Monthly Archives: February 2013

Skills and Jobs – A Plethora of Reports from 2012, Shanti Jagannathan

This ADB-Springer book  on Skills Development for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in Developing Asia-Pacific complemented the plethora of reports that were released in 2012 on Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Skills and Jobs.  Such widespread interest in skills development is a reflection of the prominence that the topic is receiving from policy makers, practitioners and research leaders. On the one hand, skills development priorities are increasingly enshrined into overarching development priorities of countries, say, in the context of the 12th Five Year Plan India, and on the other hand, skills development is considered the vehicle for achieving many positive economic and social outcomes – more and better jobs, inclusive development, industrial diversification, knowledge intensive manufacturing and services, innovation, productivity growth, higher levels of wages and social cohesion. As expectations from skills development grew, the discourse on promising strategies, urgently needed reforms and investments became more and more strident.

This volume explores the agenda for skills development from various angles.  It unpacks a number of thorny issues relating to the link between TVET reform and reforms for employment and employability. While skills development is a crucial priority for jobs, there are a number of other factors that need to be in place for jobs with higher wages and for more sustainable occupations.  With a specific focus on the Asia and Pacific region, the book describes how continued economic growth is predicated upon enhancing the skill base of the work force. It analyzes in particular the role of skills development in workforce development in the context of advanced economies such as Australia as well as poor and developing countries like Bangladesh.  It takes stock of skills development pathways that may be more appropriate or relevant to Asia. The volume analyzes public policy strategies such as vocationalizing education and the challenges of assuring life long learning opportunities. It presents insights into reforms undertaken and required in two largest countries in the world – India and China. The book also dwells extensively into the area of TVET in the context of greening economies.

These are opportune times to advance the dialogue on skills development approaches, priorities and strategies. These were further discussed at the ADB International Skills Forum 2012.

The other reports that were released in 2012 were the UNESCO Global Monitoring Report 2012,  the OECD report on Skills Development Pathways in Asia, 2012, the World Development Report 2013, the ILO World of Work Report 2012  the Mckinsey World at Work report 2012  and the Mckinsey Education to Employment report 2012.

Statutory warning: these constitute over 2500 pages of reading material!