Key Australian industry groups have joined with Universities Australia to develop a national strategy that will enable Australian students to have better access to work-related training that ties in with the courses they are studying.
The new strategy, called Work Integrated Learning (WIL), will see an increase in initiatives such as work placements, internships, shadowing programs and practical projects. These are already an integral part of some degrees, like medicine and teaching, but Universities Australia says there is a pressing need to develop an overarching national strategy that will expand these types of activities to other degrees in order to ‘improve graduate job prospects and meet the skills needs of employers’.
The industry groups supporting this initiative are the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Industry Group, the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Collaborative Education Network.
The National WIL Strategy proposes action in eight key areas:
Provide national leadership to expand Work Integrated Learning (WIL).
Clarify government policy and regulatory settings to enable and support growth in WIL.
Build support – among students, universities, employers across all sectors and governments – to increase participation in WIL.
Ensure the investment in WIL is well-targeted and enables sustainable, high-quality experiences, stakeholder participation and growth.
Develop university resources, processes and systems to grow WIL and engage business and community partners.
Build capacity for more employers to participate in WIL.
Address equity and access issues to enable students to participate in WIL.
Increase WIL opportunities for international students and for domestic students to study offshore.