Fireside Chat Highlights: Can Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Meet Australia’s Future Workforce needs?

Posted: 16/11/2023
by: Mine Racho

In our recent webinar, our Senior Consultant, Higher Education, Emma Laurence was joined by Higher Education sector leaders Professor Joanne Wright (University of Sydney), Dr. Nicolene Murdoch (Western Sydney University), and Professor Ruth Bridgestock (Swinburne University) to shed light on the topic of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and its crucial role in shaping Australia’s future workforce.

In the webinar, our speakers highlighted the rapid pace of disruptive innovation and how it transforms job roles and industry sectors, and the importance of preparing graduates with strong foundational professional, critical, and metacognitive skills to navigate an ever-changing job landscape.

We also delved into the involvement of WIL providers in influencing skills-focused curriculum development. The panel stressed the importance of employer input in skills development, advocating for a collaborative approach involving students, academics, and industry representatives. They cited industry advisory boards, employer surveys, and graduate outcome assessments as good mechanisms for curriculum alignment with industry demands. Furthermore, the conversation explored the distinction between core skills provided by universities and specialised skills developed by employers, underscoring the vital role of transferable skills in student workforce readiness.

Ensuring the consistency of WIL experiences and maintaining the quality of WIL while keeping it aligned with higher education was also discussed. The panel emphasised that consistency in WIL should revolve around delivering the intended learning outcomes, not making all WIL experiences the same.

The future of WIL is expected to revolve around strengthened collaboration between students, academics and employers, fostering the organic development of new skills and professions. Additionally, the future of WIL calls for innovative thinking, with a shift away from traditional models, a renewed emphasis on the safety and well-being of students during their experiences, and a focus on ensuring the authenticity of these experiences while broadening the range of available models and maturing support systems for learners.

Watch the full webinar below. You can also watch our previous webinars, and upcoming ones on our Events and Webinars page.