Ed Talk: Skills in a contemporary industry environment

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Skills in a contemporary industry environment

“The one thing they gain from these opportunities is the confidence they feel from this new experience”


Dr. Simon Thornton the WIL academic lead from RMIT, College of Business shared his views on the importance of direct industry experience that WIL brings to students before they leave university.

He states that “with internships, they exist to do one simple thing. That’s make our students more employable”. Taking different approaches to each individual student and giving them employable opportunities, Simon goes on to talk about how this will allow the students to experience and understand that they can have the confidence to contribute.

If a student has been involved in an authentic industry experience like the Work Integrated Learning program, in what is a safe environment, it removes a layer of potential fear that otherwise may have been present. It gives students an understanding of what they will need to do when they go when they become part of the workforce and work towards the employment that they seek.

In terms of an organisation such as RMIT, he thinks it is important to be flexible in seeing that students have different needs and when they leave the University the students have the best possible start they can have.

“I’m a passionate academic, but there are certain things you can’t teach.” he summarised. Such as “teaching a young person what it feels like to be appreciated, to be valued, to feel like they contribute to an organisation”.