Queensland schools are helping to abate Australia’s skills shortage by partnering with local industries to offer seamless pathways for young people into skilled areas.

Research by Professor Robyn Zevenbergen from Griffith University has shown that Queensland is leading the way in the provision of School-based New Apprenticeships SNBAs) nationally.

“These programs offer career pathways for young people into areas of shortage and create a skilled workforce for employers so they have workers with the dispositions and skills ready for the workplace when they leave school,” Professor Zevenbergen said.

“Time is not being lost training young people when they leave school. This is a big bonus for them and employers.

“By providing more flexible options in the senior years of schooling, Queensland has been able to create greater opportunities for students and employers to engage in successful programs.”

Professor Zevenbergen said some companies had found the programs so successful they only obtained their apprentices through the school-based programs.

“Young people can remain in school and get the best of both worlds – they learn their school work and gain valuable experiences in the workplace that prepare them for the world after school.

“Teachers have said there has been a great improvement in young people when they undertake school-based apprenticeships. As well as understanding they can gain a career, the students also see the relevance of schooling and the subjects they study.

“The research suggests that the option of SBNAs has considerable benefit to help support young people into skilled professions, but it is critical that industry sees these programs as an essential part of their long-term planning.”

Factors inhibiting SNBAs in other states include the rigidity of senior years’ curriculum and greater travelling distances for rural students.

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