La Trobe

File(s) stored somewhere else

Please note: Linked content is NOT stored on La Trobe and we can't guarantee its availability, quality, security or accept any liability.

Work-integrated learning: the new professional apprenticeship?

Version 2 2021-03-02, 21:02
Version 1 2021-03-02, 20:59
journal contribution
posted on 2021-03-02, 21:02 authored by Katherine AshmanKatherine Ashman, Francine RochfordFrancine Rochford, Bret SladeBret Slade

This article considers the intersection between two major themes in university policy: the improvement of participation by rural and regional communities and the dimension of graduate employability. It argues that work-integrated learning has the potential to address both themes, but that the development of an apprenticeship model for prestige degrees such as law may deliver additional benefits to rural and regional student engagement. It considers a radical approach to employability by the reintroduction of the apprenticeship approach in disciplines of law and accounting specifically to assist scaffolding of learning for rural and regional students. It considers the modern context of university education and the implications of an expanded university system for delivering employability skills. The expansion of university education has not delivered consistent improvements in participation among rural and regional populations, and it is hypothesised that the visible integration of work-integrated learning has the capacity to address this deficit. However, it is argued that these measures should be supplemented by an innovative program of modern apprenticeships in prestige degrees; such a program could address both participation and employability outcomes. The article contributes to the literature by making explicit the links between the visibility of prestige occupational pathways to rural and regional students, the affective concerns of potential students making the choice to undertake higher education, and the scaffolding of skills and knowledge. It recommends further research in the form of a pilot integration of an apprenticeship model within a university program, but notes the current funding, discipline, and systemic barriers to this process in the current university system in Australia.


Publication Date



Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice





Article Number





University of Wollongong



Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

Usage metrics

    Journal Articles


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager