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LfG 18/19 Seminar: Education and Training

"The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena, who strive valiantly; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spend themselves in a worthy cause…"- Theodore Roosevelt.

With those words - via a Deakin University representative - the Leaders 18/19 cohort set off to experience the highlights and challenges facing the Education & Training arena, preparing Geelong's transitioning workforce for a new economy.

Geelong Grammer emphasised the small but significant step to remove all signposting from the Handbury Sport & Wellbeing Centre (which houses counselling, nurses, and physiotherapists, as well as a pool, gym, basketball courts, and a shop). This means that anyone can attend the services offered with anonymity, important given that 1 in 7 primary school kids in Australia are living with mental illness (and 26% of youth total). 1 in 4 of these children never seek help.

We heard that Geelong employers don't want ATAR scores, they're seeking creativity and workplace readiness. Northern Bay College suggested that "employers want someone who knows the expectations of a workplace, not the expectations of a school". "Who would you want to put out your house fire, an educated fire crew, or a well-trained one?" he said.

The unfunded GITTC began after Technical Schools were closed in the 1990s and caters for students from 11 Geelong schools. Unfortunately, too often the team seems energetic, enthusiastic female students achieve certification at GITTC, then choose not to continue with a career using these new-found skills. (Perhaps a future Leaders project consideration…)

Phil Honeywell, Principal Newcomb Secondary College joined the Seminar at GITTC to talk about how P-Tech supports partnerships between the education industry and the Geelong community by helping young people transition to work.

The key ICT issue across the sector is that whilst industry and jobs are heading towards web - based, digital, coding, and Robotics, the people teaching IT are mostly teachers who are self-taught. 

The Leaders next visited Carbon Nexus. The tour showcased the new wave of advanced manufacturing in Geelong - and associated jobs; coming from a combination of "traditional" manufacturing workers and recent university graduates. The visit highlighted issues not unique to Geelong's economy, including: rapid technological change, digital disruption, skills shortages, and the changing workforce in Geelong.

The Gordon (unfunded) and with up to 15,000 Vocational Education and Training enrolments each year, are also looking at the skills Geelong employers require for the future: such as technology, robotics, and the 'Internet of Things'.

The Head of Strategic HR and Development believes that whilst the Health & Community Services sector is our largest employer currently, IT will take over. A Skilling the Bay Manager also re-iterated that the single biggest challenge in our education system is that many IT teachers are teaching out of field.

Over to you FY18/19 Leaders, will you step into the arena?




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Nick Stahl, General Manager, Boundary Bend Olives

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Mathew Burns, Brewery Ambassador, Little Creatures