June 10, 2014

AWPA Scoping Paper on Work Integrated Learning

With increasing numbers of young Australians participating in higher education, it is essential that study-to-work transitions are improved.  Previous industry experience is one of the most highly sought after qualities in higher education graduates entering the workforce, and industry stakeholders report it is this element that is often lacking in our university graduates.

Work integrated learning (WIL)—which is the integration of work based experiences to complement theoretical learning in a higher education setting, can provide students with industry experience prior to graduation, which can facilitate their move into full-time employment.

This scoping paper, which is part of an Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA) research project gives a brief overview of work integrated learning, followed by a summary of its benefits, its current status in Australian universities and barriers to its uptake.  It concludes with a discussion of options for enhancing WIL participation in Australia.