The Role of Skills Development in Overcoming Social Disadvantage

This paper was written as part of the planning phase for the Education For All Global Monitoring Report 2012. Its objective is to highlight current policies that support skills development and to identify gaps that present potential for progress. Theories of skills acquisition have moved on from being exclusively linked to formal education settings. Other sources of skills development are now considered. This includes skills development through informal at work learning, apprenteships and enterprise-based training. It also includes government and non-government funded training and education institutes. Past policy interventions and country experiences can provide important lessons on past policies and inform new ways of thinking. The first section of this paper explores definitions and theories about skills development. It considers measuring and monitoring of success. The second section provides an overview of evaluating skills development implementations. The third section reflects on reform trends and challenges in reaching the socially disadvantaged with skills and the policy gaps that need to be filled.

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