August 31, 2012

New tools to facilitate industry-university engagement

Today the IRU network of seven universities has launched a range of materials to encourage industry and universities to work together to develop Australia’s future skilled workforce.

Businesses are encouraged to work with universities and students to create mutually beneficial projects and placements that align with the curriculum – what is commonly known as work integrated learning (WIL).

The new documents provide a practical toolkit for employers. Discipline specific information is also provided for areas which are newer to the WIL concept – Business, Creative Arts, Information Technology, and Law.

Developed by the IRU, the resources have received input from industry peak bodies including the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI), the Australian Industry Group (AIG) and the Business Council of Australia (BCA).

The documents provide businesses with information about work integrated learning and the significant benefits that can be derived by engaging in this practice.

“To ensure Australia’s future productivity, industry and universities must deepen their collaboration on a range of fronts. Working with industry to provide students with work based opportunities is a crucial part of an ongoing dialogue whereby employers can have input into the curriculum and nurture Australia’s emerging talent and students are able to obtain invaluable firsthand experience in their chosen career.

“We encourage all Australian business to engage with universities to meet the demand for career based experiences for our students”, said Professor Ian O’Connor, IRU Chair.

This new suite of documents build on the set of case study resources published by IRU in 2011 which provided examples of student placement experiences from an employer’s perspective across a range of industries and disciplines.