Susan Close MP
Acting Premier
Minister for Workforce and Population Strategy

Stephen Mullighan MP
Minister for Defence and Space Industries

Blair Boyer MP
Minister for Education, Training and Skills

Students at The Heights Technical College will be looking to the skies through an aero skills specialisation – one of the key pathways announced today for the upcoming technical college.

Aero skills is the first of the specialisations and a key qualification to enable students to work in the defence sector. The specialised skills and knowledge will allow graduates to maintain aircraft to keep planes flying safely.

An important component of the defence industry in South Australia, the aero skills sector has limited institutional vocational pathways to entry level roles within the state – an issue that will be addressed through the technical college.

An entry level pathway will be offered including the Certificate II in Aeroskills, leading to apprenticeships post-school that will help build South Australia’s aero skills sector, which will support defence and civil aviation businesses.

Set to open in 2026, the technical college in Adelaide’s north east, will support students in years 10 to 12 to complete their SACE while undertaking vocational education and training in state-of-the-art specialist facilities, designed with industry.

Following analysis of in-demand skills and engagement with stakeholders, four key industry specialisations have been identified for students attending The Heights Technical College. As well as aero skills, it will also offer:

  • Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Early Childhood and Education

The Heights Technical College is one of five being built by the Malinauskas Labor Government in South Australia, with one of those – at Findon – already open.

The $208.8 million government commitment is focused on providing students will the skills needed to work in areas of key industry demand in South Australia, including the defence sector.

The colleges are being specifically designed and built to be fit-for-purpose reflecting the modern workplace environment and equipped with the tools, equipment and training aids.

Quotes attributable to Susan Close

The specialisations are selected for each technical college after extensive consultation to identify areas of need and will prepare students for the jobs available now and into the future. 

The focus on new technologies and future industries is key to supporting the growth of South Australia’s economy.

Quotes attributable to Stephen Mullighan

Defence projects such as AUKUS and the Hunter-Class Frigates will create a generation of work for South Australians and tens of billions of dollars for SA’s economy. 

Just this week we’ve seen a new $140m commitment to upgrade the P-8A maritime patrol aircraft at Boeing Defence Australia, right here in South Australia, creating 50 new jobs in this high-skill, high-wage industry.

We want students to know they can start their journey to a career in defence while still at school, getting qualifications that will get them a job when they finish their SACE.

It’s about investing in our future.

Quotes attributable to Blair Boyer

As each of these important technical colleges takes shape, we are carefully creating tailored links between education, business and industry to strengthen student pathways from school to employment.

We are equipping school students with workplace skills and providing a pipeline of workers in industry sectors where there is the highest demand for skills.

I’m excited that we’re working with specialised industry to offer an amazing and exciting pathway for younger people, who previously might not have considered aero skills as a job opportunity.

Quotes attributable to Group Captain Martin Ball, Strategic Contracting – RAAF Edinburgh

This will be an exciting opportunity to build clear pathways to meet the workforce demands that are being experienced to support defence aircraft maintenance requirements.

Overall this has been a fantastic opportunity for industry to partner with government, and the opportunities this technical college specialisation will provide for students to build exciting careers in South Australia’s defence industries

Published On: April 17th, 2024