Developing graduate career readiness in Australia: Shifting from extra-curricular internships to work-integrated learning
International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning
School of Business and Law
There is broad acknowledgement that higher education should produce career-ready graduates and the role of practical experience--such as part-time employment, unregulated extra-curricular internships and work-integrated learning (WIL)--in achieving this. WIL is critical for developing the non-technical skills, disciplinary expertise and career self-management competencies required to prepare graduates for the world-of-work. Although Australia appears committed to growing WIL, many employers engage in extra-curricular internships while there is a lack of industry partners available to meet student demand for WIL. Extra-curricular internships may, therefore, be considered the 'black market' to WIL and could be constraining the achievement of targeted growth in Australia's National Strategy for WIL. This paper highlights that extra-curricular internships may not be governed by the good practice principles critical to a quality work-based learning experience. It explores possible reasons for stakeholder preference for unregulated, extra-curricular internships and presents strategies to shift their engagement to WIL.