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Friday, 9 December 1983
Page: 3607

Senator JACK EVANS —My question is directed to the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs. Following criticisms of Australia's ability to exploit our development in high technology, science, communications and other great potential trade areas because of a relatively low standard of management and marketing in Australian enterprises, will the Minister advise the Senate of the present status of the implementation, modification or even abandonment of the recommendations of the report of the Ralph Committee of Inquiry into Management Education in Australia, particularly at the universities and institutes of technology?

Senator RYAN —The recommendations are certainly not being abandoned. They are under active consideration by the Tertiary Education Commission now. Any funding proposals that come out of them will be incorporated, I expect, in the next triennium budget. I point out that the problems to which Senator Jack Evans's question drew attention in terms of the incapacity of our work force to move into the new technologies is not only related to deficiencies in managerial skills-there are those certainly-but also to the kind of education and training available for large sections of the work force. We are taking a number of initiatives, such as the computers in schools program and the upgrading and extension of post-graduate research facilities at universities, in order to be able to improve the capacity of our work force to move into new technologies. But certainly management skills are needed and the Tertiary Education Commission is giving active consideration to those recommendations.