THE Business Council of Cooperatives and Mutuals has thrown its support behind a “one-of-a-kind” specialised program in the management of co-operative mutual and social enterprise business models offered by the University of Newcastle.
The Graduate Certificate in Co-operatives Management and Organisation is the only program of its kind in Australia and prepares students to work in co-operatives, mutuals and member-owned businesses.
Business Council of Cooperatives and Mutuals chief executive officer Melina Morrison said in the wake of the Banking Royal Commission, the co-op sector was the fastest growing ethical sector in a new era of accountability demanded by consumers.
“It is important that business leaders inform themselves about the various organisational forms that provide more equitable and balanced solutions in the sharing economy,” she said.
“Education and training on the co-operative business models has never been more important for the leaders of today and tomorrow.”
Ms Morrison said co-ops had a rich history in Australia bringing jobs, wealth and economic development to the nation for decades.
“Our more recognisable co-ops include Australian Super, CBH and HCF, but of course there are many others,” she said.
Professor Morris Altman, head of Newcastle Business School, said the course was “one of its kind in Australia and really in the world.”
It covers social enterprises and co-operative innovation and focuses on developing practical skills in governance and member participation. It can be combined with further studies for an MBA specialisation.