Advance Awards Social Impact Winner
For the past 25 years, Nicholas Wyman has sought novel ways to connect youth with the jobs of the future. Nicholas believes the ‘learn by doing’ approach has much to offer in a new world order straddling the faultlines of a ‘skills mismatch’. In Australia and beyond, Nick has innovated market-driven solutions to address the long-term workforce issues faced by employers, education institutions and governments. He created the innovative ‘New Recruits’ job skills program to bring disengaged young Australians back into the labour market. He co-founded the Skilling Australia Foundation, contracted by the Australian Government to address chronic STEM skills shortages. In the U.S., Nicholas developed the Kentucky Advanced Technical College, a collaborative education partnership between industry educators and the community assisting at-risk youth in the Appalachian region. Nick has built a global conversation around the need to change the status quo in job skills training. His research work and thought-leadership articles are widely published and internationally recognised.
The social impact of Nicholas’ advocacy for and promotion of apprenticeships and vocational education are measured by the thousands of students in Australia and the United States who have been positively impacted by his work with policymakers and political leaders. Nicholas is an international expert and thought leader on the Apprenticeship skills model and Career and Technical education trends, working across the United States, UK, Germany, Switzerland and Australia. He is subject matter expert and key advisor to the Urban Institute’s Centre on Labor, human services and population in Washington D.C. He also regularly briefs and advises the U.S. Department of Labor, the House Committee on Workforce and the National Governors Association on workforce development issues. Nicholas is a member of the Advisory Board of the American Institute for Innovative Apprenticeship (AIIA). His ambition is to break open opportunities that encourage employers to give more young people a go. Nicholas has the ability to inspire the next generation of Global leaders, named by AFR in 2017 as a True Leader in recognition of his educational leadership ability.