Muriel Dunbar on defining skills

Muriel Dunbar, Senior Skills Adviser at Cambridge Education, provides a definition of skills and looks at how widely this extends in terms of educational backgrounds, types of skill, range of ages and range of sectors. She defines skills as: ‘the combination of technical, cognitive and behavioural competences which enable a worker to acquire and retain… Read more

Simon McGrath on transforming skills development

Simon McGrath, Professor of International Education and Development, University of Nottingham, talks about transforming skills development in relation to two key opportunities – the introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 and the new UNESCO technical and vocational training (TVET) strategy. Although TVET and youth employment is mentioned specifically in the SDGs, Simon… Read more

Knowing and doing vocational education and training reform: Evidence, learning and the policy process

This paper is primarily concerned with raising a higher level question about the nature of knowledge and evidence used in planning, implementing and evaluating skills reforms. The paper notes the very high level of official optimism about the benefits of the governance reform process but the real lack of hard evidence across the region for… Read more

Simon McGrath on skills and Technical Vocation Education and Training (TVET)

In this video, Simon McGrath from University of Nottingham, discusses the importance of skills and Technical Vocation Education and Training (TVET). Simon was the expert adviser for the DFID commissioned Skills Topic Guide, which focused on skills immediately necessary for employment and increased productivity. The guide explores the role of TVET skills, which are concerned… Read more

Skills and capacity: what does learning need to look like today to prepare the workforce of 2030?

The global labour market in 2015 was characterised by high unemployment, with large numbers of people either unemployed, underemployed or in vulnerable jobs. Women have most difficulty accessing decent work and are under-represented in the labour force. This has occurred despite an accelerating pace of growth in the 21st century. In parallel with the steady rise… Read more

Skills for Higher Education in Mexico

This project was commissioned by the British Council to explore the need to link secondary school learning outcomes to higher education needs in Mexico, as well as possible mechanisms to accomplish this. It aims to address the following research question: What skills or abilities are necessary for students to be adequately prepared for higher education and… Read more

Education in a changing world, flexibility, skills and employability

New technologies, globalization, the information revolution, and labor market changes have affected the world economy on an unprecedented scale. As a consequence, the demand for a skilled workforce has increased, world trade and migration have intensified, and the divide between the haves and have‐nots has vastly widened. While many developed countries have by now gone… Read more

Putting higher education to work: Skills and research for growth in East Asia

This book seeks to understand the economic context in East Asia, as a means to understanding the need for an improved higher education system. The book begins with a diagnosis of the current state of higher education in East Asia. Although higher education provides several noneconomic benefits, such as nation building and socialization, the book focuses on the economic benefits of higher education… Read more

A Review of National Training Funds

This review presents pre-employment and enterprise training funds from over sixty countries. The characteristics, advantages, and limitations of each are presented. Key design questions are discussed and examples of good practice illustrated. National training funds are increasingly used to finance training. This paper presents a typology of three main types of training funds by purpose:… Read more

Youth and skills: Putting education to work

This report focuses on skills and education. It examines how skills development programmes can be improved to boost young people’s opportunities for decent jobs and better lives. Many young people leave the education system without the necessary skills to find work and contribute to society. These education failures impact on economic growth and social cohesion…. Read more

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