RealTime IT News

Back To School (and Stay There)

Australians must commit themselves to "life-long learning" if the country's IT&T skills shortage is to be addressed, according to a report launched by Telstra group managing director Gerry Moriarty.

The report, "The New Australian Learning System," was produced by professional organizations including the Victorian division of the Institution of Engineers Australia (IEA), following the innovation summit held in February this year where education was highlighted as a key issue for national prosperity.

Moriarty, speaking on the issue at a higher education conference in Melbourne, said that the future strength of Australia's economy was inextricably linked to the nation's ability to re-invent itself as a leader in the digital market place.

"The development of new training systems will also help transform the perception among global currency traders about the strength and future potential of our economy," he said.

The IEA report recommends the establishment of a statutory office of knowledge and a Federal Minister of Knowledge, supported by appropriate funding, and a shift in focus from "a provider focussed notion of education and training to a client focussed notion of learning."

"Universities are organizations steeped in tradition, heavily dependent on government and wary of change. However, new times demand new thinking and tertiary organisations must now seriously reconsider their service provision if they are to remain relevant to the industry sector," said Moriarty.