ACEDD sponsored a workshop for the Discipline Day associated with the Australian Conference for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Technology Sydney. The workshop built on two recent ACEDD sponsored projects: Future employment opportunities for new graduates; and the role of capstone courses to meet the objectives of WIL.
Graduates entering the workforce in 2020 are expected to meet an extensive range of criteria in addition to the right university qualification and sufficient work experience in a relevant field. Presentations from public and private employers and the professional association described the range of interpersonal (soft) skills and a number of non-industry-specific skills, which they look for in new graduates. The presentations set the scene for a wider discussion about where in the university curriculum these skills exist. Some examples of the different approaches that have been used to help graduates develop and identify their skills were also discussed.
The first presentation was from Derek Elmes from the NSW Environment Protection Science Branch. He described the capabilities required by the NSW public sector workforce and the way in which these are used during the recruitment process. Based on his experience of interviewing he was able to provide good advice on how new graduates should prepare. For more information click here
Jon Womersley, Chair of the EIANZ Qualifications Accreditation Board described the role of environmental practitioners and provided examples of the varied and diverse kinds of problems that they are required to solve. This was used to introduce the seven proficiencies that the institute suggest environmental practitioners should possess. For more information click here
Professor Peter Banks from the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney described the kinds of skills and the traits students need to successfully undertake a graduate research degree.
Presenters in the second part of the workshop described different approaches being used to make students work-ready. Chris Jones from Western Sydney University described the use of WIL to develop employee capabilities in science students. For more information click here
Michael Whelan from Southern Cross University described his research into the use of internships to determine how well graduates met Environment and Sustainability TLOs. For more information click here
Anne-Louise Semple from the Faculty of Science and Engineering described Macquarie University’s Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) initiative: and institution wide WIL program to enhance student learning, experience and graduate outcomes for diverse cohorts. For more information click here
The morning concluded with some reflections on the role of learning and teaching academic standards (LTAS) by Tina Acuna from the University of Tasmania. For more information click here