1. Employability Issues debated: Terms: employability vs. work-readiness Generation Y students, academics to keep up to date: workplace experiences for them? New concept: Employability Rankings?? Further research? Who would decide? Development of attributes the industry wants – to be included in the T&L Strategy Key role of industry-academia partnerships Recommend: Soft skills to be part of curriculum
2. Life Skills Cognitive personal skills and interpersonal skills Time management Communication skills, specifically English Report writing skills Business dress … the above and more to be integrated into the curriculum
3. Workforce Development Thailand, Japan, SA Strategic, political, policy and social commitment Partnership: business/employers + Government + employees/ students Life-long learning/ WIL/ RPL = formal and informal Cohesive-collective-partnership approach with targets, deliverable and incentives Balanced scorecard measures for academics, workplace managers and the WIL student
4. Application of Academic Learning Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is seen one way of applying academic learning How do we apply it in soft Sciences programs? Who sets the agenda of WIL Industry or Educational Institutions? Key question: to what extent are experiences the students gained in industry integrated into the curriculum? The German Berufsacademy system as a bench mark for South Africa?
5. Research – Academic and Workplace – 4 sub-groups Policy and Practice on WIL - policy and research vacuum Recommendation: WACE to urgently support countries to address this and to develop a policy framework for countries to contextualise - terminology; legislative WIL framework; qualification/ curriculum aspects with WIL a pedagogical issue Publishing research Research themes and questions: more themes suggested Student support Successful WIL Workplace supervisors Workplaces Productivity Faculty/academic staff Educational practice
6. Innovation Germany, SA and Japan Innovation = sharing of ideas + focus on processes + results Partnerships between university/academics + industry + communities Promote self-employment + entrepreneurship + small businesses
7. Work-readiness Suggestion 1: WACE (and other National Associations) to consider making self-training resources available via the website on these important topics. Education Institutions to direct their students to these valuable resources. Suggestion 2: SAs Higher Education and Training Ministry to be lobbied to ensure that work-readiness programmes become a formal part of every qualification – whether a WIL component is present or not. Suggestion 3: WACE and its member organisations and Higher Education to make concerted efforts to bring industry partners to Co-op and WIL-related conferences/workshops: industry participation is key to the success of WIL.
8. Community development Discussion on roles of organizations in terms of community development and issues universities are facing Difference of opinion from participants from the private/public sector and academics as to what community development means in the different contexts: clarity required Suggestions: Public and Private sector should share ideas/research, needs with universities Partnerships development with universities The need for efficient mentors to shadow projects
9. Partnerships: initiation, management and maintenance All role players are key: education; industry, government Clear ROI for all: the importance of reciprocity Government to create the enabling environment Academic staff with both academic and industry experience needed Partnerships evolve over time
10. Curriculum development and reinforcement Aspects to be addressed: Lack of monitoring of students by the University WIL to be a formal credit bearing component Innovative approaches to WIL welcomed Partnership between the University and Industry through forums such as advisory committees to be improved Inclusion of soft skills in the curriculum Social responsibility of students learning was noted Training of mentors at the workplace: role/responsibilities A more structured approach in terms of the role of supervisor and assessment practices needed WIL funding
Common themes Triple helix partners + community coming in Partnership development ROI, measurement and balanced scorecard – for all Workplace readiness/employability Research into WIL and publication Mentorship