P-TECH will see a collaboration between Hunter River High, and locally based Williamtown (and surrounding area) businesses such as BAE Systems, Varley Group, Jetstar Airways, Ampcontrol and other local aerospace industries, aimed at providing new pathways for students to link to future employment opportunities.
The pilot program is one of 12 new Pathways in Technology (P-TECH) being promised by a re-elected Turnbull Coalition Government.
This, and other similar programs, are being directed at improving employment outcomes and delivering stronger results in STEM performance (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
Federal Liberal Candidate, Karen Howard, was on hand to help launch the official program recently.
“A program like P-TECH at Hunter River High is a practical way the Coalition is combining technical and vocational skills with school and industry partnerships to tackle the challenges of youth unemployment and to help more young people into work,” Ms Howard said.
“By boosting science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills the Turnbull Coalition Government is preparing our children for the jobs of the future.”
Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham, has said, “Around 75 percent of Australia’s fastest-growing industries require STEM skills but unfortunately the performance of Australian students in Mathematics, science and reading has declined in recent times.
This is despite government investment in education increasing nearly 40 percent over the decade to 2012-13.
With youth unemployment at 11.3 percent in Newcastle and 18.9 percent in the Hunter Valley, this P-TECH pilot at Hunter River High is designed to help young people develop the skills they need for the jobs of the future.”
The P-TECH program comes as part of a promised $4.6 million commitment by the Turnbull Coalition Government to develop greater links between schools and businesses in local communities.
By Jenny BAXTER