The Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) is undertaking a review of Australia’s research training system for the Australian Government. There are a discussion paper and consultation questions available. Submissions close 31 August 2015.
In my view Higher Degree Research (HDR) graduates need to develop teamwork and communication skills for wider career pathways. These skills should be formally assessed. This can be done primarily using e-portfolios.
Graduates could be offered the opportunity to obtain other industry certifications alongside their research work, assessed via e-portfolio.
As many graduates entering academia will be teaching and those in industry will be conducting training, it would be useful if they were to obtain teaching skills. A suggested minimum level would be the equivalent of a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
Graduates need an understanding of business, so that they can assist with their research being applied. These skills can be gained through initiatives such as ANU TechLauncher for IT professionals. A more generalized version of that program could be developed, incorporating Innovation ACT. I am currently preparing a series of e-learning modules intended to help with this.