The world of work is changing. The Australian economy is not only moving to a more knowledge-based economy but one that requires a higher and more pervasive level of digital skills as well. Accordingly, the Australian workforce needs to be more highly skilled than ever.
The traditional Certificate III trade qualification will continue to meet the needs of a broad range of occupations, but the emerging occupations are ones that require higher skills in areas such as creativity, problem solving, advanced reasoning, and complex judgement. To say nothing of new technologies. ABS data is showing that the Australian economy is reflecting continued growth in the demand for highly skilled workers and slower or no growth for lower-skilled workers.
Universities have always provided the opportunities for the development of high level skills, with their focus on bachelor degrees and higher, but not all of the emerging demand is for workers at this level. Much of the demand will be for workers who can combine vocational skills with higher level technical and enterprise skills. Think Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas and Associate Degrees. The apprenticeship model is well placed as the means to meet this demand.
The Higher Apprenticeships program aims to equip these future workers with the practical and knowledge-based capabilities to assist industry take the required steps to stay at the forefront of Engineering, manufacturing and technology and move forward into the Industry 4.0 economy.