Two employability experts are working with Queensland’s international ed community after being appointed as the 2017–18 Study Queensland Industry Innovators in Residence (IIR).

The IIR program funds innovators to spend 1 to 6 months working with TIQ’s Study Queensland team to contribute innovative ideas or address policy challenges to support Queensland’s international education and training sector.

This year’s innovators are Mr Beau Leese and Ms Nannette Ripmeester.

Sydney-based Mr Leese is the co-CEO of an experiential learning technology company that helps people build real-world skills for future jobs.

Ms Ripmeester is Director of Netherlands’ company Expertise in Labour Mobility, and is collaborating with Mr Leese on a project to create new employability programs for international students in Queensland.

The pair are also collaborating with staff from Study Queensland and project co-sponsor Study Gold Coast, which is holding an employability symposium on the Gold Coast on 15 February.

So far Mr Leese and Ms Ripmeester have conducted a range of consultation workshops and have been working with the team at Study Queensland and Study Gold Coast to draft an employability strategy for Queensland.

The IIR program is now in its second year and attracted applications from more than 30 high-quality innovators from multiple countries.

Innovators selected for the program spend significant time working with stakeholders in Queensland on projects that deliver the objectives of the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

International education and training is worth around $4.7 billion to the Queensland economy and is identified as Queensland’s second-largest services export in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.