On April 10th, TAFE NSW hosted the launch of the 2018 STEMship program in Newcastle; Australia’s first STEM based, VET pre-employment program which, last year, successfully produced Australia’s first drone industry trainee.
In only its third year, STEMship has gained national recognition for helping to bridge the gap between secondary and university STEM programs and is also being credited for job creation in the Hunter by providing a talent pool of work-ready employees with relevant skills and capabilities.
An initiative of Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter, Training Services NSW (NSW Department of Industry) and TAFE NSW, STEMship is exclusively offered to only 16 school-leavers each year. All of the successful 2018 applicants have now been advised of their success and will also attend the launch.
TAFE NSW Industry & Resources Faculty Director, Nat Boyd, says the STEMship program will offer these students a unique opportunity to gain enterprise and entrepreneurship skills, with industrial experience and a qualification.
“STEMship provides students with 17 weeks training and a full Certificate III in Engineering – Technical, inclusive of four weeks industry work placement and the opportunity to gain employment in some of the Hunter Region’s most innovative organisations,” Mr Boyd said.
The students study a multi-discipline skills program at TAFE NSW which includes the design, creation and manufacture of a product utilising advanced technologies. Importantly, they will also learn non-technical employability and work-readiness skills too.
“We want students to be job ready, so the program aims to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed for a seamless transition to work. This includes resume writing, team building skills, appropriate behaviour in the workplace and addressing any numeracy and literacy issues which could otherwise form a barrier to employment,” he said.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald MLC, said “STEMship is proving an important employment preparation strategy for some Hunter students and key industries in the region including the defence related sector.”
RDA Hunter’s STEM Workforce Manager, Rick Evans, said he’s proud that STEMship has achieved so much in so little time; it produces students who can directly contribute to the Hunter workforce with skills and technical smarts to hit the ground running.
“I am thrilled that the STEMship program, developed by RDA to help build the Hunter’s workforce, is achieving such outstanding success so quickly,” Mr Evans said.
“For example, former Toronto High School student, 17 year-old Sam Hadley, successfully completed the STEMship program last year and, as a result, has this year gone on to become Australia’s first drone industry trainee. It’s a fantastic accomplishment and we’re proud that STEMship gets results.”
“We’re all really looking forward to what the students in this year’s cohort will achieve and wish them the very best.”
STEMship is now recognised as a valuable source of suitable, job-ready personnel and a key part of the Hunter Region’s Workforce Development Strategy.
The STEMship program will commence on 1 May, 2018.