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Working together to achieve better work integrated learning outcomes: Improving productivity through better employer involvement

The overarching aim of this twelve-month project, funded by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was to develop industry understanding of Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) and assess the support needed by employers to better engage in WIL. Data gathered in a survey of Western Australian employers and industry focus groups prompted the establishment of a WIL Advisory Service (WAS). The service was founded by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCIWA) to broker relationships between employers and universities, and provide support to improve WIL outcomes. In this study, student and employer users of WAS were asked to evaluate the support provided, to measure its success, and to assist in identifying strategies to improve WIL for all stakeholders. Key findings from the project were: Employer Understanding of WIL -The majority of respondents had very little or no understanding of WIL offerings at the various Business Schools in WA; and – Employers most commonly accessed information on WIL via academics that coordinate WIL programs or through pre-established contact(s) within the university.