Confronting the shortage of skilled and professional workers : A large scale industry-school partnership initiative

Watters, James J., Hay, Stephen, & Pillay, Hitendra K. (2012) Confronting the shortage of skilled and professional workers : A large scale industry-school partnership initiative. In ECER 2012, University of Cádiz, Spain.

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Abstract

In most of the advanced economies, students are losing interest in careers especially in engineering and related industries. Hence, western economies are confronting a critical skilled labour shortage in areas of technology, science and engineering. The aim of this paper is to document how the organisational and institutional elements of one industry-school partnerships initiative – The Gateway Schools Program - contribute to productive knowledge sharing and networking. In particular this paper focuses on an initiative of an Australian State government in response to a perceived crisis around the skills shortage in an economy transitioning from a localised to a global knowledge production economy. The Gateway Schools initiative signals the first sustained attempt in Australia to incorporate schools into production networks through strategic partnerships linking them to partner organisations at the industry level. We provide case examples of how four schools operationalise the partnerships with the mining and energy industries and how these partnerships as knowledge assets impact the delivery of curriculum and capacity building among teachers. A program theory approach to analysis, informed by theoretical perspectives of Bailey (1994), Bagnall (2007) and Walsh (2004) was adopted. Each of these theorists provides a related but different perspective on the establishment, purpose, and effectiveness respectively of partnerships. Our ultimate goal is to define those characteristics of successful partnerships that do contribute to enhanced interest and engagement by students in those careers that are currently experiencing critical shortages.

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ID Code: 55571
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Industry-School Partnerships, curricular reform, knowledge transfer, teacher capacity, transforming schooling
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > Schools > School of Teacher Education & Leadership
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Please consult the author.
Deposited On: 12 Dec 2012 23:29
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2014 08:32

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