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University of Sydney Pilot Accounting Work Placement Program

22 Jul 2011

Four accounting students from the University of Sydney have gained valuable experience through a pilot work placement program in Port Macquarie and were recognised at a function with host employers yesterday.

The work placement program was supported by local organisations Direction Accounting, NorthCorp Accountants, Essential Energy and Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. These organisations offered placements within their accounting and finance sections, and provided the students with practical experience aimed at augmenting their studies and assisting them to become work-ready.

The host organisations benefited from the students' enthusiasm as well as their fresh perspective on the accounting profession. The program is an initiative of the newly established Mid Coast Accounting and Finance Network.

"The creation of the network and the associated pilot program is funded by NSW Trade and Investment and facilitated by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. The program aims to provide a vital link between education and employment. The program is a great example of an industry working together to provide opportunities for university students," said Dr Wayne Graham, Council's Executive Officer, Higher Education Project.

"Accounting is identified as a profession that is experiencing skill shortages in the region. Providing work placements has the potential to attract skilled youth to the area and to fill the skills gap in the short-term. In the long-term, placements could lead to positions."

The four students were excited to be part of the regional pilot program and gained much from their experience. Associate Professor Philip Seltsikas from the University of Sydney commented that this initiative demonstrates University of Sydney's ongoing commitment to engagement with both industry and government.

"It is an excellent initiative that allows us to give some of our best students hands-on experience that will make them better accountants, managers and community leaders when they graduate," Associate Professor Seltsikas said.

The successful pilot program will provide a blueprint for future placements, which over time will include students from other disciplines including social work, engineering and allied health.