Industry placements found to improve job outcomes

The benefit of industry-based work experience for students has been reconfirmed via a new report from CSIRO Data61’s Ribit.

Ribit, a platform which connects tertiary students with jobs in the digital, STEM, research and business fields, found in its report “Higher Education and Employment In Australia” that course-integrated work improves graduate employability, while increasing graduate salaries. These programs result in employees that are more valuable for industry.

The report, which included the input of Ai Group’s Megan Lilly, found that each increase in the number of courses containing work components increases average employment outcomes by 5.4 per cent. The report noted that, “a student that has completed a course containing a work component will have improved their average full-time employment outcomes by an average of 5.4 percentage points, and their average overall employment outcomes – part time and full time by 3.2 percentage points”.

Chief executive of Ai Group, Innes Willox, noted that for manufacturing employers, seeing more students go through industry-based internships will lead to more productive employees.

“Building work-related experiences at worksites into courses has been shown to improve the work readiness of graduates, thereby bringing about earlier productivity benefits for employers. Employability-based training and experience and/or employer involvement in courses were found to have a positive impact on graduate job prospects.”

Willox went on to highlight that the more that employers are involved with such programs, the greater their ability to shape what is taught and the skills that graduates have after they leave university.

“The connections made through these student-industry work arrangements have mutual benefits. They also establish opportunities for important input by industry around what is being studied, as well as research and development initiatives,” said Willox.

Collaboration between students and companies in this instance is key.

“As well as longer placements, students and companies can assist each other via micro-internships, projects, online consultancies, and organised student events that apply fresh ideas and knowledge to a company’s identified problem,” said Willox.