SA Training Awards success for StPatsTech

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St Patrick’s Technical College is today celebrating the announcement that two students, a staff member, an Old Scholar and one of the College’s industry programs have been named finalists in the Training and Skills Commission’s South Australian Training Awards.

Two StPatsTech students were listed among just four young people in the School-based Apprentice of the Year category. College Leader Santiago Bribiesca Diaz was named finalist for his work with the Mayfair Hotel, where he is studying a Certificate III in Hospitality. He is joined by Year 11 student Cain Gerrits who is undertaking a Certificate III in Solid Brick Plastering with his family’s business Gerrits Plastering.

Teacher Linda Burton, who is also an electrical contractor running a family business with her husband Lee alongside teaching at the College, was named a finalist in the VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year category.

The College’s unique Northern Adelaide P-TECH Australia program in the Industry Collaboration Award. The StPatsTech P-TECH Australia program is run in collaboration with TAFE SA, the Defence Teaming Centre, Saab Australia, Century Engineering and PMB Defence to bring industry directly into the classroom to address skills needs within the Defence workspace.

Finally, 2014 Old Scholar Jarrod Morton was named finalist in the Apprentice of the Year category. Jarrod works for Ben Thomson Electrical as an apprentice electrician. He secured his apprenticeship through PEER during Year 12 at StPatsTech, completing senior secondary education as a School-based Apprentice. Upon graduating from StPatsTech at the end of 2014, Jarrod’s apprenticeship was converted to a full-time position.

Playford City Mayor Glenn Docherty congratulated the College on its success.

“Having four finalists shows the staff and students of St Patrick’s Technical College are dedicated and committed to trade training, which means the skills and the future for northern Adelaide is enhanced,’’ Mr Docherty said.

He said employers being able to source quality apprentices was not only a benefit to the young person in terms of gaining skills for life, but of huge value to businesses and the economy in northern Adelaide.

StPatsTech Principal Danny Deptula congratulated the four finalists. “We are extremely proud of all our finalists and wish them all the best for the awards in September,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“With two StPatsTech students among the four named as finalists is the School-based Apprentice of the Year category, the College takes that as a sign we are getting it right in terms of producing aspirational young men and women with the talent for a trade or technical career.

“Santiago and Cain could not be any more different in their chosen trade, showing again that one size does not fit all when it comes to education and training. But by meeting the needs of the individual and being able to tailor programs to suit the particular talents and interests of students, StPatTech is hitting a winning formula.’’

Mr Deptula said the College has long held the view that trade training is “not less than university” and could even outweigh universities in terms of personal, professional and financial success for young people.

Mr Deptula said the College was able to maintain its strong link to industry by employing tradesmen and women as trainers/teachers, such as Ms Burton. Mr Deptula said as an electrician herself, Ms Burton was able to provide her students with real-world knowledge. He said her passion for teaching the next generation of electrotechnology workers and ensuring they are taught to industry standards, along with her care for her students, were a great asset to the College.

The College’s finalist berth in the Industry Collaboration Award further demonstrated its close working relationships with industry, Mr Deptula said.

In 2017, the College became one of 14 schools throughout Australia to sign on to the Australian Government’s $5.1 million P-TECH Australia initiative. Together with TAFE SA, the Defence Teaming Centre, Century Engineering, PMB Defence and Century Engineering, StPatsTech has brought industry and students directly together to build the skills of the young people of Adelaide.

The initiative includes three distinct programs in the Engineering, Electrotechnology and Information Technology industries and helps students build practical skills for businesses operating in the Defence industry sector.

The SA Training Awards Presentation Dinner will be held of Friday, September 7 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

To vote for one of the StPatsTech finalists in the People’s Choice category go to the SA Training Awards website.