RDA Hunter’s STEM Workforce Initiative is pleased to welcome a significant new industry skilling partner. Pennant Australasia, a subsidiary of the UK-based Pennant International Group that provides leading-edge aviation technical training capability to the Australian Defence Force, will join RDA Hunter’s STEM Workforce Initiative to help prepare and excite Hunter students for defence industry trade careers.

The new partnership will see Pennant bring a component of its training capability to Hunter students. RDA Hunter has purchased three Generic Hand-skills Trainers (GenSkills) that will add value to students’ learning by providing hands-on training and contextualised learning. The GenSkills kit is supported by videos, task-cards and teaching support material and will be used in Aeroskills and Engineering Studies subjects across partner schools in the Hunter. Developed and produced in the UK and assembled in Wagga Wagga, the device simulates generic military aircraft equipment, components and systems and allows students to apply their technical knowledge in a practical way.

Pennant Australasia’s Support and Business Development Manager, Stavros Tsolakides said, “We are very pleased to be working with RDA Hunter to promote aeroskills trades in the Hunter region. Our GenSkills devices provide engaging, practical, hands-on training and a tangible way for students to apply their skills. Our hope is that our equipment will help spark student interest in pursuing careers in the Hunter’s growing aerospace sector.”

Mr Tsolakides and two of Pennant’s senior trainers, Tim Adams and Steve Godwin, visited the Hunter last week to undertake a series of training sessions with students, teachers and education providers. Students at Glendale Technology High School and All Saints’ St Mary’s Maitland were introduced to the training units and excited by the opportunities the ‘real’ equipment provides. Their teachers, too, were enthusiastic about the prospects it presents for contextualising engineering concepts.

Pennant staff also joined RDA Hunter’s industry pavilion at the Newcastle Lake Macquarie Careers Expos in Newcastle and Maitland. They showcased the GenSkills units to many of the Expo’s 6,000 attendees and promoted engineering job opportunities available in the Hunter’s defence industry.

RDA Hunter thanks Defence NSW for its ongoing support of the STEMship skilling project and contributing to a job-ready, STEM-skilled Hunter workforce for the future. Visit https://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/defence-nsw/what-we-do/nsw-defence-and-industry-strategy

For more information visit www.rdahunterstem.org.au or visit http://www.pennantplc.co.uk/