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Media release: Collaboration among all sectors is key to delivering Australia’s workforce needs

The Group of Eight (Go8) is committed to working collaboratively with Australian industry and Government to better prepare students for the workforce and meet the skills demands of new and emerging industries.

Commenting on the release today of two Government reports on workforce shortages, The Review of University-Industry Collaboration in Teaching and Learning Report and The State of Australia’s Skills 2021: Now and into the Future, Go8 Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said:

“The Go8 recognises the importance of seizing the opportunity provided by the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic to review our ongoing and future skills and education needs, and to maximise opportunities to boost the economy through workforce development.

“Universities such as the Go8 and the vocational education and training sector must walk in lockstep together if we are going to address the current skills shortages. This requires leadership from government and industry as future employers.

“Go8 universities are heavily engaged with industry stakeholders through our industry advisory councils, various accreditation bodies such as Engineers Australia and of course in the provision of research. Go8 universities collectively attract more than twice the research funding from industry and other non-government sources than the rest of the higher education sector combined.

“As Australia’s leading universities, responsible for educating students in a changing workplace environment, we have an obligation to ensure that our graduates are career ready, as opposed to simply job ready. Data suggests a graduate of today will most likely have 17 jobs across five careers in their lifetime.

“The Go8 contends that universities should always be far more than a degree factory. We are doing the community – and especially our students – a great disservice if we narrow our teaching focus only to delivering graduates with narrow skills and abilities who are capable of entering a single career.

“By better connecting education and training to the skills needs of employers, and by providing a research rich teaching environment that allows people to engage throughout their careers, we can achieve better alignment between training and qualifications and the needs of Australian industry.

“We look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders and Government to deliver the much-needed skills and high-quality workforce necessary for the ongoing prosperity of our nation.”

Contact: Vicki Thomson, Group of Eight Chief Executive on +61 417 808 472