International evidence finds that school-industry connections enhance motivation and engagement in school, especially for disengaged students. There is a statistically significant relationships between direct exposure to the working world and better academic performance.
School-industry partnerships have traditionally been directed at the senior school years, however they also benefit ‘senior’ primary school students by improving academic engagement and broadening career awareness and aspirations. Such partnerships are especially useful in providing primary school students with opportunities for inquiry-based learning, such as ‘project-based learning, collaborative learning, hands-on learning and design-thinking approaches’.
At least three broad school-industry partnerships models can be identified: direct partnerships between an individual school and employer; large scale partnerships involving multiple schools, industry partners and using intermediaries; and industry-supported teacher professional learning.
The educational benefits of such partnerships include: developing ‘future of work’ capabilities applicable to emerging/growth opportunities; improving school-to-work transition; providing greater access to state-of-the-art technology to support teaching and learning; and building capability of school leaders and teachers.