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School of Education

RAVE 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).

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.

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

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

View the survey (docx, 93kb)

Learning to be greener

Research team: Erica Smith, Annette Foley and Morgan Wise

The ‘Learning to be greener’ project has been studying the way in which Australian adults are learning about specific changes in recycling and waste practices. During 2018, Australians’ daily lives changed quite a lot due to changes affecting plastic shopping bags and recycling practices. We are interested in how people learned about these changes and how people changed their behaviour.

This small pilot project is a sequel to the RAVE research group’s 2009 project ‘Learning to be drier,’ led by Barry Golding, which examined how people living in the Wimmera-Mallee region of Victoria learned how to manage with drier conditions and how they changed their behaviour.

The research comprised an initial focus group and expert interview, examination of publicly-available educational materials on these two matters, and an on-line survey carried out with a population of 1500 adults working at a number of campuses of a regional university.The project has now concluded.

A paper was presented on the initial findings of the project at the SCUTREA conference in the UK in 2019. View the paper on pages 97-106.