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Schools must be supported to partner with industry and the community to better prepare students for work and life, a report by Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute says.

The report, Connecting the worlds of learning and work, found Australia’s schooling system is designed to focus on things that can be widely measured, like NAPLAN and ATAR, instead of students’ transitions to life after school.

It suggested governments must improve systems to ensure all students have ‘quality experiences’ with the world of work at school.

It said a closer relationship between business and the education sectors would increase national productivity by addressing skills gaps and improving the transition from training to careers.

‘Schools alone can’t foster the many skills and capabilities students need to thrive in the digital age,’ institute director, Megan O’Connell said in a statement on Monday.

‘Some students have valuable experiences like industry mentoring and entrepreneurship programs across a number of different year levels, but this isn’t the case for all students.

‘Partnerships between schools and industry is one of the best ways to make sure students understand and develop the skills they need for their future careers, so this needs to be a priority for all Australian schools.’

The research found growing evidence of other learning benefits resulting from increased student engagement, including improvements in literacy and numeracy.