Orana trainers & employers embrace international education


08-May-2015

Orana trainers & employers embrace international education

The latest Productivity Commission paper on International Education Services has highlighted the importance of international education to Australia; an industry that employers and training providers in the Orana region are keen to take advantage of.

“International education is Australia’s third-largest export” says RDA Orana CEO Felicity Taylor-Edwards. “As we look to diversify the region’s economic base, this is certainly an avenue that should be explored.”

International education injects $17 billion a year into the Australian economy. It creates 130,000 full-time equivalent jobs that are not just within the education sector, but also across various other industries including accommodation, food and beverage, entertainment and tourism.

These statistics are somewhat different, however, when looking closer to home. While education is one of the greater sources of employment in the region, it is not one of our largest exports. This is something Regional Development Australia Orana is hoping to change, developing a project to increase our share of international students studying, living and working in the Orana region in order to fill identified skills gaps. This project would also work alongside similar strategies to grow the local workforce, as part of a multi-pronged approach.

“In late April, Regional Development Australia Orana hosted two South Korean delegates, in order to progress the next stage of the Korean trainee project. Professor Jae-Hoon Jung and Mr Henny Bang met with employers to discuss the project and facilitated the first job interviews with Korean candidates and Orana employers, resulting in successful job offers” Ms Taylor Edwards said.

“One of the greatest advantages offered by international students is their ability and willingness to provide a link between our region and business networks in their home countries. This initiative has been met with great enthusiasm by Orana employers, who I believe can see the potential benefits to not only their own businesses, but also the region.”

“The project has the potential to greatly improve bilateral relations between Australia and Korea, and also has many prospects in terms of building trade and investment relationships.”

Under the project, South Korean trainees will spend 2 years continuing their occupational training in Dubbo workplaces, where the pilot program will take place. The trainees will have a minimum of 12 months’ work experience in their chosen industry prior to arriving in Australia.

Australia currently has over 450,000 full fee-paying international students, comprising 20 per cent of students enrolled in higher education and 5 per cent in vocational education and training (VET); and approximately 75% of these students come from Asia.

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