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Industry placement - on the path to future success

14 Aug 2012

As the Federal Government's panel of experts conducted its recently completed review of the Fair Work Act, Wilson Lu, a third year Business School student, was also gaining some valuable insights into the workings of Fair Work Australia.

Wilson's placement with Australia's peak industrial relations body was designed to help develop the skills that he will need to succeed in a dynamic business environment.

While Wilson was with Fair Work Australia his fellow students in organisational development, human resources, diversity and industrial relations were gaining "real world" experience through placements with some of the country's leading institutions and corporate bodies.

Their experiences ranged from aged care to finance, consulting, education, transport and the public sector. Some spent time with union organisations and others with NGOs.

"The experience that these students gain through this placement program contributes enormously to their ability to think critically, negotiate and lead others," said Dr Rae Cooper, (pictured) a senior lecturer in the Business School's Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies (WOS).

"Most importantly, this experience adds to the students overall influencing skills," Dr Cooper said.

The Dean of the Business School, Professor Geoffrey Garrett, says that the WOS placement program reflects the Business School's commitment to working with industry to ensure that students complete their courses with skills that are relevant to a future employer.

"We want to ensure that students are equipped with cutting edge knowledge, the practical ability to apply that knowledge and the personal skills to motivate and influence others," Professor Garrett said. "These attributes are so critical to success today that they can no longer be dismissed as soft skills."

"This placement program is about building skills that will allow our students to go out into the workforce and hit the ground running," Dr Cooper added.

During his placement with Fair Work Australia, Wilson Lu attended a number of IR related hearings and watched as some of the country's largest corporations and union organisations negotiated on a range of workplace issues.

"It was a wonderful opportunity and great learning experience," Wilson said.