EARN AND LEARN BOOM
Forget long degrees, a new way of working and learning is about to take off, writes Lauren Ahwan
AUSTRALIA’S intake of higher level apprenticeships will more than double next year, providing an alternative pathway to jobs previously only for university graduates.
The qualifications available through higher apprenticeships will extend to bachelor degrees by 2020, with predictions that a university education will soon be considered second rate.
PricewaterhouseCoopers national skills leader Sara Caplan says combining earning and learning, in which workers develop new on-the-job skills, is a style suited to the future.
“We are going to see less desire for young people to want to spend the next four years studying, and then thinking about which job they’re going to do ... and see a move towards work-based, short qualifications that people can do,’’ she says.
In a national pilot to encourage those without a university education to take up careers in the professional, business, IT and financial services sectors, more than 160 people this year started an apprenticeship to gain a diploma, advanced diploma or associate diploma qualification.
Caplan says 94 per cent of higher apprentices successfully complete their training – compared with twothirds of university students who complete their degrees within six years and about half of traditional apprentices and trainees who finish their training.
Now the pilot has finished, Caplan says states and territories will take responsibility for the continuation of higher apprenticeships. She says it will create further opportunities and talks have also focused on increasing the range of professions on offer.
TAFE Gold Coast partnered with PwC and Gold Coast Health to offer higher apprenticeships.
Gold Coast Health acting facility manager Julie Elliott gained a Diploma of Leadership and Management through a higher apprenticeship.
She says tailoring the training to her specific workplace requirements helped improve her leadership skills.
“I am currently acting in a senior role and this program gave me the confidence to make that happen,’’ Elliott says. “The training was also a great networking opportunity, exposing us to other business units and we gained a greater appreciation for the business and each other’s roles.’’
HEALTHY OUTLOOK: Gold Coast Health acting facility manager Julie Elliott says tailored training helped her leadership skills.