Monday, 11 August 2008

Education forum: focus on employability?

Education researchers say developing a student's employability skills are just as important as teaching them how to read and write.

[But more students would be even more employable if they could equally get the social skills they need to get a job after leaving school and to stay employable. That is just as important as teaching them how to read and write. If one misses that opportunity, then 5 per cent of them fall over. People with social skills are more cooperative and have more respect for each other. Therefore learn more, take fewer risks and use fewer resources. People with social skills will stay in the job longer.]

The annual Australian Council for Educational Research conference is being held in Brisbane over the next two days.

The council's Professor Geoff Masters says he wants to see national minimum benchmarks set for high school students.

"The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Business Council of Australia have called for greater emphasis to be placed on what they're calling employability skills, and they are things like communication, problem solving, planning and organising, teamwork, developing skills for life," he said.

"What we're hoping for today is to start a conversation nationally about what we should expect every student to achieve, what are the basics, how can we set minimum expectations for all students.

"It is our belief that a significant proportion of students are getting through the school system and not meeting basic standards."

Quote: What about a greater emphasis on social skills? They are things like communication, conflict resolution, self preservation, street wise, vulnerability, self-worth, self presentation, efficacy, mentoring. Because up to three generations of parents don't have social skills to pass on to their children. Corporate interests already reap from the academics but what about the tens of millions spent on the 5 per cent of people who don't make it? The money spent on those people make up a very large sum of taxpayer’s money spent on police, prisons, courts, hospitals, the morgue, and the victim industry. Those 5 per cent of children don't get a life or become a corporate asset if they don't make it!


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