STEMship is Australia’s first VET pre-employment program focusing on the development of STEM skills at a technical level. The program was developed by RDA Hunter and the NSW Department of Industry (Training Services NSW), and is delivered by Hunter TAFE (now TAFE NSW) to contribute to a highly-skilled job-ready talent pool.

In 2018 the Program includes:
• TAFE NSW will complete an innovative, multi-disciplinary skills-set which will include the design and manufacture of a product utilising advanced technologies
• A full qualification in Certificate III Engineering—Technical (MEM30505)
• 17 weeks completing a combination of training and work placement (25 hours per week)
• An opportunity to gain work placement in some of the Hunter Region’s most innovative organisations
• Industry site tours to promote awareness of employment pathways

Used as a regional case study by the OECD, the program is industry-led, which provides a VET pathway for students to move into employment, highly technical apprenticeships and traineeships, higher level Certificate IV, diploma qualifications, or university once they complete the Program. The Program was designed to bridge the gap between secondary and university STEM programs and align with industry policy at both State and Federal levels.

Despite the program’s infancy, and small scale, it has generated overwhelmingly positive outcomes in its pilot stage. The majority of students gained employment at the completion of the course. In 2016, of the 16 to complete the course, eight were successful in gaining apprenticeships and three continued into VET courses, and in 2017 even better results, with 10 out of 15 starting apprenticeships and five VET courses.

RDA Hunter’s STEM Workforce Development Manager Rick Evans, said of STEMship, created by RDA Hunter in 2016, “We are thrilled that the program we developed to help build the Hunter’s workforce has achieved such outstanding success so quickly.”

“The Program’s outcomes reinforce the success of an industry-led model such as this. STEMship has directly contributed to a Hunter workforce with skills and technical smarts that can hit the ground running. We’re pretty proud of that!” Rick continued.

The Program is supported by TAFE NSW, Training Services NSW, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet and Defence NSW.

Students are invited to complete the expression of interest form to join the 2018 intake by visiting

Applications close at 5pm on Friday 16th March 2018.

View the STEMship video

Download the flyer

2018 STEMship Flyer (856 KB)

STEMship Results in Australia’s First Drone Traineeship

STEMship Case Study – Sam Hadley (643 KB)