Current research

Careers in everyday industries: Potential benefits of increased visibility

Project funded by a National Careers Institute Partnership Grant ($151,679)

RAVE researchers: Erica Smith (project leader) and Andy Smith. Other researchers: Richard Robinson, Victor Callan (University of Queensland), Darryn Snell (RMIT), Antonella Sterrantino (Skills IQ), Silvia Munoz (Skills IQ).

The low status of retail and hospitality industries and their constituent occupations discourages people from imagining long-term careers in the industries. This factor restricts the view of young people and mature people alike of available careers, discouraging uptake of those careers that are in fact most attainable for people. The project (2021-2022) is mapping career paths that exist, investigating reasons for the low status of careers in the industries, and finding  strategies that might correct the problem. View the project web page for more information.

Increasing the attractiveness of apprenticeships

Project for the International Labour Organization ($10,000 USD). Researcher: Erica Smith

This 2021 project, funded by the International Labour Organization and the government of Flanders, forms part of a major ILO project ‘Apprenticeships Development for Universal Lifelong Learning and Training (ADULT)’. View the main project web page. The ‘attractiveness’ theme examines reasons why apprenticeships may be attractive ,and may not be attractive, to different groups in society, and to people who advise on career choices, and provides examples of initiatives in a range of countries to increase the attractiveness. The project as a whole includes researchers around the world, and is led by Jörg Markowitsch from Austria and Andrew McCoshan from the U.K.

Unfunded projects

Learning to be safer: Learning during the COVID-19 pandemic

Researchers: Erica Smith and Morgan Wise

The ‘Learning to be Safer’ research project aimed to find out the ways in which Australians were learning about matters to do with four aspects of COVID-19 during mid-2020: health information, restrictions on movement, the worldwide progress of the pandemic and financial provisions. There is as yet no published literature on this topic. This project used an on-line survey, similar to the successful ‘Learning to be Greener’ research project carried out by RAVE researchers Erica Smith, Morgan Wise and Annette Foley in 2019.

A follow-up survey ‘Learning to be safer in 2021’ added two new items to the research: vaccination and international travel. Just over 100 responses were received to this survey, and the two sets of data are now being analysed together.

View the Federation University Newsroom item on the first 50 responses.

An overview of the findings of the first survey has been published in ‘Research Today’ October 2020, pages 7-9.

View the first survey (docx, 93kb)