This week Mr Bruce Hall, College VET Manager, was involved in a VET Forum with the Federal Industry Minister, Ian MacFarlane. The aim of the Australia wide round table discussion is to seek input from VET professionals about the level of industry engagement in education across Australia. This is part of the broader debate about productivity, skill acquisition and apprenticeships which is taking place at the present time. Mr Hall presented the Technical College model as one which successfully engages trade orientated students in their learning and links them with industry. Multi-trade sites, such as ours, have a higher apprenticeship success rate and are valued by employers for a more holistic approach to making students employment ready. This has been borne out by our apprenticeship numbers which currently stand at 563. We have been invited to participate in future forums.
Along with Mr Jim Montgomery, our Industry Liaison Manager, I attended the induction of the new apprentices at the ASC at Techport this week. This event which has TAFE SA, industry and education representatives, was a great affirmation of manufacturing in South Australia. Five of the twenty one new apprentices at ASC in 2014 come from St Patrick’s which is a source of great pride. Overall a quarter of the eighty one ASC apprentices are former St Patrick’s students. ASC has one the largest apprentice cohorts in the state and provides a long term manufacturing and quality skills base for SA. We will continue to develop the relationship with the ASC to promote future opportunities for our students.
There have been two new appointments to the St Patrick’s Technical College Board: Mr Michael Olszewski, State General Manager of Stratco and Mr Sean Holden formerly of the Resources & Engineering Skills Alliance (RESA). Both of these men bring vast industry and management skills on to the Board and ensure that our College has strong and ongoing industry links.
We are celebrating St Patrick’s Day on Monday. The day begins with a liturgy and there will be gala day activities which will finish with the annual Inter-Trade Tug-o-War. Students will be dismissed at 2.40pm. This is a day in which we celebrate the feast of our patron saint and come together as a community to acknowledge who we are.