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How Plus Eight participants, IDEA are building a future-focused solution for the education industry

Oct 22, 2021

In 2022, Perth city is set to welcome a groundbreaking new education alternative for young innovators, creatives, and entrepreneurs, drawing them to the heart of the CBD. IDEA, a new and ambitious social enterprise, who was recently successful in entering Phase Two of our Plus Eight accelerator program, provides individually brokered and career-oriented education pathways for young people. This approach is hailed by industry experts as “the only way forward” in addressing the growing challenge of preparing young Australians to compete in a global marketplace.


Spacecubed, through it’s Foundation, has been supporting the IDEA initiative with grant funding and advice since its inception. We believe that the development of future-ready skills and attributes in Year 11 and 12 students will play a big part in bridging the future skills gap that WA will face in the coming decade. 


IDEA’s founders, Nicole Gazey and Rebecca Loftus, believe there is a real need to close the gap between what traditional education provides to students and the innovation skills required in the next generation of our workforce. At the heart of IDEA’s vision is the belief that young people thrive when they are educated in a manner that suits their needs, passions and learning style. 


Students graduate with a portfolio of transferable skills, vocational training, work and learning experiences, and micro-credentials. It takes a bold new approach, addressing the expectations of students leaving secondary education by preparing them for the workforce, and providing industries with skilled and employable graduates.


For decades, government, industry, and education professionals have lobbied for much-needed change in the education system – change that would ensure young Australians’ ability to continue to compete in a rapidly changing global economy. Shifting the culture of such a complex system is no mean feat, however. While there have been some positive trends, students, families and educators alike have voiced frustration at the lack of meaningful change and the growing inequity in our education system. 


Inspired by recent publications on innovation and education “ecosystems”, as well as their own experience as educators and parents, the team at IDEA responded to this challenge by developing a model that sits alongside the system, operating at a similar cost to public education. 


At IDEA, young people are immersed in an environment of like-minded peers seeking education relevant to their interests and the realities of the world today. Through an established network of strong local and global partnerships, IDEA’s mission is to provide students with a case–managed approach to education that is affordable, equitable, and relevant. IDEA operates out of co-working spaces, connecting young people with businesses and start-ups. This creates both a pipeline of talent for local industry to draw from, and a human-centred system in which every young person can find purpose and thrive.


When asked about the future of education, founder and educator Nicole Gazey says, “the final two years of school should be viewed as the first two years of a young person’s career – they should be the most strategic and rewarding years of a young person’s education.”


To learn more about IDEA, head to their website ideacademy.com.au