The Tasmanian Government has announced it is developing an Asia Education Strategy in a bid to ‘take advantage’ of the opportunities presented in the Asian Century.

State Education Minister, Nick McKim, made the announcement following the release of the Tasmania’s Place in the Asian Century White Paper.

The White Paper outlines a number of key strategies, including improving cultural awareness, placing a greater emphasis on the teaching of Asian languages in school and attracting more international students to study in the State.

“Education has a central role to play in ensuring we can take full advantage of the opportunities on offer in the Asian Century,” Mr McKim said.

“The Department of Education has already started work on an Asia Education Strategy, which will focus on strategies to improve Asian literacy, in line with the recommendations of the Australian White Paper released late last year.”

A 2012 survey found that a total of 11 185 Tasmanian students between kindergarten and Year 10 are studying Indonesian, Japanese or Mandarin.  

Mr McKim said the White Paper also emphasised the importance of the work the Government is doing to improve overall educational attainment, year 11 and 12 retention and skills-based training.

“The work we are already undertaking including Raising the Bar, Closing the Gap and the review of year 11 and 12 in regional schools will be vital in ensuring the students of the future are prepared for the jobs on offer in the Asian Century.

“The Department of Education, through Skills Tasmania, will map out the State’s future workforce needs in key Asia-focused industries such as agriculture, aquaculture, seafood processing, mining, tourism and hospitality.”