Connecting Students and Businesses to Positively Benefit the Region
Industry and Community Partner
- Engaging multiple disciplines
- Involving multi-educational sectors
- Co-designed with industry or community
- Spanning multiple universities or institutions
- Each of the four tertiary institutions fund the key contact position that facilitates communications between all stakeholders and links opportunities in business with the tertiary institutions.
- NORTH Link is a not-for-profit economic development organisation with a database of 5000 business contacts. It engages with with business and industry on various projects and facilitates workshops and learning development opportunities, so it is well placed to identify business needs and brokerage opportunities with tertiary institutions.
- Flexible university staff who value industry engagement and the learning opportunities it creates for students.
- Increased student motivation associated with working with real businesses and creating tangible outcomes for businesses.
The goal of NISPP is to assist employers to access current knowledge and skills for specific workplace projects, and to help students gain real-world experience that increases their employability. While individual student WIL placements continue to be sourced, NISPP is currently focusing on credit-based team or group placements and projects, as evaluation feedback confirms these WIL opportunities to be highly valued by students, businesses and academic staff. The benefit of this approach is that students work on a real-life projects that significantly benefit a local business and therefore benefit the region. Students also get exposure to local employers that they may not have otherwise had the opportunity to engage with.
Additionally, NORTH Link is taking a broad view and has actively sought larger projects and partnerships that align with the regional, Victorian Government and Australian Government goals and priorities. So far, these include bulk placements, projects and planning in the areas of food and fibre, business and professional services, advanced manufacturing, commercial accommodation, global marketing and health.
A NISPP Manager works with a single contact at each tertiary institution to gain information on WIL requirements, submit opportunities and monitor progress on each placement. The NISPP Manager supports the placement process by streamlining administration and managing and maintaining relationships between all stakeholders.
Impact / Outcomes
Students: students gain experience working on real-world project that provide them with the opportunity to practise the knowledge, skills and abilities they have developed in the classroom. Students report highly valuing the opportunity to make a real contribution to the growth and development of a business. Students see tangible results of the work the do which is highly motivating and rewarding.
Host Organisations: NISPP focuses on supporting host organisations from sectors where students might facilitate growth, leveraging students skills and experience to build regional capability. Host organisations report valuing the students up-to-the-minute skills and enthusiasm, and the opportunity to focus on the growth and development of their business.
Tertiary Institutions: academic staff report students are more engaged and demonstrated enhanced learning by working with real businesses as opposed to working on case studies or textbook examples.
NISPP: as part of NORTH Link, NISPP is creating impact by exposing future employers to the talents of younger people in the region, and linking businesses with tertiary institutions for mutually beneficial purposes.
NISPP provides a brokerage service for students to secure WIL and other workplace projects, as such assessment is undertaken by the student’s ‘base’ unit independent of NISPP.
The NISSP brokerage model is evaluated against its key performance indicator, which is the number of student placements completed per year.