Review into senior secondary to study pathways to industry

An inquiry into pathways into jobs for senior secondary students will bring together educators and industry to decide whether students are being taught the skills needed for the future.

Led by Professor Peter Shergold, the inquiry has been commissioned by the Education Council, a body made up of state and federal education and training ministers.

With a growing issue of a lack of skilled workers with relevant trade qualification to fill roles and vacancies in industry, the inquiry will look into how the secondary system is preparing students prior to them commencing tertiary education.

“The review will help ensure senior secondary schooling is supporting our young people to make informed choices, and that they’re leaving school with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed,” said federal Minister for Education, Dan Tehan.

Tehan encouraged industry and other sectors to be actively involved in how the report shapes the future of the education sector.

“We must ensure that all pathways are equally valued, and that our young people can access a secondary education that can equally prepare them for work, VET or higher education,” said Tehan.

In setting out the terms of reference for the report, the Council identifies that the skills mix for a digital economy is shifting, as sectors including manufacturing undergo technological change, globalisation, and automation. To be prepared for this, secondary students are encouraged to develop not only traditional skills such as communication and critical and creative thinking, but digital skills and problem-solving capabilities.

In addition to these curriculum requirements, the report will inquire into whether students are given enough information to know about the potential jobs that they may undertake in the future. This could include looking at career education and awareness of labour market outcomes, vocation education and training delivered at a secondary level, and work-based learning or industry partnerships.