The OECD skills strategy and the education agenda for development

There is increased recognition of the important that skills policies need to play in the post-2015 agenda. International organisations are presenting their views on the global situation of skills and the policies that should be implemented. The article reviews the policy framework of the OECD Skills Strategy and its implications for the education and development debate in the post-2015 scenario. This strategy introduces two main innovations compared to the previous work of the OECD in education and skills. The first one is the integration of analytical contributions from the new political economy of skills in a policy framework traditionally dominated by the human capital orthodoxy. This shift has important implications for how the OECD understands the relation between education and work in capitalist societies and on the policy recommendations they make to countries. The second innovation is the extension of the geographical focus of the organization in order to assess the situation of skills and skills policies not only in high-income countries, but also in low- and middle income countries as well. The article argues that, despite these two salient innovations, there remain some absences and shortfalls in the policy framework of the OECD Skills Strategy that will limit its effectiveness, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

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