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Business Encouraged by Education Review

Release Date: 21/07/2016

The Illawarra Business Chamber, says making minimum literacy and numeracy standards an HSC requirement is a victory for young people and their employability, following a review conducted by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards.

“The Chamber has called for changes to the HSC since our 2010 Could do Better report, and again in 2015 with our Paving the Pathway: Addressing Post Year 10 Education and Training report,” Illawarra Business Chamber Acting CEO, Jo Spencer, said.

“Now, the NSW Government is taking up some of the reforms we’ve championed.

“Young people need to know how to read, write and problem solve to a decent standard if they’re to contribute in the workplace. Solid basic skills are the number one requirement for employers looking to fill entry level positions.

“That is why the NSW Government’s decision to introduce minimum literacy and numeracy standards for the HSC is overwhelmingly supported by the business community, especially considering the success of this approach in Western Australia.

“We’re also pleased that there will be ongoing reviews of HSC syllabuses. Course content has to be current so our students emerge with the up-to-date knowledge needed to meet the demands of work or further study.

“Re-designing examinations so that they assess students’ knowledge in a practical, real-world way is a very positive response to our advocacy in favour of aligning the HSC with the demands of modern industry.

“But there’s still more to be done.

“It’s been over 20 years since the HSC was last reviewed and there should be no ‘sacred cows’ when it comes to improving outcomes for young people.

“A comprehensive review of the HSC must consider the needs of all students. Right now, students are overwhelmingly geared up for university, despite the fact that vocational education and training (VET) pathways lead to excellent career outcomes.

“Strengthening the emphasis on VET, promoting a better model for careers advice and providing flexible learning opportunities will better equip our senior students for their transition to their future workplace,” Ms Spencer said.

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