MELBOURNE, Aug 6 -The nation's first two Pathways in Technology Early Career High schools will target disadvantaged young students and foster new ties between industry and education in Geelong and Ballarat.
Abbott says the P-Tech schools will mirror a Pathways in Technology college he visited on a recent US tour.
"I went to visit what's called a a P-Tech school in Brooklyn, which is a very tough part of town," Abbott told reporters in Geelong.
"But because of the integration of business into the education system, kids who might have ended up without much of a future were going on to get jobs with IBM, one of the world's greatest companies."
The pilot programs will begin in 2016 in Geelong at Newcomb Secondary College and at Federation College in Ballarat.
P-Tech students will be supported by industry mentors as they work towards a science, technology, engineering or mathematics-related diploma or associate degree.
The Federal Government has also put $14 million towards the opening of a new Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre at Deakin University, and a further $1.3 million for regional job seeker support programs.
"Geelong is a region in transition - from traditional smokestack industries to a dynamic, modern economy based on higher education, advanced manufacturing and tourism," Abbott said.
The region has been hard hit by the 2014 closure of Alcoa's aluminium smelter at Point Henry, and also the winding-up of Australia's car industry.
Ford is due to cease car manufacturing at its Geelong factory in 2016.