St Patrick’s Technical College is part of an extensive network of industry associations, employers, training providers and group training organisations. This presents unique opportunities for our students to start their trade careers through School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SbAT).
It is important to note that the School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships at StPatsTech are very different.
Due to the flexible approach the College takes to course structure and timetabling, a StPatsTech student-apprentice can spend up to 40 weeks full-time during Year 12 in paid employment and training PLUS they will still complete the requirements of the SACE.
Whilst the College can’t guarantee students an apprenticeship, two-thirds of students who have attended StPatsTech have gained an apprenticeship during their enrolment.
Gaining an Apprenticeship
It is the aim of St Patrick’s Technical College to have as many students as possible placed into an apprenticeship by the time they complete their South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). In order to achieve this outcome the College has developed the following model.
Year 11 – Preparation
All subjects in the trade courses at St Patrick’s Technical College are developed specifically for the individual trade courses. The programs are pre-selected for students and ensure that students are eligible to meet all the compulsory SACE requirements and complete the required 200 credits.
An integral component of each course* is training in a Certificate II pre-vocational course.
*Information Technology students undertake Certificate III pre-vocational course.
Year 11 is considered to be a preparatory year for entry into an apprenticeship. It is campus-based and students use the time to generate basic skills in their trade as well as undertaking up to six weeks work experience. Work experience is considered a very important component in students gaining an apprenticeship for the following reasons:
- provides exposure to the real world of work;
- reinforces that students have made the correct career choice;
- identifies important criteria for employment (e.g. transport, work hours, teamwork, etc.); and
- establishes relationships that could lead to an apprenticeship.
Year 12 – Apprenticeship Placements
Apprenticeships for students are promoted once they are nearing successful completion of Year 11. The school-based apprentice model developed by the College enables students to work virtually full time and attend College for six weeks during their final year, typically in one week blocks, in order to complete the requirements of their SACE.
Apprenticeships are gained in a number of ways:
- Directly by the student via the student’s own contacts or networks.
- Directly by the College utilising companies or organisations with whom the College has a relationship. These companies / organisations include the Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC), Motor Trades Association, Australian Industry Group, Statewide, PEER, TAPS, Ahrens and Housing Industry Association.
- Employers contacting the College seeking to employ an apprentice.
- Students being offered an apprenticeship following a period of work experience.
The main point of contact to facilitate an apprenticeship is the College’s Industry Relations Manager. In this role the Industry Relations Manager will:
- promote apprenticeship vacancies to students;
- liaise with potential employers to find suitable students for vacancies;
- organise visits to the College for employers to address, interview and select students;
- promote the College’s school-based apprenticeship model to employers;
- attend all Contract of Training sign-ups of students to ensure the best interests of the students are being met; and
- liaise with students / families / employers should problems arise during the school based apprentice period.
Since the College’s opening in 2007, St Patrick’s Technical College has been successful in the commencements of more than 900 apprenticeships while students are still enrolled. This represents two-thirds of students being employed in an apprenticeship by the time they leave the College.
Although an apprenticeship cannot be guaranteed, every effort is made to maximise apprenticeship opportunities for College students.