Connecting The World of Learning and Work

Earlier this year, The Mitchell Institute brought together a group of leaders for a policy roundtable – to build greater understanding of the roles industry can play in education. ABCN was proud to be invited to participate and contribute to this valuable discussion.

The outcome of that research is the report Connecting the World of Learning and Work by Kate Torii, Policy Analyst with The Mitchell Institute. The report recognises the importance of providing opportunities for students to build connections with professionals outside their immediate communities and family networks, develop the skills and mindsets that will be needed for future jobs, and importantly, to do this in real world contexts.

And as we continue to see through the work we do at ABCN, business education partnerships offer shared benefits for all. As this latest report reveals, these include:

  • Providing students with an awareness of emerging jobs and capabilities for the workforce and improving transitions from school to work;
  • Helping employers cultivate the skills that will be required for emerging jobs, and address workforce gaps (including STEM skills), providing employee engagement opportunities and enhance corporate social responsibility;
  • Assisting schools with leadership development, and sharing information to ensure the cross-pollination of teaching and learning innovations, up-to-date industry insights and industry-standard technologies;
  • Bringing communities closer together and increase national productivity.

The report found that collaboration between business and education can make a difference by enabling students to engage with the world of work as part of school learning. ‘Bringing the worlds of learning and work together is the core of what we do at ABCN’, says Allegra Spender, ABCN’S CEO. ‘Our mentoring programs aim to give students the opportunities to meet and learn from business mentors, to develop the skills, aspirations, mindsets, and connections to help them reach their full potential in the future world of work. The impact of our programs substantiates this latest research, and it’s great to see this report developing a broader conversation.’

The report also recognises that preparing students, and business, for the future world of work requires a systemic approach, and recommends government establish new systems to support industry partnerships in all schools. The report identifies three things governments can do in this regard:

  • Value and measure school-industry partnerships at the system level, by tracking where partnerships are happening, what they involve, how effective they are, and who is missing out.
  • Make sure school-industry partnerships are a priority in all schools; partnerships need time and resources.
  • Make it easier for all parties to engage in school-industry partnerships by addressing the barriers that currently exist around regulation, information, and equity.
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