Regional Development Australia (RDA) Central West is collaborating with RDAs Hunter and Southern Inland to pilot a program that provides students in years 5 to 8 in each region with age appropriate STEM skills and pathways to STEM jobs.
Funded by the NSW Department of Education, the STEM Industry School Partnership (SISP) Program matches schools in each region with an industry partner and technology program.
The SISP builds on successful school/industry partnerships and workforce development initiatives that have been undertaken in the Hunter Region by RDA Hunter, who will provide a mentoring role in this project.
Industry partners are region specific and chosen for the workforce opportunities they present in each area. Representatives from each partner organisation engage with students during school visits – explaining the variety of jobs they offer, what the jobs entail and the education pathways students need to undertake to get them.
“One of the STEM teachers involved in this program said students can’t be what they can’t see. This program is about helping our students and teachers see what amazing opportunities they will have right here in regional NSW and help our local industries work with them to create pathways to employment,” said RDA Central West CEO, Julia Andrews.
RDA Central West will focus on the expanding ag-tech industry for the period of this pilot. Emerging opportunities in freight, logistics and construction from the building of the Inland Rail over the next decade will also be considered.
Recently RDA Central West CEO, Julia Andrews and Matt Scott, Head teacher STEM from Canobolas Rural Technology High School met with project partners in Newcastle to progress the project.
“We want to make sure our local Schools are catering for the needs of local industries, but we also see this project as a unique economic driver for the Central West,” said Ms Andrews.
“By addressing future skills needs of local industries, our educators can tailor their programs to appropriately engage, inspire and upskill the next generation of workers, while creating regional employment opportunities so our kids can continue to live locally while fulfilling their career aspirations.”
The pilot project will culminate in a joint showcase in Bathurst, NSW in December 2018.
Media Contact: Julia Andrews, CEO, RDA Central West Ph; 0448 288 698