Monthly Archives: June 2018

Jerome hits the tools

Year 12 Automotive student Jerome Cook was today signed up for his apprenticeship, making him the College’s 867th young person to do so in the past decade.

Jerome will join Adelaide Crane Maintenance as a heavy vehicle mechanic. He was signed to a School-based Apprenticeship, meaning he will complete Year 12 at the end of the year.

Principal Danny Deptula congratulated Jerome on gaining his apprenticeship and thanked Adelaide Crane Maintenance for employing local youth.

Mr Deptula said the College strongly encouraged students to complete high school by signing up to School-based Apprenticeships. He said the College’s innovative and flexible approach to education saw School-based Apprentices at school just six weeks a year in Year 12, and 40 weeks with their employer.

This meant they were able to pick up their on-the-job skills, complemented by trade school and still attain their SACE.

“We know, and statistics show, that if you complete Year 12 you are more likely to remain in employment,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“We also know that as a School-based Apprentice, if you complete high school you will earn more when you go into your second year compared to if you left school early and went into a full-time apprenticeship.’’

He said with the new Liberal State Government committing to nearly 21000 new apprenticeships and traineeships in the next four years combined with StPatsTech students were at the forefront for jobs.

StPatsTech has seen more than 30 students signed to School-based Apprenticeships in the first half of the year, and a further nearly 20 opt for full-time apprenticeships.

Jerome is pictured with his new employer Heath Lithgow from Adelaide Crane Maintenance

Learning to love Maths!

Maths can be fun. That was the message St Patrick’s Technical College students heard on Monday from Australian of the Year – Local Hero Eddie Woo.

Mr Woo, who is a maths teacher from Sydney, has come to national attention with his WooTube channel which provides high-energy, easy-to-follow lessons for students as well as offering resources for teachers.

StPatsTech students from the College’s Year 11 Electrotechnology and Information Technology classes attended a special schools presentation by Mr Woo at Golden Grove High School thanks to funding from the Advanced Technology Project.

STEM teacher Bradley Sheridan said Mr Woo shared with students some of his background as migrant from Malaysia and why he had chosen a career as a maths teacher.

“He spoke about some of the key people in history in mathematics as well as trying to break some of the common stereotypes of mathematicians that some may have,” Mr Sheridan said.

Throughout his presentation, Eddie would pause and test the audience with a brain teaser or a mathematics problem. He finished with some questions and answers at the end.

“One of Eddie’s major points was that mathematics is about ‘play, teamwork’ and that is a ‘story’. The students really enjoyed Eddie’s presentation and felt a deeper appreciation for mathematics and where it is used in our world,’’ Mr Sheridan said.

Mr Sheridan thanked Year 11 Coordinator Nicola Swiderski for her help on the day.

Pictured: Hamish, Conor and Tyler with Eddie Woo.

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.

Making healthy choices

Year 12 students expanded their cooking repertoire, hitting St Patrick’s Technical College’s commercial kitchen to make sausage rolls.

As part of their Health students, the students made two types of sausage rolls – chicken and vegetable and traditional. Teacher Nicola Swiderski said the goal of the cooking day was to provide the students, who hope to become apprentices soon, with some different healthy lunch choices.

“These young people will rely on taking packed lunches to work, especially if they are working away on job sites,’’ Ms Swiderski said.

“So as part of our commitment to encouraging healthy lifestyles and preparing young people for the world of work, we wanted to share with them some healthy and affordable lunch options they can make themselves.’’

Ms Swiderski said while the humble sandwich was still a firm favourite in Aussie lunch boxes, she hoped the cooking class would expand the diet of the students.

Student Herbertia Barber-Watts said she had enjoyed the cooking class and would be making the sausage rolls again.

Pictured are Engineering students Herbertia and Jack during their cooking class.

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