Cooperative education through a large scale industry-school partnership
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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. Decisions about career pathways are made as early as the primary years of schooling and hence cooperation between industry and schools to attract students to the professions is crucial. 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 minerals and energy industries and how these partnerships as knowledge assets impact the delivery of curriculum and capacity building among teachers. 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.
Journal of Cooperative Education and Internships
Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified