Pillay, H., Watters, J. J, Hoff, L. & Flynn, M. (2014). Dimensions of effectiveness and efficiency: A case study on industry-school partnerships. Journal of Vocational Education and Training,66(4), 537-553. United Kingdom: Routledge. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/13636820.2014.961524
Internationally, the delivery of vocational education and training is being challenged by increasing skills shortages in certain industries and/or rapidly changing skill requirements. To respond to this challenge, rigid and centralised state bureaucracies are increasingly adopting partnerships between schools and industry as a strategy to encourage school-to-work transition programmes to address the local labour market demand. Drawing on experiences in Australia, this paper reports on a case study of government-led partnerships between schools and industry. The Queensland Gateway to industry schools initiative currently involves over 120 schools. The study investigated how two commonly used partnership principles were understood by the Gateway to industry partners. Twelve school–industry partnerships from four industry sectors were analysed in terms of the principles of ‘efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness’ derived from the public–private partnership literature. The study found that some evidence of partnership activities associated with efficiency and effectiveness may be assigned to Gateway schools projects. However, little evidence was found that the above underlying principles were addressed systematically. Some of these partnerships were tenuously facilitated by individuals who had limited infrastructure or strategic support. Implications are that industry–school partnership stakeholders would benefit from applying partnership principles regarding implementation and management to ensure the sustainability of partnerships.
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