Business failing education?

urbansprawlA recent survey of small to medium businesses said the education system isn’t providing the skills students need to be ‘entrepreneurial and innovative‘.  Is education failing business or is business failing education?

I attended the Western Sydney Business Connection State of the Region Address by the Hon. Mike Baird MP, Premier of NSW this week.

Around 600 local businesses and organisations were there to hear the Premier outline the government’s bold new initiatives around infrastructure.  It is a massive investment and undertaking which will impact significantly on western Sydney.

The key message is that local business is the driver of innovation and growth.  What I didn’t hear was the role of education in this work.  We are in the business of schooling 42,000 students across western Sydney along with the Department of Education’s schools. Collectively, we are the biggest business in western Sydney but don’t have a seat at the table when it comes to planning for the future.

I saw the plans for the provision of new government schools in western Sydney. Sadly they look like modern versions of the factory school. Where is the innovation and growth and the support from the business sector to develop new models?   We could easily argue that business is failing education.

The best outcome would be for both sectors (school and business) to work collaboratively but this can only happen when education is seen as an important stakeholder in the planning and design process.

Local schools serve local communities and it’s time the education sector were seen as a key player. We have a lot to contribute especially if we want the state of this region to be state of the art.


5 thoughts on “Business failing education?

  1. Is it too harsh to suggest that the role of education continues as it has been for centuries? Provide society with “skills” is the main aim. If some inherent talent in the boy or girl with a “business instinct” stimulates the urge in the individual person to focus the skills of others into the collective effort of creating a product or service and then exploiting it in an “organization” or business then “well and good”. But few schools seem to me to have any interest in identifying those with that “entrepreneurial spirit” and of developing and shaping a cohort of “business leaders”. Most teachers have little idea of the characteristics required – and therefore do not recognize their having any role whatsoever in developing them within the individual.

  2. How appropriate that we have just started a Project Based Learning unit called “Inventors and Entrepreneurs”. Stage Three at St Matt’s are always eager to get involved with experts in the community to build on our learning, but it isn’t always easy to find people to be involved. How great would it be to have support at all levels for our kids!

  3. Schools could take the intuitive and introduce enterprise learning across all sectors.
    I teach Team Enterprise at MIT/FedUni in their Bachelor off Education program. Students are initially confused; How can engaging in partnerships with community organisations help them to be a better teachers — what are the benefits? Once they find a partner and engage in the process they quickly understand that this approach to learning is a vehicle that provides authentic learning situations,and recognises learners as real members of society, who are able to participate in real, meaningful and authentic partnerships.

  4. Complete agreement!!! The two sectors must work more closely together, with significant pressure on “business” to specify what they want to see as to the knowledge, skills, attitudes and attributes of graduates from every sector of education

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