Metals & Engineering

Course Description

The St Patrick’s Technical College Metals & Engineering program prepares you for a career in the manufacturing, engineering, advanced manufacturing, mining, resources and defence industries.

You will become skilled at welding (oxy, mig, arc and tig), cutting, shaping and manufacturing metal structures and components, machining using lathes and milling machines as well as design.

Metals & Engineering students at StPatsTech undertake projects designed by the team at Century Engineering as part of the Australian Government’s $5.1 million P-TECH project. Projects span Century’s capabilities in South Australia including water, defence, rail, power, resources and energy applications.

The P-TECH – Century Engineering projects give you the opportunity to apply your learning from the College’s industry-focused STEM curriculum plus the Engineering qualification that forms part of your program. Key personnel from Century Engineering, including engineers and technicians, work with you on the projects and as mentors throughout the program.

This program is part of the StPatsTech School of Engineering & Transport. To see the other pathways available in this sub-school, visit the Programs page.

Course Structure

StPatsTech-Machine-EngineeringAll students at St Patrick’s Technical College study a nationally-accredited technical / vocational qualification while completing the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE).

Industry Focused SACE
> General Mathematics
> Mathematics
> Physics
> Design Technology (Material Products)

Work Ready Skills
> Essential English
> Skills for Life
> Workplace practices
> Cross-disciplinary Studies
> Community Studies (focus on physical health, fitness, well-being and nutrition to prepare students for the workplace)

Vocational Training
> Certificate II in Engineering (Engineering Pathways) (MEM20413)

Our fully integrated courses mean you don’t sacrifice your high school education while undertaking vocational training, either through one of our certificate courses or through our School-based Apprenticeship program.

All subjects at StPatsTech are specifically written with reference to your technical training while the vocational qualification is an industry relevant and highly practical TAFE SA course.


St Patrick’s Technical College – Engineering workshop

Curriculum Information

Expand All Core Training

Certificate II in Engineering - Engineering Pathways (MEM20413)


Course content includes: MIG/ARC welding, TIG welding, brazing and soldering, hand / power tools, fabrication skills.

See below for full list of competencies associated with this AQF qualification delivered in partnership with TAFE SA.

Design Technology (Engineering)

Design Technology (Engineering) allows students to experience opportunities to learn and apply practical design to set projects while gaining confidence of key trade skills such as welding, brazing, oxyacetylene cutting and basic machine tool operation. This emphasis is consistent with the College’s approach of preparing students for employment opportunities. This program has been prepared with the assistance of Industry Advisory Groups with competencies counting toward pre-apprenticeship training criteria. Practical projects are created to be included in a student’s employment portfolio. This subject is part of the Year 12 pre-apprenticeship program.

Integrated Learning

Students apply their knowledge and skills to a real-world task, event, learning opportunity, or context, which leads to a specific purpose, product, or outcome. The subject draws links between aspects of students’ lives and their learning. Students develop and demonstrate their collaboration, teamwork, and self-awareness, and evaluate their learning. This subject is part of the Year 12 pre-apprenticeship program.

Expand All SACE / Trade Theory

Essential English

Our literacy program prepares students to communicate effectively within the workplace. This subject provides students with skills required to enhance their oral and written skills. Students learn techniques to improve their employment opportunities, their ability to work in a team and their effectiveness to communicate with customers and clients. Areas such as the planning and writing of job applications, procedures when writing curriculum vitae and the appropriate use of email and other electronic communications are also studied in this course.

Essential Mathematics

Our numeracy program enables students to develop the mathematical skills necessary to ensure their success and is both practical and theoretical in nature. Students study units of measurement, measuring devices, length, perimeter, area and volume. These units also include components in costing, quoting and scale drawing. These units are fundamental to the success of all students completing a trade and give students a clear understanding of the relevance between mathematics and their chosen career pathway.


In the study of mathematics students participate in a wide variety of problem-solving activities. The subject gives students the abilities and skills required in the workplace and in everyday life. Students also learn to appreciate, experience and understand mathematics as a growing body of knowledge in contemporary situations. They learn how to approach new challenges by investigating, modelling, reasoning, visualising, and problem-solving, with the goal of communicating to others the relationships observed and problems solved.


This subject focuses on the application of Physics in trade based situations. It enables students to develop their knowledge of the principles and concepts that underpin these applications and hence prepare the students to move into school-based apprenticeships or traineeships. Learning is based on the following three topics: Electricity- Static and Current, Magnetism- Fields and Electromagnetic Induction and Waves – Sound and Light – and is based on practical investigations that allow students to critically evaluate their procedures and results before drawing conclusions.

Research Project

In the Research Project, students have the opportunity to study an area of interest in depth. They use their creativity and initiative, while developing the research and presentation skills they will need in further study or work.

Expand All Work Ready Skills

Skills for Life

The Skills for Life program provides students with meaningful and positive experiences as part of the College’s Catholic community. It aims to develop students knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the dignity of the human person, living in relationship and the nature of freedom and responsibility. It helps students to recognise how they can impact and make a difference in their community and to develop skills and values in relation to what is meaningful and significant to their lives.

Workplace Practices

In Workplace Practices students develop knowledge, skills, and understanding of the nature, type and structure of the workplace. They learn about the value of unpaid work to society, future trends in the world of work, workers' rights and responsibilities and career planning. Our extensive Work Experience program is a key component of this subject allowing students to develop and reflect on their capabilities, interests, and aspirations.

Pre-Vocational Competencies

MEM20413 Certificate II in Engineering (Engineering Pathways)
Code Unit Title
MEM13014A Apply principles of occupational health and safety in the work environment
MSAENV272B Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices
MEMPE005A Develop a career plan for the engineering and manufacturing industry
MEMPE006A Undertake a basic engineering project
MEM18001C Use hand tools
MEM18002B Use power tools/hand held operations
MEM16008A Interact with computer technology
MEMPE002A Use electric welding machines
MEMPE003A Use oxy-acetylene and soldering equipment
MEMPE004A Use fabrication equipment
MEMPE007A Pull apart and reassemble engineering mechanisms
MSAPMSUP106A Work in a team

Work Experience

StPatsTech is focused on helping you move into the workforce. Our Work Ready Skills program gives you the edge when it comes to applying for a job.

Embedded in all the subjects that make up the Work Ready Skills program you’ll discover the key skills that employers are looking for and how you can develop them:

  • People skills
  • Reliability
  • Literacy and numeracy
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Positive attitude and work ethic
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Digital literacy
  • Problem solving

To help you develop these skills and introduce you to potential employers, the College conducts an extensive Work Experience program. All students are expected to undertake a minimum of six weeks of placement in the world of work per year.


As part of your program at StPatsTech, we’ll support you to move into an apprenticeship as soon as you’re ready.

Metals-&-Engineering-Course-CaricatureSt Patrick’s Technical College is the School-based Apprenticeship and Traineeship (SbAT) specialist.

A SbAT is a mix of academic, vocational education, training and employment.

Through your SbAT at StPatsTech, employment skills and real-world experience are an integral part of your school program.

Our apprenticeship program is the only one of its kind in South Australia. We allow you and
your employer maximum flexibility so you both get the most out of your SbAT.

In Year 12 you can spend more than 40 weeks full-time with your employer in paid work. This means completing up to the first year of your apprenticeship at the same time as finishing your SACE with support from the College.

StPatsTech StPatsTech automatically upgrade to full-time apprenticeships after graduation.

Career Pathways

Within the metals and engineering industry, you may be involved in activities such as cutting, pressing or casting metal, welding or grinding and working with heavy machinery, computer technology, cabling and mechanical equipment.

Career opportunities in the industry include:

  • Structural steel and welding trades
  • Sheetmetal trades
  • Metal fitters and machinists
  • Precision metal trades
  • Refrigeration & air-conditioning mechanics.