Tech Schools will use leading-edge technology, discovery and innovation to deliver the education programs and training our students will need to compete in the global economy. They’ll be encouraged to explore their interests, and discover how far their passions can take them in their education and life journey. Each Tech School’s unique education program will complement the area’s existing education provision and training pathways, and will focus on these three areas:
STEM: preparing students for a changing world
There is a shift going on right now in the Victorian and the global economy that requires people with education and training in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Developing the STEM skills of students will ensure Victoria’s young adults are “job ready” for the future. While international benchmarks put Australia as a middle-to-upper ranked STEM-skilled workforce (often ahead of the US and UK), our business community struggles to find enough people to fill roles, many of which require strong STEM skills. Tech School programs will place a strong emphasis on STEM and some of the great careers these sectors offer. They will make STEM accessible and exciting, giving students practical experience and confidence.
Strengthening employability skills
Tech Schools will focus on building students’ interpersonal and creative skills, and their ability to grasp new ideas quickly and move smoothly between industries and even occupations. This means enhancing their employability skills such as communication, analytics, planning and organisation, problem-solving, initiative, self-management and teamwork.
Linking education to growing industries
Each Tech School will focus on a particular industry sector and liaise with industry representatives to ensure its programs are relevant and its technology is cutting-edge. The Tech Schools will be uniquely positioned to equip students with knowledge and skills in the Victorian sectors expected to provide strong economic and employment growth: medical technology and pharmaceuticals, new energy technology, food and fibre processing, transport, defence and construction technology, professional services and international education.
Years 7 to 10
Tech Schools will provide engaging discovery and “taster” programs for Years 7 to 10 to build their awareness and understanding of the many exciting training, work and career possibilities in their future. These educational programs and master classes will inspire and engage students through interactive learning using leading-edge technology, and teaching programs focused on discovery, innovation and learning by inquiry.
Years 11 and 12
Tech Schools may provide vocational education and training (VET) courses for Years 11 and 12. They will complement the region’s existing VET provision with a focus on preventing duplication and addressing any gaps. The Tech Schools will also provide enrichment and extension courses, and offer access to higher education through master classes. Learning advanced technology and essential employability skills will also be important to ensure students are equipped for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
Tech Schools STEM/Future Industries Advisory Panel
To ensure Tech Schools have access to the latest in industry knowledge, a Tech Schools STEM/Future Industries Advisory Panel has been established.
Panel members provide high-level advice to ensure that the implementation of the Tech School initiative is informed by the latest in industry scientific and technological knowledge and research. The Panel’s collective expertise will also ensure that the initiative maintains a focus on the STEM knowledge and skills that will assist students to meet the needs of emerging industries and strengthen pathways into further education and training. Panel members include:
- Gill Callister, Secretary, Department of Education and Training (Co-chair)
- Richard Bolt, Secretary, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (Co-chair)
- Doctor Amanda Caples, Lead Scientist to the Victorian Government
- Australian Industry Group
- Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE)
- Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI)
- Food Innovation Australia Ltd
- Clean Energy Council
- Design Institute of Australia
- Engineers Australia
- Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI)
- Victorian Skills Commissioner.