How to achieve... a talented country

Singapore Theatre, Melbourne School of Design Building Masson Road Parkville Campus, The University of Melbourne


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Erin Turner

T: 03 8344 2591

Australia was rated sixth in INSEAD’s 2017 Global Talent Competitive Index, which would suggest a society that finds, nurtures and retains talent. The Economist Intelligence Unit in its new Worldwide Educating for the Future Index ranks Australia 8th.  But it was rated only 20th in the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Human Capital Report which would suggest plenty of room for improvement.

Why is Australia’s performance on these various indexes (INSEAD, WEF, The Economist) so variable? Do these league tables actually tell us something we need to know? Whether our post-secondary sector is up to speed, wastage due to inequality, etc?

What will it take to ensure a talented and prosperous Australia? What is the role of technology in nurturing graduates for the new world? According to the INSEAD index: “High ranking countries share key traits, including educational systems that meet the needs of the economy, employment policies that favour flexibility, mobility and entrepreneurship, and high connectedness of stakeholders in business and government.”

Let’s drill down into each of these areas: does the educational system meet the needs of the economy via the demand driven system? Are we talented enough? What are the blockages? Is there really a crisis in apprenticeships and traineeships? Should vocational education be federally funded? Do employment and education policies engender social mobility? How do we capture the talent among the most disadvantaged?  Is there a net brain drain? Can we keep taking skilled workers from developing nations or do we have a moral imperative to train our own workforces? What does business want from graduates and does it want too much?

Introduction by Leo Goedegebuure with invited speakers;

  • Jan Owen AM, CEO, Foundation for Young Australians and YLab
  • Jack Archer, CEO, Regional Australia Institute
  • Megan Lilly, Head of Workforce Development, Ai group

Chaired by Prof. Stephen Parker AO, Partner and National Education Sector Leader, KPMG

Co-hosted by the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education and KPMG.

5.30 pm - 6.20 pm Canap├ęs and drinks served

6.20 pm - 7.45pm Panel presentations and questions from the chair and audience

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