Australia Council Submission - Australian Economy

11 April 2008

Future directions for the Australian economy – education, skills, training, innovation and productivity

(b) How we best prepare for a global economy that will increasingly be based upon advanced skills, advanced technology, low carbon energy sources and integration with global supply chains.

(c) How we take advantage of Australia’s proximity to the fast growing economies in the world.

(d) How Australia attracts and retains the most talented, creative and highly skilled people, including researchers and scientists, enetrepreneurs, and professional and skilled workers.

(b) How we best prepare for a global economy that will increasingly be based upon advanced skills, advanced technology, low carbon energy sources and integration with global supply chains.

The arts have a vital role to play in equipping Australians for the challenges of a rapidly changing global economy through strengthening the nation’s creative skills. It is creativity that underpins communication skills, teamwork and collaboration, leadership, problem identification and problem solving, cultural understanding, project analysis and interpretation. These skills are enhanced through regular interaction with the arts.

National and international research has demonstrated that a focussed and well-resourced education across the arts is essential for the development of a capable, efficient and innovative workforce that can meet challenges with confidence. These attributes are highly prized by employers and employees in the world’s leading economies. They can be nurtured through:

  • Investing in artist-teacher collaborations within the classroom
  • Allocating appropriate time for the study of the arts within the school curriculum
  • Providing funds for arts organisations to deliver sustainable education programs
  • Investment in the training of arts educators

With these arts-related skills, Australians would be ideally placed to negotiate a changing workforce requiring advanced thinking in a global context. It would place Australia at the forefront of developing a capable workforce and business environment that is able to embrace rapid technological change, and creatively address issues around environmental sensitivities to 2020 and beyond.

(c) How we take advantage of Australia’s proximity to the fast growing economies in the world.

Australia’s identity and values are expressed cogently through the arts, which can increasingly be used as a cultural diplomacy tool. In this way nations important to our future regard Australia as a culturally diverse, vibrant and creative society

In anticipation of the increasing economic importance of the fast growing Asian nations to Australia, the arts can be used in a series of mutually rewarding and reciprocal cultural exchanges between Australia and the region.

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