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Select Committee on the Future of Work and Workers

MOORE, Ms Anne, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, PlanDo Human Capital Pty Ltd

Committee met at 09:05

CHAIR ( Senator Watt ): I declare open this hearing of the Senate Select Committee on the Future of Work and Workers and I welcome everyone here today. This is a public hearing and a Hansard transcript of the proceedings is being made. The hearing is also being broadcast via the Australian Parliament House website. Before the committee starts taking evidence, I remind all witnesses that in giving evidence to the committee they are protected by parliamentary privilege. It is unlawful for anyone to threaten or disadvantage a witness on account of evidence given to a committee, and such action may be treated by the Senate as a contempt. It is also a contempt to give false or misleading evidence to a committee.

The committee generally prefers evidence to be given in public but, under the Senate's resolutions, witnesses have the right to request to be heard in private session. If a witness objects to answering a question, the witness should state the ground upon which the objection is taken and the committee will determine whether it will insist on an answer, having regard to the ground on which it is claimed. If the committee determines to insist on an answer, a witness may request that the answer be given in camera. Such a request may of course also be made at any other time. I'd also ask witnesses to remain behind for a few minutes at the conclusion of their evidence in case the secretariat needs to clarify any terms or references. I remind people in the hearing room to ensure that their mobile phones are switched to silent.

I now welcome Ms Anne Moore from PlanDo. I understand that information on parliamentary privilege and the protection of witnesses and evidence has been provided to you?

Ms Moore : It has.

CHAIR: Great. I now invite you to make a short opening statement, and at the conclusion of your remarks we'll have some questions.

Ms Moore : Thank you and good morning. First, may I say I'm absolutely delighted to have the privilege to present to you today. I hope that the perspective I'm able to offer you brings together a wealth of lived experience in skills building and insight that is based on industry practice and research. I'm a social scientist and entrepreneur and a human capital leader, and over the course of the last 30 years I've built the skills of sales teams and rocket scientists—literally. I won't go into a lot of detail in relation to my biographical data—I intend to table the document that I have in front of me today—but I do want to point out to you where I see a convergence of some major drivers that are going to impact the future of work for all of us. They include technology, social change and economic drivers such that we see in enterprise and industry. I'd also like to touch on what the impacts of that might be for higher education, as I'm currently working closely with the University of Sydney in their department of engineering and IT and have had broader university exposure. I'm a member of the advisory board for the MBA program at the University of Technology Sydney and I'm a longstanding lecturer at Sydney Business School. So I'd like to draw on some of my observations in relation to higher ed and I'd like to conclude by talking about what I think are some of the initiatives that government might want to consider as we approach this complex topic.

One of the points I'd like to make up-front is that I'm often asked whether or not, when it comes to the future of work, I'm an optimist and a pessimist—or a pessimist! That was a Freudian slip, because I am both and I am neither. My response to that question is always that I'm reluctant to share my optimism or pessimism on the basis that it is actually irrelevant. It's like having a debate with the Flat Earth Society. We can argue whether the world is round or flat and it doesn't really matter because the facts will speak for themselves ultimately. So today I'd like to show you where we are, to look at some of the immutable evidence that's got us here, and then to help us create a trajectory moving forward. So, just to recap, I want to look at technical change or technology, social change and the commercial pressures that are placed on organisations and established institutions as we navigate through that. Thank you.

CHAIR: Great. I see you've prepared a written statement as well. Do you want to table that statement?

Ms Moore : I would like to table this statement.

CHAIR: Sure.

Ms Moore : On the reverse of the biographical data is a high-level, bullet-point view of some of the key factors that I'd like you to consider, and I'm comfortable to produce a written submission, based on the conversations that we have today, that would support this in greater detail.

CHAIR: Sure; that's fine. Just to get us going, would you like to talk a little further to your written statement. We haven't had an opportunity to read through that, so do you want to talk us through the main points?

Ms Moore : Yes, certainly. I've mentioned some of my credentials. The important part of the beginning of this journey is that a decade ago I was approached by the University of Sydney to form a start-up that we called SydneyTalent, and it was based on the work of Glyn Davis, the now VC of the University of Melbourne. It was a white paper on employability and work readiness. Given my career in learning and skills-building, it was so close to ground zero for the things that I'd worked very hard for, across my working life, and believed in personally, that I took the job.

The purpose of SydneyTalent—as a precursor to the conversations we're having today, really, about skills building and long runways—was to look at employability and work readiness of undergraduate and postgraduate students. We offered a program of generic skills building and paid meaningful employment. That occurred on a project basis or on a part-time basis with some significant organisations such as Qantas, Deloitte and McKinsey, to name three. But the employment outcomes were—there were 3½ thousand participants in the program—extremely positive. At the time—and we're talking a decade ago—three per cent of Australian graduates left university with course-related employment history on their resume. In other words, they were pulling beers and serving coffees. That is great for developing life skills, but it has a use-by date. So I was very keen to look at how we were going to increase those employment prospects.

If we fast-forward, recently I had a conversation, under privilege, here, with the University of New South Wales, about employment outcomes for STEM graduates, particularly from the Faculty of Science. Sixty per cent of graduates leaving science last year, 2017, said that their expectation of employment in the first six months of graduation would be at Coles or 7-Eleven. So that, as a simple artefact, tells us that we've not got the employability of students, and long runways and the future of work, right yet.

On the basis of that, what I've done over the last five years is to create a digital career passport. This refers to my expertise or background as an entrepreneur. I decided, mid-career, five years ago, that I was going to build a digital career passport that would empower and equip individuals to have more control over skills building across their working lives. That was based on the technology, social and enterprise changes that I've referred to that I'd like to discuss in more detail. So that's the work that I'm doing at the moment, alongside of research. I'm doing a lot of work as to what organisational models need to look like. There needs to be significant change in how organisations shape up and deal with the future of work, and I'd like to emphasise some of those points shortly.

CHAIR: Thank you. Just before you do that, I heard you mention that, at the time that you established SydneyTalent, only three per cent of Australian graduates left university with course-related employment. Do you have any sense of what the percentage would be now and whether we're doing a better or worse job these days?

Ms Moore : My sense of it, based on the changes that we've seen in curriculum, would be that there has been little significant progress. I use the case in point of University of New South Wales science graduates. You would expect to see, in STEM programs, better employment outcomes. It means that we're not creating the bridge between university or tertiary education and employment in a way that is going to sustain and build careers. It's particularly important when individuals leave university that those first career opportunities set the basis for their trajectory moving forward. If you have students that are leaving into low-skilled roles relative to the training that they've undertaken then it leaves them in a little bit of a void as to how they're going to navigate on from that.

CHAIR: I think we're going to be talking about those issues quite a bit over the course of the day, because they've come up in the submissions of other witnesses appearing today as well. I was surprised to see that figure of about 60 per cent of STEM graduates not finding relevant employment, because over and over through this inquiry we've been told, 'We need more STEM graduates. We need more STEM graduates.' But it turns out we are not really using the ones we've got—

Ms Moore : That's true.

CHAIR: effectively.

Ms Moore : Correct.

CHAIR: Do you put that down to the lack of connections between universities and business? How would you explain that?

Ms Moore : The first response that springs to mind, there is industry readiness to engage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Engineering students go off into organisations like Atlassian and progressive organisations—and CSIRO, as a more established entity—but those jobs are relatively few when you think of the commercial drivers for universities to attract. It is, to a large extent, a revenue-building case to say that we need to be producing more science and technology graduates.

CHAIR: Sure.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: Ms Moore, I used to be a lawyer in the old days. You'd finish your academic study, but you were useless in a legal office unless you had had some experience, as in my case, as an articled clerk.

Ms Moore : Yes.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: I know a lot of medical students nowadays do their academic study, but at the same time they're going out and sitting in a surgery with a practising GP or even a specialist.

Ms Moore : Yes.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: So, they're getting on-the-job training. In the STEM area, is there any way that the universities or someone could teach these highly qualified academic graduates what it is that a future employer might be looking for so that they could walk in and start earning a quid for the employer rather than just spending the next 12 months working out how you go out and design a bridge in a way that it will sell? Is there a role for that?

Ms Moore : There is a role for that. We're working with the University of Sydney's engineering and IT faculty right now. Their professional engagement program has been expanded to include 600 industry hours as part of the qualification. One of the things that we're doing here—as a model, perhaps—is embedding Engineers Australia competency frameworks, alongside the graduate qualities, inside our technology platform so that individuals can set goals and build skills, and track and share their progress towards those outcomes across the course of their study. That model of imbedding industry experience as an individual goes through their training is, I think, really important in ensuring that we have the right sort of work outcomes, because you're quite right; there is a disconnect between what they learn at university and what they're expected to do when they get into the workplace.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: JCU, which is the one I know, do that quite regularly with their medical course, but they've extended the course by a year to allow for that. I think it's normally a five-year course, and theirs is a six-year course, or whatever it is. Do you think it's appropriate that extra time should be given to complete the academic work and imbed in that the sort of practical experience you seem to be telling us is occurring at your university?

Ms Moore : To be clear, the University of Sydney is not my university; it's the university that we're working with at the moment. We work with several universities, but that's a case in point in engineering.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: Okay.

Ms Moore : Senator, I think the point here is that looking for opportunities where we can weave industry engagement alongside academic learning is a really important way to ensure that we're promoting the best possible outcomes for students, universities and industry. This is bearing in mind—and you will have heard this previously—that, for most university programs of four years duration, the first year of information that you're going to study is likely to be redundant by the time you graduate.

There's also a mindset shift that needs to occur around the nature of knowledge. I've had anecdotal evidence presented to me that suggests that many academics still view industry as a bridge too far and let's keep away from that dynamic nature of the way things—it's just disorienting to look at the rate of change. It's a paradox, really, where those who are educating are the least reluctant to learn. That's controversial.

CHAIR: When I was asking about what's going wrong, that we aren't finding relevant roles for STEM graduates, you were talking about lack of industry readiness. Do you mean on the part of graduates or on the part of industry, not knowing what they're wanting from graduates, or both?

Ms Moore : I predominantly think it's around the work readiness of students. Also there's a role for industry to play here, if they bring students in. If you think about intern programs—if I come back, Senator, to your legal scenario—the job for many summer interns is to be responsible for what used to be the photocopying and those low-skilled roles. Some time back I had conversations with Gillian Triggs, when she was the dean of law at USyd, and she talked around the inappropriateness of the curriculum to match expectations. Things that you study are not necessarily the things that you're going to be doing when you hit the ground running. That causes a low level of value that students are providing in the workplace, initially. It provides disorientation and disappointment, frankly. If we look at law, 60 per cent of law graduates are out of law at 36 months.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: A lot of them don't get there. They work in this building instead!

CHAIR: Some of them end up in Senate.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: Some of them end up in the Senate.

Ms Moore : Or anywhere other than law.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: What was your figure—60 per cent or 40 per cent?

Ms Moore : Sixty per cent.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: Don't practice law!

Ms Moore : After 36 months of graduation. They're sprinkled across a lot of other sectors that require complex thinking.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: Yes, law is a good grounding for many things as well as for being a lawyer.

Senator PATRICK: You're focusing on the lack of bridging, Ms Moore.

Ms Moore : Yes.

Senator PATRICK: How do you solve that problem? What's the solution to the problem and who should be held responsible? Is it the university, is it the student or is it government that needs to be involved?

Ms Moore : You're cutting to the chase and going to the solution first, which I like. We can work our way back from that. It is all of those parties. This is not a simple exercise where we say that universities need to fix this, government needs to fix this, individuals or industry need to fix this. This is an issue that is so complex and is of such magnitude that it requires all of those parties to come together and design solutions that look at employability. In my notes I talk about government being the creators and leaders of socioeconomic value. That requires government to sit down with industry and work out not whether we're optimists or pessimists, as I opened with, but where we are now, and we ensure that as many people as possible have the right skills and transition into new roles with the least economic disadvantage, individually and societally.

Senator PATRICK: So in some sense you're talking about how you might approach the solution. I'm wondering if you actually have a view of the solution itself. Maybe that is, as you suggested at the start of the hearing, a submission that details how you think the problem ought to be solved.

Ms Moore : The problem needs to be solved working from first principles and by investing deeply in lifelong skills building and skills that will enable individuals en masse to transition to new work. Investment in skills building and new skills is critical.

Senator PATRICK: Are you only talking about the jump from undergraduate to employment? This committee has heard the idea that you continually have to be doing education throughout your career. In some sense that looks like what you're trying to hit with your PlanDo software. Or is it something where you say the same thing needs to happen from school through to an apprenticeship, for example, or from school through to some other job that doesn't necessarily involve a university degree?

Ms Moore : I see there is a great future for non-university training, as an aside. To help you get your minds around this, when we talk about lifelong learning we are talking about the learning that begins at school and continues up until or beyond the time that we exit the workforce, which incidentally might be longer than we might have anticipated.

There are three sorts of skills that each of us need to be building. The first is what I call universal or generic skills. They are complex skills, such as communication, team work, collaboration, problem solving and flexibility. There are a number of those. I call them 'universal' and 'generic' because they apply beyond a specific role or function. They are the skills that will help us remain relevant and help us with augmentation on that continuum of digital disruption that we're about to see.

The second set of skills are those that have what I call a short shelf life—that is, technical skills. So it's updating lawyers, doctors and plumbers with technology and augmenting their complex human skills that I've just referred to and understanding what tools and technology are available for them.

The third, which relates to a very large cohort—approximately a third of the workforce currently—is digital literacy. For digital natives and those of us who migrated early, this is less of an issue, but there is still a third of the workforce that I would describe as being digitally illiterate. There is a reluctance to come up that curve for a whole range of reasons. They are the three skills—generic skills, technical skills and digital literacy.

Senator PATRICK: Why do you separate the first from the third? Why do you not say that digital literacy skills are in fact generic skills?

Ms Moore : We would like them to be generic, but there are huge gaps there. When I talk about that, I say that we don't need to sit down and teach a 10-year-old how to use Instagram or what social media is, yet when we go into big organisations like government ones we'll see that there are still digital media departments and functions that are designed specifically to deal with digital literacy where every individual in the workforce should have digital literacy and be able to communicate and problem-solve using digital technology. That's the gap that I'm referring to there. That's a third of the workforce currently. To be precise, it's 31 per cent.

CHAIR: If you get those three skills worked out—and let's just limit it to universities so that it's a manageable problem in the context of this hearing—and someone is getting close to the end of their degree and transitioning into the workplace, what do you say needs to happen to get them properly transitioned that's not happening?

Ms Moore : You've just identified one of the major problems here; that is, ideally we don't get someone to the end of their tertiary education before we start to say, 'And now you will need some generic skills like teamwork, problem-solving and communication.' We need to begin with those skills to create a sense of ownership; an imperative. Part of this conversation—I would really like the opportunity to talk about this—is creating a sense of urgency around how important it is for individuals to take responsibility for the early learning of those three elements that we talked about, disabusing individuals of three things: first, that you qualify once and you're done; second, that you have a career for life; and third, that your organisation will be responsible for your development. None of those statements are true any longer.

CHAIR: Have you got any suggestions about how to disabuse individuals of these notions?

Ms Moore : Yes, I do have ideas on that.

CHAIR: Fire away!

Ms Moore : I believe that when we look at what's happening in the world of technological change and social change—and it's important that we approach them in this way—those two factors are creating an enormous amount of pressure on organisations. Organisations have a commercial imperative to uphold. Organisations want to remain competitive. Forget about digital for a moment; organisations will use technology if it allows them to become more efficient and drive the costs of production down. If we accept that, then we know that it's going to be individuals that are the easiest lever to move in terms of reducing costs and remaining profitable and productive. If an organisation is publicly listed, for example, then it has an imperative to drive growth on behalf of its shareholders. If that growth means that it needs to reduce the costs of labour, then it'll do that.

I think part of the conversation here is that organisations need to start having adult conversations with employees around the changing nature of work—progressive organisations do this already—and say: 'When you join us, this is not about a job for life. What we will do is commit to you that, when you leave this organisation, you will be more employable than when you came.' For me, that's the onus of responsible leadership. What we're not seeing broadly and consistently is organisations preparing their workforce for the changes that they are likely to envisage. Six hundred people lost their jobs at Optus last week. We've seen it in the media, in Fairfax. We've seen it in General Motors. Some of those organisations prepare people well and some don't.

We need to have a consistent approach, because what will happen here—and the IMF talked about this—is it will be unskilled labour that becomes the most vulnerable. Organisations, I believe, alongside government, perhaps with the support of government, have the responsibility to say: 'This is what work will look like going forward. We commit to you that you will have more ownership and more accountability in your work and in your working lives; call that career'—which, incidentally, is an antiquated expression but I'm yet to come up with a better term—'and this will mean we're set on a path together where you will build your skills and you will remain employable.' The worst-case scenario for government is very long dole queues of unskilled labour that have no prospect of coming up the curve long enough. Last year I appeared on an SBS program called The Late Shift. If you were to view that you'd know there were several examples of individuals who found themselves unemployable. I refer to that because it's indicative of a whole group of people who have come into the workforce without recent education by their employers and who are living in an oblivious state around, 'Someone is going to look after me, and my livelihood is assured.'

CHAIR: In your experience, what do you see as best practice from employers to ensure that employees are left more employable? Putting the same question another way: we hear a lot about the need for life-long learning; what's best practice that you've seen? You don't have to name individual companies if you'd rather not.

Ms Moore : Best practice is where there is a move that extends beyond the rhetoric. When I started down the path of talking about the future of work, five years ago, it was, 'What is she smoking?' There's now a lot of rhetoric around this. Best practice is where there's a shift beyond the rhetoric, and this is not a simple, 'Let's skill people.' It's about: How do our organisations shape up? What is the literal structure of an organisation? What is the mindset behind leaders? I talk about toolsets, skill sets and mindsets. If you have an organisation where the mindset of the leaders and decision-makers and influencers is to protect and preserve, for as long as possible, the existing structures and ways of operating, then we have a situation where people are going to be very disappointed. So best practice involves organisations that undergo wholesale reviews but with, what I call, an adaptive mindset—that is, a mindset that says: 'We're prepared to be vulnerable. There is a lot of ambiguity, and we're not quite sure how this will play out, but we want to have a conversation around how we're going to equip you.'

Just indulge me for a moment. I want to talk about what we're seeing as big shifts, and I want to take us very quickly through the differences between the first Industrial Revolution and the revolution that we're facing now, at risk of preaching to the converted. When we first introduced mass production, there were five factors that were relevant, and I want you to think of these on a continuum. It goes like this: in the first Industrial Revolution we were dealing with unskilled labour. We were producing products or goods—capital. And that production occurred by performing repetitive tasks with predictable outcomes. The model that we used in those scenarios was borrowed from the church and the military, and it was command and control.

We find now that we're dealing with highly skilled labour, mostly producing services and knowledge—information. We're performing complex one-off tasks with unpredictable outcomes. So it stands to reason that we need to look at the models that we're using for organisation design, the tools that we're providing individuals and, most importantly, the mindsets that we're bringing. I call the leaders of many organisations the 'laggards at the top' because they have little personal interest in how this will play out for them. And, if we admit it, organisations are still working on the basis of only wanting to lose people on terms that are convenient for them. They don't want to say to individuals: 'Hey, guess what? This might not be a job for life.'

If we can approach work with some versatility to say that one of three things will happen to every employee over the next decade, and that includes all of us, you will either transform in your existing role—which means you're likely to have augmented technology to support you, to do the mundane repetitive things that I referred to a moment ago—or you will be redeployed within the organisation or transition out of the organisation. One or more of those scenarios will apply to all of us. So how do we bring about the versatility to say, 'Let's equip you for the change that we're about to see'? The challenge—and I refer to the Mary Meeker Internet trends report that came out a few days ago, and I'd like to table that document—is that, since 1980, roles in the locomotive industry compared to aeronautical or aeroplane manufacturing have inverted. We've got 100,000 to 400,000, and in 1980 there was a pivot point where they inverted. So today we have 400,000 people working in the airline industry—production, engineering and the like—versus 100,000 people working in the automotive sector. The point that I'm making is that we need to determine how individuals will fit into the new world and begin the navigation to new skills—transitioning. Senator Patrick, you asked me about what we need to be doing alongside reskilling, and it's preparing people for transition.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: What percentage of people enter the workforce unskilled? Is there a broad figure on that?

Ms Moore : Can I take that question on notice? It's a very good question, and I can't give you a precise answer, but I'd like to.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: It would be very, very small, wouldn't it?

Ms Moore : Yes, but—and this is a very important point, again to the IMF report—they represent the most vulnerable.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: Okay, that's another issue. I remember when I left school, if my marks didn't allow me to matriculate to university, I knew I could always fall back on a white-collar job either as a teacher or in the bank. Now, of course, the bank jobs have all gone. But, if you did get those, you got them for life. Back in my generation, you had a job for life. It's completely changed.

Ms Moore : It has. I'll come back to you with the quantitative data, but the qualitative data is like this: if you are required to perform repetitive tasks that require unskilled labour with predictable outcomes, you are most vulnerable.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: Yes, indeed. Should we, or should someone, be looking at which jobs can never be replaced? For example, I think you'll always need a plumber to unblock a drainpipe. You used to always need a mechanic to fix your car. Nowadays, the mechanics don't know how to fix a car, but they know how to pull out a board and put in another board, and that gets the car going again. But is there work being done on the jobs in the future that won't be able to be done by robots, providing we have enough people to build the robots, although I understand that the robots almost build themselves these days? Should we be looking more at that? I've just had my knee done and my surgeon said to me: 'In 30 years, there won't be surgeons. It'll all be done by robots.' Should someone be looking at that, or are the universities trying to predict what jobs will be there in 20 or 30 years time?

Ms Moore : I think that work is well and truly underway. I know that Michael Priddis at Faethm presented to you. Faethm and organisations like Faethm are doing work on precisely that topic. So we know broadly that, if you want to apply a principle to this, you ask yourself if it requires complex tasks that have, as I said earlier, unpredictable outcomes. If the answer is yes, those sectors are likely to be preserved. We know that, in the next two decades, construction and infrastructure is a growth area. We know that aged care, health and emerging fields like cyber and nanotechnology are growth areas. We know that 57 per cent of jobs will be lost in the retail sector in five to 10 years. So we have very good ideas around what sectors are under threat.

The organisations that are thriving at the moment are also—and you won't be surprised by this—those that have the least impetus to bring about change, because, when I say thriving, I'm talking about their commercial growth. They're disinclined to do that, and we're still seeing the tail end of that in some manufacturing and mining sectors, fuel and energy, for example.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: Thank you.

Senator PATRICK: Again, you've talked about what we need to do but not how we might go about doing it. On notice, understanding your vast experience in the field, if you were king for a day—or queen for a day—at the university—

Ms Moore : Or in government or in industry or in all three.

Senator PATRICK: If you were given the gig, what would you do to solve the bridging problem? Noting the time, I'm happy for you to take that on notice and perhaps give us your view of how, not what.

Ms Moore : I'd like to take that on notice, but I'd also like to pre-empt that by saying that's likely to look like a multidisciplinary group of individuals that will formulate and commit to a plan for reskilling and transitioning the Australian labour market.

Senator PATRICK: And how does that interact, for example, with students, with industry and with university faculties themselves? I'm looking for a diagram that tells us how to do it.

Ms Moore : Okay. In the middle of that diagram, I want you to put the worker, and I want you to look at all the points of interaction around that where a worker is going to connect. There'll be skills building; there'll be employment; there'll be a whole range of factors that surround that, and government.

The expression that came to mind when I thought about this just last night was an affirmative action program with government that will push forward, not to own exclusively but to lead the dialogue for the case of economic and social value that government will create. I'd like to see government driving that initiative, and perhaps we'll look at policy and regulation. I don't know how we regulate for best practice. We generally regulate to protect the lowest common denominators but if we were to look at how we can encourage organisations to begin dialogue—how we do this is by beginning the conversation and translating that into outcomes.

I spoke with one of the managing directors of digital transformation at a major bank this week, and he told me—coming back to the idea of how organisations are informed about these changes that are coming—that the first three tiers of the organisation, looking top down, are all across this and, beyond that, it's mayhem. So even some of the financial institutions that have been forthright in what they intend to do for the future of work are, culturally, still disoriented. But I don't know how we legislate for more adaptive mindsets.

Senator PATRICK: Sometimes legislation is not the answer. Sometimes government involvement can be counter productive.

Ms Moore : Yes.

Senator PATRICK: I imagine that universities are closer to the students than any government ever will be. I imagine that industry would want to be closer to the students than perhaps any government might want to be. I wonder whether or not it's government that greases the wheels or whether or not the responsibility lies with someone other than government but assisted by or encouraged by government.

Ms Moore : I find it difficult off the cuff to accept a situation where government doesn't hold some responsibility because I think that, for those who subscribe to the idea of free markets, the idea of government intervention is as a last resort. I don't think that this situation calls for that. Free markets are not going to sort this out.

CHAIR: Thanks. We are a little bit over time, so we might need to leave it at that, but it would be great if you could expand upon some of those ideas in a written submission.

Ms Moore : Thank you. It's been a pleasure to be here.

CHAIR: Great. Thank you for coming along.