EDUCATION and the attitudes of young people were high on the agenda at last night's round table Committee for Ballarat forum.
Jenny Brockie from SBS Television was mediator for the evening, where interaction between a panel of 10 Ballarat industry leaders and experts held discussions with an audience of around 140, imagining Ballarat in 2030.
The education expert for the evening was the University of Ballarat's vice-chancellor Professor David Battersby, who staggered the audience with statistics of education in Ballarat.
"Only 12 per cent of Ballarat has post-secondary education, compared with 27 per cent of metropolitan Melbourne's population," he said.
"By 2030 I want the same portion of Ballarat's population in Ballarat with university degrees as metropolitan Melbourne ."
Business expert Margi Cousins said the first step was to inspire young people.
"How can we have aspirations for young people doing apprenticeships earning around $490 in total a week when they can earn $20 an hour at Coles?" she asked.
Professor Battersby also followed the idea that young people in Ballarat are failing to be inspired.
"Young people are fooled by the illusion of earning $20 at Coles or Bottlemart and they've got a nice car and they'll be set for life, especially boys," he said.
"It's too late by year 10 to start talking about careers and opportunities, you have to start in years five, six and seven, because that's when you start to influence."
Youth expert Larelle Kuczer said she was a strong believer in the concept of it taking a village to raise a child.
"There are so many business leaders in Ballarat, and there are so many mentoring opportunities," she said.
Connectivity expert George Fong said there was a broader issue to do with the younger generation, and that was they communicated in a way that those in older generations couldn't understand.