Engaging education and training systems with 21st c industry sectors
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Engaging Education and Training Systems with 21st c Industry Sectors. RMIT World Graduates Conference 29 November 2007 Dr Rob Simons Head of Research and Evaluation The Smith Family. Engaging Education and Training Systems with 21st c Industry Sectors. Challenges for Universities.

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Engaging education and training systems with 21st c industry sectors

Engaging Education and Training Systems with 21st c Industry Sectors

RMIT World Graduates Conference

29 November 2007

Dr Rob Simons

Head of Research and Evaluation

The Smith Family


Engaging education and training systems with 21st c industry sectors1

Engaging Education and Training Systems with 21st c Industry Sectors

Challenges for Universities


Model development and changes in the social landscape

Model development and changes in the social landscape

  • Greater diversity of institutional types at the tertiary level and quicker responsivness to globalising trends and informational based economies (AFR 5 Nov 2007)

  • Within the social landscape: a disadvantaged sub-population that remains isolated or on the periphery of opportunity (Michael Chaney)

  • Children, youth and adults in the ‘other Australia’ face financial, educational and technological barriers to participation derived from long-term intergenerational marginalisation (The Smith Family)

  • Australia needs educational policy and systems that connect primary, secondary and tertiary sectors.


Educational and training pathways into the labour market

Educational and training pathways into the labour market

Participation and Employment

  • Move the current debate from labour demand to labour supply

  • Unemployment figures do not represent the full extent of people with potential to be employed

  • Policies to encourage people from non-participation to looking for work to gaining and retaining employment

  • Universities and business can be more closely involved in improving participation outcomes by addressing pathway development.


Gaps in workforce participation

Gaps in Workforce Participation

  • Indigenous adults in all age groups remain below the non-Indigenous population: In 2006, 67.34% of Indigenous adults 15 to 64 were in the labour force compared with 76.3% of the non-indigenous population.

  • Approximately 45,000 to 55,000 early school leavers not taking up full-time work, education or a combination of both (AIG / DSF It’s Crunch Time, 2007).

  • Nearly 40% of sole parents are not in the labour force.

  • NESB immigrants have significantly lower participation rates than those from English-speaking backgrounds (52.6% and 65.9% respectively).


Short term goals long term strategies

Short term goals / long term strategies

  • Short term to reduce the current pool of individuals not participating:

    • formulation of a framework for good program design, delivery and monitoring processes

    • dissemination of best practice.

  • Long term to reduce the likelihood that people find themselves in such circumstances:

    • Early childhood development and early school education

    • Greater engagement between universities and business and secondary schools for more job ready students

    • Competency based teacher certification program

    • More autonomy and improved training for school principals.


Engaging education and training systems with 21st c industry sectors2

Engaging Education and Training Systems with 21st c Industry Sectors

Transformation of education and training systems


Why the challenge

Why the challenge?

  • Too many young people achieve only minimum standards

  • Young people in the lowest quarter or not completing Year 12 are more likely to experience multiple periods of time outside work and are less likely to engage in further education or training (Hillman, 2005)

  • Throughout school there are wide variations in students’ levels of achievement

  • By Year 5, the top 10 per cent of children in reading are at least five years ahead of the bottom 10 per cent (Masters & Forster, 1997).

  • By the end of primary in the UK, the highest achieving students in mathematics are reported to be approximately six years ahead of the lowest achievers (Harlen, 1997)

  • In the USA variability in maths levels 2 – 7 increases across the years (Hauser, 2003).


Widening achievement gaps in australia

Widening achievement gaps in Australia

  • Low SES and indigenous students tend to be over represented in the tail of achievement levels

  • In the basic skills of literacy and numeracy, up to 10 per cent of students achieve only minimal levels by Year 7 (MCEETYA, 2007)

  • Young people in the bottom 25 per cent on literacy and numeracy tests in Year 9 are four times more likely to leave school early that those in the top 25 per cent (Abelson, 2002)


Too few people ready for the workforce

Too few people ready for the workforce

  • Currently, 87 per cent of available jobs require post-school qualifications, but 50 per cent of the workforce lacks these qualifications (Australian Industry Group, 2006)

  • Based on current supply, new entrants and skilled migration, there will be a projected shortfall of 240,000 people with VET qualifications

  • As a result, one in seven jobs requiring VET qualifications either will be unfilled or filled with an inappropriately skilled person (Centre for the Economics of Education andTraining).


Why transformation

Why transformation?

  • World-class education and training gives young Australians the best opportunity for a rewarding career and life long learning

  • A large proportion of Australia’s schools are ill-equipped for the challenges of the 21st c

  • Schools need to be better connected with their communities, more flexible and responsive to local needs

  • Young people need opportunities to learn in a wide range of contexts and with flexible time frames

  • Policies and systems that increase education and training levels can benefit individuals, standards of living and social cohesion (Access Economics, 2005).


Business as a partner and a leader

Business as a partner and a leader

  • Partnerships between universities, business and schools (government and non-government) and community organisations are keys to

    • greater innovation and local responsiveness

    • alternative sources of funding

    • and greater sharing and more efficient use of human resources and physical facilities

  • Businesses can lead strategically in the areas of

    • Teaching and learning

    • Human capital development (teachers and principals)

    • Systems and structures (E & Y Best in Class).


Engaging education and training systems with 21st c industry sectors3

Engaging Education and Training Systems with 21st c Industry Sectors

Bridging the gap between educational research and classroom practice


Research for innovation and breakthrough

Research for innovation and breakthrough

What research is telling us

  • The greatest opportunities for improving educational outcomes reside in teaching and learning processes (The Economist October 2007): best teachers, best performance, intervene when students lag behind

  • Monitor the progress of individual learners

  • Customise or personalise teaching and learning to the needs of individual learners

    NB None of the above will be possible for all students without systemic reform.


Applying the research

Applying the research

The Strategic Education Research Partnership:

  • Builds long-term partnerships that allow researchers and educators to craft agendas in response to local needs

  • Shifts the priorities of researchers so that creating tools and strategies to improve student learning is given precedence to developing theoretical models and publishing scholarly work

  • Breaks down barriers that often exist between researchers from different specialty areas

  • Creates national networks of researchers and educators to generate new knowledge, adapt research, and develop continuously improved tools and services to improve practice across sites and for all schools.


Engaging education and training systems with 21st c industry sectors4

Engaging Education and Training Systems with 21st c Industry Sectors

Strategic roles and contributions of universities and business across educational sectors


Five key areas

Five key areas

Design and implementation of effective programs to address our population gaps in participation and employment impeding the growth of labour supply

Design and implementation of strategies to impact on future generations of labour supply through inclusion of a range of early childhood, education and health initiatives

Leveraging of resources from universities, business, governments and schools to demonstrate through innovation

Leveraging of resources strategically in teaching and learning, human capital, and educational systems and structures

Translation of educational research into best practice in the classroom for work readiness at all levels.


Engaging education and training systems with 21st c industry sectors5

Engaging Education and Training Systems with 21st c Industry Sectors

RMIT World Graduates Conference

29 November 2007

Dr Rob Simons

Head of Research and Evaluation

The Smith Family


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