Boundary crossing – a career transition framework

Industry-school partnerships (ISPs) are increasingly being recognised as a new way of providing vocational education opportunities. However, there is limited research investigating their impact on systemic (organisational and structural) and human resource (teachers and education managers) capacity to support school to work transitions.

A recent publication of mine in TVET@Asia  (see  http://www.tvet-online.asia/issue/5/flynn-etal) reports on a government led ISP, established by the Queensland state government. ISPs across three industry sectors: minerals and energy; building and construction; and aviation are included in this study.

This research adopted a qualitative case study methodology and draws uponboundary crossing theory to understand the dynamics of how each industry sector responded to systemic and human resource issues that emerged in each ISP.

The main finding being that the systematic application of boundary crossing mechanisms by all partners produced mutually beneficial outcomes. ISPs from the three sectors adopted different models, leveraged different boundary crossing objects but all maintained the joint vision and mutually agreed outcomes. All three ISPs genuinely crossed boundaries, albeit in different ways, and assisted teachers to co-pro-duce industry-based curriculums, share sector specific knowledge and skills that help enhance the school to work transition for school graduates.