Addressing Australia's long-term skill shortages is vital to ensuring Australia's economic growth and international competitiveness. Australia's universities directly support the development of a skilled workforce and productive economy, with more than 160,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students completing their studies each year.
Even while studying, Australian university students contribute substantially to the Australian workforce. A National Internship Scheme will enable more Australian university students to undertake structured work-based learning in industry during their studies. Such a scheme will realise a potential for providing increased income support for students delivered in a way that complements their studies and increases their future employability and productivity.
Integrating study and work experience in a systematic way is not new to university experience. The professions have long forged close links between the tertiary education process and the workplace, and other areas have followed suit. There is compelling evidence, however, of an even wider unmet need for generally trained, flexible graduates with relevant experience and enhanced work readiness. Recent progress in this direction has been impressive, but much more can be done.
To read the full discussion paper, download the PDF below.