09 Aug 2012In an effort to understand what local industry wants from tertiary graduates, the Committee for Ballarat and University of Ballarat researchers Dr Elisa Backer, David Lynch, and Adam Baker have launched a research project to address the issue. Following on from the launch of Committees 2012/13 Action Plan, education was identified as one of the key strategic drivers enabling long term social and economic benefits in the region. Members are particularly keen to align educational outcomes with the needs of industry and this survey will assist the University and Committee conduct further research. As such, we strongly encourage all organisations that have recruited graduates in the past five years to share their opinions through this survey. The research team’s principal researcher is Dr Elisa Backer and she commented to us that there is general agreement among employers that graduate attributes (skills and qualities other than disciplinary content knowledge) are of growing importance in developing productive employees who are able to adapt to the challenges of a modern business environment. She also stated that there is strong evidence of dissatisfaction among employers in the attributes currently demonstrated by University graduates, with a significant gap between expectations of industry and graduate employability skills in most of the attributes needed by employers. An understanding of what Ballarat employers want from University graduates can assist curricula development by informing local Universities what local employers are seeking in their graduates. The survey is online, takes eight to 10 minutes to complete and asks a range of questions to ascertain whether today's courses are meeting the needs of industry. I invite all Committee for Ballarat to participate in the study, and encourage any organisation that has employed graduates in the last five years to participate in the study. People interested in participating in the study can contact Committee for Ballarat at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will revert with a registration code and weblink to participate in the on-line survey. All participants in the study will receive a copy of the findings and responses will be treated in the strictest confidence.