Australian school students ‘not prepared for the world of work’

Australian school students are struggling to transition into the world of work after school, according to a new report.

A study by the Mitchel Institute at Victoria University claims young people are not developing workplace skills at school which is affecting their success in the real world.

“Young people today are staying in education longer than ever and might not connect with the world of work until they’re in their twenties,” Mitchell Institute Director, Megan O’Connell said.


“We need to make sure every student can access meaningful experiences that provide connections with people outside of usual school and family networks.

“All students should be able to think about how the world of work aligns with their passions and interests at school.”

The report has found that bringing the worlds of education and work closer together is vital to allow students to transition more smoothly into employment.

“Effective school-industry partnerships could create smoother transitions from training to careers, help address skills gaps and increase national productivity,” Ms O’Connell said.

“Partnerships between schools and industry is one of the best ways to make sure students understand and develop the skills they need for their future careers, so this needs to be a priority for all Australian schools.

According to the report, our current educational model which has a large emphasis on test results is to blame.

“There are barriers preventing all schools from forming industry partnerships,” the report says.

“Australia’s schooling system is designed to focus on things that can be widely measured, like NAPLAN and ATAR, instead of students’ transitions to life after school. Vocational courses traditionally include industry exposure but participation rates are declining.”

The report says to move forward, governments must improve systems to ensure all students have quality experiences with the world of work at school.

“Currently there are complex administrative requirements getting in the way of partnerships working – we need to do more to simplify these across the country,” Ms O’Connell said.

“To achieve the benefits, we need a system that supports industry partnerships alongside the curriculum in all Australian schools.”

A review of Australia’s current curriculum is expected to take place by 2020.