Industry Office

Matching classroom skills to career outcomes

Bringing industry directly to the classroom is the only way to ensure the skills required by employers are being offered to students. 

Andrew Sezonov, General Manager of the Skilling Australia Foundation, told a meeting of the Northern Adelaide P-TECH Partnership Steering Committee, more needs to be done across Australia to ensure students graduating from high school, TAFEs and tertiary institutions have the skills that match employers’ needs. 

Mr Sezonov was in Adelaide today to chair the final steering committee meeting for 2018. St Patrick’s Technical College, in Edinburgh North, was one of 14 sites across Australia to pilot the innovative P-TECH model in a bid to better align student outcomes with employer demands. 

Today’s meeting involved representatives from St Patrick’s Technical College, Catholic Education South Australia, TAFE SA, the Federal Department of Education, Defence Teaming Centre, Saab Australia, Century Engineering, PMB Defence and DXC Technology. 

“The Northern Adelaide P-TECH Partnership has excelled the benchmark in terms of collaboration and establishing true industry partnerships,’’ Mr Sezonov said. 

“I congratulate all the partners involved for their commitment to the program and I hope to see the Northern Adelaide P-TECH Partnerships continue on through 2019.’’ 

The meeting also saw Mr Sezonov hand over the reigns as chairman for the Northern Adelaide P-TECH Partnership to StPatsTech STEM Faculty Manager Brad Sheridan. 

Skilling Australia Foundation Chair Andrew Sezonov with Northern Adelaide P-TECH Partnerships Industry Liaison Officer Toni Hartley and incoming of the Northern Adelaide P-TECH Partnership Steering Committee Brad Sheridan. Mr Sheridan is the Head STEM teacher at St Patrick's Technical College.

Skilling Australia Foundation Chair Andrew Sezonov with Northern Adelaide P-TECH Partnerships Industry Liaison Officer Toni Hartley and incoming of the Northern Adelaide P-TECH Partnership Steering Committee Brad Sheridan. Mr Sheridan is the Head STEM teacher at St Patrick’s Technical College.


Mr Sheridan said the partners were looking forward to continuing the P-TECH Partnership in 2019 and providing students with strong industry connections with Century Engineering, PMB Defence, Saab Australia and DXC Technology. 

The StPatsTech P-TECH Australia model is offered in Electrotechnology, Information Technology and Engineering.


#PTECHAustralia #Apprenticeships #stpatstech

200th Construction Apprentice celebrated with Skills Minister

St Patrick’s Technical College this week celebrated its 200th apprenticeship commencement in the Building and Construction industry.

Year 11 Construction student Lainie Thomson this week signed an apprenticeship with Career Employment Group for a Certificate III in Carpentry and will be hosted by a local builder.

StPatsTech shared the celebration this morning with South Australian Minister for Industry and Skills, the Honourable David Pisoni, who visited the Edinburgh North College to meet Principal Danny Deptula and Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) leaders.

“Lainie’s signing recently means we are edging closer to our 900th apprenticeship or traineeship commencement,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“I was very pleased to share the news that the last two Construction apprenticeships gained by our students were secured by young women and congratulate both students on taking the first big step on their career path.”

During his visit to the College, Mr Pisoni met with students and staff and toured the $15 million purpose-built facility.

In the past year the College has signed 86 Year 11 and 12 students onto an apprenticeship or traineeship. Over the next 12 months the College forecasts at least 80 more apprenticeship or traineeship commencements and is on track to sign South Australia’s first digital trainee.

During the visit, Minister Pisoni was able to meet students undertaking the College’s inaugural Information Technology program and see some of their work including the College’s VEX Robotics program.

Pisoni 2

“We are really ahead of the game with our Information Technology course at StPatsTech. Digital traineeships are the way of the future for industry to ensure a good supply of information systems workers and Vocational Education and Training will play a major role in this emerging workforce,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“Our Year 11 class are not just doing a general information technology course, they are studying a Certificate IV in Programming to industry standards and learning all the core computer skills and languages which industry say are a requirement for employment in the digital space. It is very exciting for the students’ career outcomes but also for the wider South Australian workforce.’’

The meeting included Chairman of the SA Commission for Catholic Schools Professor Denis Ralph and CESA Assistant Director Monica Conway.

StPatsTech is taking enrolments for 2019 and 2020. For information


#stpatstech #ptechaustralia #defencejobs

To meet the demands of Adelaide’s burgeoning Defence industry employers must be more hands-on in helping produce the next generation of workers, according to the global IT services company DXC Technology.

Today it was announced DXC Technology has joined with St Patrick’s Technical College in Northern Adelaide to help ensure there is a local supply of workers in the information technology and communication (ICT) industries for the future.

As part of the College’s P-TECH Australia program, DXC Technology will help mentor and guide students undertaking a TAFE SA Certificate IV in Information Technology studies at StPatsTech. This course is already supported by Saab Australia who have welcomed DXC Technology’s commitment to building the local workforce.

The course is the only one of its kind offered to Year 11 and 12 students and may lead directly to jobs in the defence sector post-Year 12.

DXC Technology Defence Capability Manager Stuart Swan said ICT would be in every part of the Defence industries and the opportunities were broad and far-reaching.

“There’s huge opportunities for today’s young people, especially in the senior secondary age group. They can really set themselves up for big careers in big organisations with the absolute mountain of opportunity in the Defence sector, let alone in the broader ICT sector in South Australia,’’ Mr Swan said.

“Here at DXC Technology we are looking at what skills we need for our business and what we can do to better support young people going into ICT careers. Vocational entry pathways, digital traineeships, apprenticeships and schools working closely with industry are all important initiatives.’’

Mr Swan said DXC Technology signed onto the St Patrick’s Technical College P-TECH Australia program because it offered the company an opportunity to directly engage with senior secondary students and was already working in the Defence sector.

StPatsTech Principal Danny Deptula welcomed DXC Technology to the College’s P-TECH Australia partnership. Already working with the school are defence contractors Century Engineering, PMB Defence and Saab Australia.

“DXC Technology is a fantastic addition to the P-TECH Australia team working with StPatsTech,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“The company has already taken on some of our students for work experience, so those connections and mentoring has begun for our current crop of Information Technology students.’’

Skilling Australia Foundation’s Northern Adelaide P-TECH Industry Liaison officer Toni Hartley said she was impressed with DXC Technology’s enthusiasm in supporting young workers.

“They have just been fantastic to work with. Once Stuart and HR Manager Leanne Jarvis heard about what we were doing so successfully with Saab Australia, they immediately put their hand up to be part of the program,’’ Ms Hartley said.

Leanne Jarvis from DXC Technology (centre) speaks with Rebecca Giovine from Saab Australia and SAF's Toni Hartley.

Leanne Jarvis from DXC Technology (centre) speaks with Rebecca Giovine from Saab Australia and SAF’s Toni Hartley.“They have just been fantastic to work with. Once Stuart and HR Manager Leanne Jarvis heard about what we were doing so successfully with Saab Australia, they immediately put their hand up to be part of the program,’’ Ms Hartley said.

“Seeing such strong industry support for the Australia Government’s $5.1 million P-TECH Australia program means we are on the right track. We want to see more young people take a look at what StPatsTech is doing in this space and get on board in Year 11 for careers straight out of senior secondary school.’’

Enrolments are now open for the StPatsTech Information Technology course in 2019. StPatsTech College is a specialist trade and training senior secondary school which has helped more than 870 teenagers into an apprenticeship or traineeship since 2007.

Jack makes his career move

Jack Felton has not had to go far to secure his dream job thanks to Brazier Mobility in Edinburgh North.

Jack, 17, from Davoren Park is a Metals and Engineering student from St Patrick’s Technical College, which is next door to Brazier Mobility. Jack enrolled in StPatsTech last year on a Smith Family Scholarship, which has paid for his tuition at the College, and changed his life.

Initially interested in the College’s Automotive program, Jack missed out on a place due to demand in 2017. He decided he liked the school’s atmosphere so much, he instead enrolled in the Metals and Engineering program.

“It actually worked out better that way because I love cars and have a real passion so I already had a lot of skills in that area,’’ Jack said.

“But this Engineering course has helped me get my job because I was able to learn new skills in the metals workshop.’’

Brazier Mobility fits out vehicles for people with physical disabilities including wheelchair-access vehicles and unique, special order vehicles.

Jack began his Certificate III in Body Repair Technology today (September 6) and hopes to also do an auto-electrician apprenticeship in a few years’ time.

“Once I get my trades down, I would like to buy property and become a property investor,’’ he said.

Jack said the way StPatsTech is structured made it easy for him to make friends and get the support he needed from teachers.

“It was all great being here at StPatsTech. For me the teachers, Ms Burton, Mr Hill and Ms Holliday did a lot to help me by staying back with me in the workshop or helping me with my Maths and English.’’

College Principal Danny Deptula congratulated Jack on securing his apprenticeship.

“We are so pleased to see Jack on his way with his career, and even better, with one of our neighbouring businesses,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“I have had the privilege of touring the Brazier Mobility facility here in Edinburgh North and I believe Jack will greatly enjoy his time there. The company requires its tradesmen and women to be multifaceted in their skills and abreast of the latest technology in the automotive industry, which means the work is always interesting and engaging.’’

Jack recently showed Mr Deptula one of his Engineering projects – the 44 Drum Seat. Jack repurposed an old maritime 44 gallon drum to create a man cave seat. He used AutoDesk Inventor to draw his plans before hitting the tools to create the seat using rubber and timber.

Jack's 44 Drum Seat

Jack’s 44 Drum Seat

Jack has worked hard this year to complete all his Stage Two SACE requirements and will graduate in November. In the meantime, he will work full time in his apprenticeship.




StPatsTech to celebrate National Skills Week 2018

Every year St Patrick’s Technical College celebrates National Skills Week and 2018 is set to be a fantastic event.

Hosted at the Playford City Council’s Civic Centre on Playford Boulevard, the event will be a celebration of trades, apprenticeships, traineeships and business in the north.

This year the very special guest speakers are: Honourable David Pisoni, MP, Minister for Industry and Skills and Barossa Fine Food’s Business Development Manager Alex Knoll.

The College will also be celebrating the naming of 5 staff, students and programs as finalists in the 2018 SA Training Awards, to be presented at a gala dinner on September 7.

For more information and to find out how you can purchase tickets to the event go to this page.

Parliamentary privilege

St Patrick’s Technical College was this week honoured with a special focus in South Australia’s Legislative Assembly.

Member for King Paula Luethen used her time to shine a light on the positive outcomes for students who undertake school-based apprenticeship/traineeships at the Edinburgh North College.

Principal Danny Deptula welcomed the focus on vocational education, saying it was a privilege to be mentioned in Parliament. He thanked Ms Luethen for taking the time to find out more about the College and promote vocational education.

“With so many trade and technical jobs forecast in Adelaide’s defence industries, and high demand in more traditional industries like food and hospitality, plumbing and engineering, opting for a trade career is the smart choice for many young people,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“We are fortunate in the North to be able to offer so many pathways to successful careers through our network of Catholic schools. St Patrick’s Technical College speciality is school-based apprentices and trainees. In fact we do it so well we have two students shortlisted as finalists in the SA Training Awards’ School-based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year awards and another Old Scholar as a finalist in the Apprentice of the Year Awards.’’

Mr Deptula said credit for the College’s success can be attributed to the dedicated staff at the school. He congratulated teachers, trainers and administrative staff who have been part of the College since it opened in 2007 for creating an innovative, responsive and industry-relevant educational environment for students.

Cyber security world open to students

Hacking, data security, cyber security. As we are hearing more and more about the importance of keeping data safe, a group of St Patrick’s Technical College students were able to get a special behind-the-scenes look at an Adelaide company fighting the good fight.

OpSys, located in Thebarton, hosted StPatsTech’s IT students this week to teach them more about the cybersecurity and how easy it is to access unsecure data.

OpSys Managing Director Matt Fabri gave the students an excellent presentation about the industry and OpSys’ solutions before the students were taken on a tour of the company’s facility. As part of the tour, the students saw a data storage room and The Green Room, a room which changed colour depending on the level of incoming threat.

Following on from this, students completed an Analysis Task that looked at the key features of the presentation. Students gained a great depth of knowledge about hacking, viruses and how to keep safe from potential threats. Mr Fabri demonstrated how electronically vulnerable people, industry and business are, focusing on what students should look out for in “cyberspace”.

StPatsTech’s STEM teacher Bradley Sheridan first learnt of OpSys through an Advanced Technology Project (ATP) event where Mr Fabri was a presenter. Darlene Voss and Mark Haughton from the ATP joined the excursion along with Northern Adelaide P-TECH Industry Liaison Officer Toni Hartley joined the students for the excursion.

Mr Sheridan said the students enjoyed the visit, in particular how viruses and hacking can affect day-to-day life.

“OpSys showed me how easy it is for people to access personal details through my technology,” said student Alex Wilton.

Ms Hartley said the presentation from Opsys enhanced the College’s IT course, which is part of the Australian Government’s $5.1 million P-TECH Australia program. The IT course is being delivered in partnership with Saab Australia, which has specialised in the development of advanced defence, security and civil aviation systems in Australia for more than thirty years.

For more information about StPatsTech’s IT course see the programs page here.

Ben puts his best foot forward … and nabs a job!

Finding good employees can be a challenge for employers but one St Patrick’s Technical College teacher has prime seats to the best up-and-coming tradesmen and women.

Linda Burton, who is the College’s Electrotechnology teacher, recently signed Year 11 student Benjamin Bruecher as a School-based Apprentice to her electrical contracting business Steady Power.

Ms Burton is a qualified electrician and runs Steady Power with her husband Lee.

She said she took on Ben because he presented so well in class.

“He is always on time, listens to instructions, take information on board and makes good decisions.  All of his work is completed early. He is proactive and had paperwork back to me for the work trial within 10 minutes of being asked.  Feedback from work experience described him as an excellent potential employee and that he would be hired if they had a position available,’’ Ms Burton said.

“Ben has shown himself to have huge potential and I employed him now as to not lose him.’’

Ben said he had learnt a valuable lesson in always putting your best foot forward.

“I did not know Ms Burton ran her own business or was looking to employ an apprentice when I started in her class. It’s interesting as you do not really expect your teacher to be the person who hires you but I’m glad I stayed focussed and my hard work paid off.’’

Ben said he moved to StPatsTech at the start of the year in the hope of securing an electrical apprenticeship during his senior secondary years.

He will continue at the College as a School-based Apprentice, meaning he will study for his SACE while also undertaking his Certificate III in Electrotechnology.

Ms Burton said Steady Power is a small, family-owned electrical company which prides itself on customer service and attention to detail.

She said when selecting an apprentice, she looks for someone who is clean, tidy, well presented, personable, happy to come to work and keen to learn.

“I look for intelligence and potential because we can teach amazing apprentices if they want to learn and are capable in the trade,’’ she said.

Congratulations Ben. He is the 865th StPatsTech student to commence an apprenticeship or traineeship.

Keeping it in the family

Congratulations Lucas Skirving (Year 11 Plumbing)

Lucas this week signed up for his School-based Apprenticeship with his dad, Paul Skirving. Lucas is the 864th young person from St Patrick’s Technical College to commence an apprenticeship since the College opened its doors in 2007.

Mr Skirving said Lucas moved to StPatsTech specifically with the goal to go into the family businesses while also completing his education.

Through RTO Peer, Lucas will be in good hands with his dad who has been a Master Plumber of South Australia since 1985. He will be working mainly in the domestic market and it Mr Skirving hopes Lucas will one day take over the business.

Lucas said he was looking forward to earning his own money and achieving his SACE.


Catholic Education Week celebrated in industrial style

St Patrick’s Technical College marked the final day of Catholic Education Week 2018 with an industry barbecue lunch.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices (ISMAA) Industry BBQ was hosted at the College to bring local business, industry groups and training organisations together. Visitors were treated to a BBQ lunch of salads prepared by the College’s Year 11 Commercial Cooking students, of Barossa Fine Food sausages.

The College’s specialist trade trainers took guests on tours of the $15 million purpose-built campus during the event.


Principal Danny Deptula said the event was a success with a number of businesses and industry groups able to see the College up close for the first time.

“One of our core strengths as a College is our connection with industry and businesses,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“To be able to put on a barbecue lunch for those companies which have supported us by employing our students, and to show them why we are able to produce so many wonderful trade and technical workers was a real privilege today.’’

Principal Danny Deptula and Member for King Paula Leuthen

Mr Deptula thanked HIA and ISMAA for sponsoring the event.

To book a tour of the College go to