Education key to Queensland’s prosperity: report
Queensland’s education and training system must be reformed to deliver a world-class workforce which meets businesses’ needs, according to a new report by Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland (CCIQ).
The report, titled The Right People at the Right Time: Developing a Skilled Workforce that meets the needs of Queensland's Economy - Blueprint for Queensland's Education and Training System, outlines five key measures to assist Queensland’s social and economic prosperity.
The report notes that historically Queensland has had a relatively low level of educational attainment compared with other industrialised countries, and that a skilled and educated workforce in Queensland was essential to productivity and sustainable economic growth.
CCIQ Education and Training Adviser Elizabeth Roberts said with warnings of chronic skills shortages in coming years, it was vital for Queensland to get the system, its funding models and planning and priorities for skills development right.
“There are few more frustrating experiences for business than identifying profitable opportunities for growth which they cannot take advantage of because they have difficulty recruiting appropriately skilled staff. Where this occurs opportunities are not only lost for the business concerned, but for the community as a whole,” she said.
“Our state needs a skilled population and an economy that makes full and productive use of these skills. This will be central to building a competitive and progressive Queensland.
“We need employers that demand, value and make best use of their workforce’s skills.
“We need people who are hungry to continually learn new skills and a system which provides the required support to help all individuals realise their aspirations and achieve their potential.
“We need learning and training providers who work with the business community and individuals, and a system which employs latest technology and best-practice to reduce barriers of demography and geography to provide equal access to all Queenslanders. This blueprint focuses on these issues.”
Ms Roberts said there were many positive aspects to Queensland’s education and training system.
But she said there remained a number of systemic issues and inefficiencies that must be addressed if Queensland was to have one of the best education and training systems, not only in Australia, but in the world.
“It is important that Queensland’s education and training system ensures that the skills our economy and businesses require are available and that the best possible use is made of those skills by employers and individuals,” she said.
“CCIQ’s Blueprint aims to deliver a framework for achieving an efficient education and training system which produces a more productive workforce and supports a more competitive and sustainable economy.”
CCIQ recommendations include:
- Improve the quality of school education. This must include developing a work and industry relevant curriculum, programs to facilitate industry mentoring, and ensuring the highest standards for the teacher workforce.
- Implement a national career advice system that entitles all individuals to quality career information, guidance and support to develop skills and increase their employability and productivity.
- Reform education and training to ensure a world class skills and workforce development system.
- Deliver programs and initiatives that foster and drive demand for skills. This involves engaging employers and individuals in the skills system and creating a culture in Queensland workplaces that values learning and makes the best use of the skills of our workforce.
- Develop programs and funding that address reduced private sector capacity to invest in skills as a result of challenging economic conditions, ensuring that Queensland has a sufficiently skilled workforce to take advantage of opportunities during economic recovery.
Founded in 1868, the Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland is the peak association for the state’s employers across every industry. It provides support, advice, training and advocacy for more than 25,000 businesses.