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The first round of students have graduated from STEM-ship, an innovative new program aimed at preparing students for ‘jobs of tomorrow’.


Graduates completed the 15 week integrated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program at Hunter TAFE, with work placements at some of the Hunter’s most innovative STEM-orientated firms, including Varley Engineering, Jetstar, EDC Consultants, AmpControl, Bohemia Interactive Simulations, Boeing Defence and BAE Systems.


Lake Macquarie’s Sam Wellard, 17, has already received a job offer on the back of STEM-ship, securing a drafting traineeship at the firm where he completed his work placement, EDC Consultants. The Newcastle West firm also offered a second STEM-ship student, Jack Buckton, 17, a traineeship in drafting.


Sam said STEM-ship has set him on the path towards his goal of being a mechanical engineer. “STEM-ship is perfect for people who want to pursue a career around maths and engineering,” he said. “It places you straight into the field you want to work in and uses a learning environment that teaches you what you’re interested in.”
Sam and Jack will start full-time work at EDC Consultants next week. It’s a big step for the 17-year-olds who both left Toronto High School in August to undertake the STEM-ship program.
Both young men are excited about their new career in a STEM field. “We’re given an architectural drawing and an engineering drawing and we integrate both into one final drawing,” he said. “The final drawing shows the idealism of an architect with the realism of an engineer.”
The STEM-Ship program was developed by Hunter TAFE in consultation with the Department of Industry (Training Services NSW), and Regional Development Australia – Hunter’s ME Program. 
Due to the success of the pilot program, the program will expand to two groups in 2017. Training Services NSW, Hunter TAFE and the ME Program (RDA Hunter) are calling for expressions of interest for the 2017 program.  For more information please go to