

On Sunday, March 11, World Plumbing Day was celebrated on mass around the world – bigger and better than ever seen before.

Here at StPatsTech, we celebrated World Plumbing Day with our plumbing students on Thursday, 15 March. The students were treated them to a bacon and egg breakfast. Steve and Marilyn, from Master Plumbers, as well as Gavin Day, from TAFE, were our guests.

A big thank you goes out to Ms Babic for organising the event.

Ryan Harris will spend his St Patrick's Day performing with his Irish Dancing club around Adelaide.

St Patrick’s Day 2018

All things Irish will be celebrated at St Patrick’s Technical College today, including one aspiring auto electrician who has been following his passion of Irish dancing.

Ryan Harris, 16, from Elizabeth Vale is studying a Certificate II in Automotive Servicing Technology at StPatsTech by day and hitting the dance floor by night as one Cashel Irish Dancing’s most promising male dancers.

Ryan Harris has found his confidence through Irish Dancing.

Ryan Harris has found his confidence through Irish Dancing.

Ryan competed in the national titles in 2017 with his mixed four hand becoming one of the top Irish dancing groups in Australia. He has won numerous competitions and has quickly progressed through grades, according to his teacher Bianca Marron TSRG.

This St Patrick’s Day Ryan and his fellow dancers will be dancing their way across Adelaide with performances from Adelaide Oval to Parahills Community Club.

Ryan, who has autism, said Irish Dancing had helped him build confidence over the years. When he first began he was unable to perform solo on stage. But after three years of dancing with a group, Ryan was confident enough to perform a solo dance at 2017’s national championships. He hopes to compete solo again at this year’s national titles.

“I felt really accomplished. It can be hard for people with autism to perform our dances in front of a crowd of people,” Ryan said.

Ms Marron said Ryan had come on “in leaps and bounds” since joining the club two years ago and was one of four teenage boys dancing for Cashel Irish Dancing.

“We have four young men, which isn’t too bad, and it’s a really positive thing that three of those boys came into dancing late,’’ she said.

“It takes a lot of talent and a unique amount of skill to perfect Irish Dancing.’’

Ms Marron said Ryan and the other boys were looked up to at the club by the younger dancers.

StPatsTech College Principal Danny Deptula said Ryan was a great example of breaking stereotypes.

“Ryan has not let society’s stereotypes about mechanics or dancing hold him back from following his passion,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“The fact that he has been able to overcome difficulties he faced due to autism makes his achievement even more commendable. We wish him all the best for his competition events this year.’’

St Patrick’s Day has been marked by the College with a special Liturgy and Assembly. Archbishop Philip Wilson attended the event and students were treated to celebratory green donuts.

StPatsDay 2018 StPatsDay 2018 StPatsDay 2018

St Patrick's Day 2018 was celebrated at St Patrick's Technical College with a special assembly and liturgy and morning tea.

St Patrick’s Day 2018 was celebrated at St Patrick’s Technical College with a special assembly and liturgy and morning tea.

StPatsDay 2018 StPatsDay 2018 StPatsDay 2018 StPatsDay 2018 StPatsDay 2018


The first students into St Patrick's Technical College's new Certificate IV in Programming course have logged on for the first time. The students will study this TAFE SA course while also completing their SACE. The course is part of the College's innovative P-TECH Australia program to boost STEM careers and help build Adelaide's defence industries.

Pictured: Cameron Grimmond, and Ethan Cooper-Smart, on 5/2/18

Students log onto their future

St Patrick’s Technical College’s first intake of students studying information technology have logged on for the first time.

In what is believed to be a first in South Australia, Year 11 students are studying a Certificate IV in Programming which could lead to a career as a Software Engineer or Software Developer. The course is being run in partnership with TAFE SA and Saab Australia as part of the Australian Government’s $5.1 million P-TECH Australia program.

Cameron Grimmond (pictured at front) is among the first intake for the course at StPatsTech. A keen gamer, Cameron will study the dedicated information technology course for the two years of his senior schooling. He said this focus on IT was the deciding factor in opting to attend StPatsTech over his previous school.

“I’ve always been interested in IT and my grandma suggested I look at coming here (to StPatsTech),’’ Cameron said.

“I’m not really sure what I want to do as a career but I know it will be something to do with IT.’’

Cameron said he hoped the course would expand his skills and understanding. He was enjoying the hands-on nature of the course as well.

“I really like my teacher (Michael Gauci) as well. Knowing he’s a software engineer, it’s great. He has had a lot of experience in the past and knows what he’s talking about, which you can respect.’’

Teacher Michael Gauci directs students during their Certificate IV in Programming studies at St Patrick's Technical College.

Teacher Michael Gauci directs students during their Certificate IV in Programming studies at St Patrick’s Technical College.

Saab Australia’s Rebecca Giovine, Manager – People Development, visited the College recently to meet the students and introduce them to Saab Australia. The company will play an active and important role in the IT course by offering mentoring, work experience and inviting students to contribute ideas for projects.

“For us at Saab Australia, we want to partner with high schools in this capacity to help create the future pipeline of talent within the technology industry,’’ Ms Giovine said.

“It’s about fostering talented young people and opening their eyes to the potential career pathways in companies like Saab Australia.’’

Ms Giovine said she hoped the students would be set on the pathway to become software developers or computer scientists either through full-time employment following their Year 12 graduation or future tertiary student.

TAFE SA IT Lecturer Danny Sarris, who is delivering the program at StPatsTech alongside teacher Michael Gauci, said the program aligned with the State Government’s economic priorities and supported the focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.

“The Government has a big focus on STEM skills and future job roles which will involve more IT skills,” Mr Sarris said.

“As part of this innovative program, students will spend a dedicated day focusing on their programming studies including industry visits and mentorship with Saab Australia staff.

“Once they complete the two-year program, students have direct entry to the Diploma of Software Development and the Bachelor of IT at Flinders University or UniSA if they wish. They may also be eligible to undertake traineeships or internships with Saab Australia.”

Overseeing StPatsTech’s three P-TECH projects – others include an engineering course in partnership with Century Engineering and an electrotechnology course in partnership with PMB Defence – is Skilling Australia Foundation’s Toni Hartley.

Ms Hartley congratulated the students on taking control of their future by enrolling in the IT course at StPatsTech.

“Saab Australia recognised an opportunity to engage with young people based on an identified need for Diploma level software engineers as a direct result of the future defence industry projects in South Australia,’’ Ms Hartley said.

“We expect a workforce increase from 350 to around 600 over the next three years and not all those positions require a university degree. We expect to see entry level software engineering jobs for Certificate IV or Diploma level graduates.’’

Master Plumbers Souther Australia Field Officer Steven Prisk speaks with Year 11 Plumbing students about their career options. 

Work Ready skills make the difference in the jobs stakes

St Patrick’s Technical College students are more ready for the work force than their peers attending other pre-vocational programs, according to one industry group.

Master Plumbers South Australia field officer Steven Prisk (pictured speaking with the students) said he was continually impressed by StPatsTech students, with eight Old Scholars currently doing their apprenticeships thanks to Master Plumbers SA.

“I think the quality of students and what the school is teaching here at St Patrick’s in terms of what the workforce needs is fantastic,’’ Mr Prisk said.

“We do find the students here are very mature and they are work-ready. They tend to hit the ground running when they get an apprenticeship, which is extremely important for employers.”

Mr Prisk the College’s Work Ready program meant StPatsTech students were confident in communicating with employers and able to listen and take instruction well.

Mr Prisk visited the College today to speak to the Year 11 Plumbing students about the industry and possible career pathways.

He told the plumbing industry was currently booming with plenty of job opportunities across the state.

“The industry is right now booming and going very, very well,’’ he told the students.

“I have to say, I have been taking a lot of your Year 12 students at the moment, which is great for them as they are starting a great career,’’ Mr Prisk said.

Already this year, two Year 12 students have started their apprenticeships thanks to Masters Plumbing SA. Harrison Druack and Tarran Mancone commenced apprenticeships with Jordan Plumbing in February.