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STEM program provides pathway to defence industry

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P-TECH’s educational program in Australia is proving a success, with students around the country afforded direct access to defence companies and helping them start their career in the industry.

With Australia's defence industry is experiencing strong growth on the back of record levels of government investment in the nation's defence capability, the need for skilled workers is steadily increasing.

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The Pathways in Technology (P-TECH) program allows secondary school students an industry-supported pathway to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related qualifications and local employment opportunities.

P-TECH engineering student Kayla Roemer-Hanisch spoke about her experience at the program at the 2018 WA Indo-Pacific Defence Conference in Perth: "In Year 10, I was given an opportunity, along with 14 other students, to complete a two-year Certificate III Engineering - Technical qualification through P-TECH. I was excited for this opportunity as there were only two other girls that wanted to do this course and it’s not something I would normally choose."

The Australian government has invested $5.1 million to set up 14 P-TECH sites in Australia. Ten have already been established around the country, with four more to be announced in 2019.

"Over the duration of the qualification and through being introduced to companies such as Civmec, Austal and Lürssen Shipbuilding, I was surprised at how interesting and complex the industry is and I have really changed the direction I want to take in the future for a career," Roemer-Hanisch said.

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Skilling Australia Foundation CEO Nicholas Wyman said, "There is a strong need for industry to be an active partner in education. The P-TECH program provides secondary school students an opportunity to engage with employers and learn first-hand the work-readiness skills so highly valued by employers."

The Skilling Australia Foundation works in innovative ways to support young Australians facing disadvantage to forge their own career pathways through training and meaningful employment.

By collaborating with schools, industry, business, governments and the vocational educational and training sector, Skilling Australia Foundation has helped more than 1,300 young people secure meaningful employment, setting them up for career success.

STEM program provides pathway to defence industry
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