skills and work Good-quality basic education

 Widely agreed guiding principles linking skills and work
Good-quality basic education for all is an agreed goal and an essential prerequisite for
further skills development.
Establishing solid bridges between vocational education, training and skills development, and the world of work makes it more likely that workers will learn the “right”
skills, namely those required by the evolving demands of labour markets, enterprises
and workplaces in different economic sectors and industries.
Effective partnerships between governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations, and training institutions and providers are critical to anchor the world of learning
in the world of work.
Broad and continued access to training and skills development opens up the opportunities for and benefits of both initial and lifelong learning to all, enabling women and
men of all ages, 

in both urban and rural areas, to fulfil their aspirations.
Dedicated policies and measures are required to facilitate access to training and
skills development by individuals and groups hindered by various barriers, including
poverty and low income, ethnic origin, disability and migrant status.
Education and skills policies are more effective when well coordinated with
employment, social protection, industrial, investment and trade policies.
By using up-do-date information,

 those working in education and training can assess
the match between the skills they are teaching and those in demand in the workplace.
When that information is put at the disposal of young people and workers by
employment and vocational guidance services, it can help them to make better-informed
choices about education and training.
Sustaining relevance to the world of work
Countries share many of the difficulties in ensuring that learning is effective, sustained
and relevant to the world of work.
General education budgets account for a large proportion of total government
expenditure. Yet educational achievements vary widely both across and within countries. 

When general education fails in its basic objective of raising the cognitive skills of
the population, the economic and social costs can be high. In some countries, possible
cuts in spending on education and training in the framework of fiscal consolidation
policies could substantially hinder future development. It is all the more important to
manage public training resources effectively, given their importance as a key driver of
long-term growth.
6 A Skilled Workforce for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth
During the financial crisis begun in 2008, training and education featured as key
components in the stimulus packages adopted by many G20 countries. Now, as some
of these countries are embarking on fiscal consolidation, it is important to ring-fence
education and training budgets. Cutting back on these social expenditures can jeopardize long-term growth perspectives and aggravate rather than alleviate fiscal problems.
The gulf between the world of learning and the world of work can be wide.

former is often classroom-based and academic, while the latter is dominated by the
practical demands of production processes, deadlines and workplace organization.
Change happens fast in the world of work, driven by innovation and by developments
in technology and markets. Keeping up with this pace of change is a continuing challenge for learning institutions. T

he active participation of employers’ and workers’
representatives in vocational education and training institutions is essential to bridging
this gulf. Crossing the gulf can be particularly challenging for women, people with
disabilities, communities in remote rural areas and others without access to good-quality education.
While most countries have seen an unprecedented expansion of their education
and skill base over the past decades, there is a persistent gap between the kind of knowledge and skills that are most in demand in the workplace and those that education and
training systems continue to provide. The ease with which young women and men enter
the labour market is a good indication of how relevant their skills training has been. 

Assessing the continued relevance and quality of training institutions and
programmes, relative to their cost, is a challenge. Tools and methods, including international comparisons, require further development.
Most importantly, skills by themselves do not automatically lead to more and
better jobs. Skills policies must be part of a broad set of policies that are conducive to
high rates of growth and investment, including investment in basic education, health
care and physical infrastructure, strong growth in good-quality employment, and respect
for workers’ rights.

What is in this report
This report is composed of three elements: the reasons why a skills strategy is needed;
a conceptual framework for such a strategy; and recommendations for its effective
implementation. These correspond to the three parts of the report, which address in turn
the why, what and how of equipping the workforce with the skills required for strong,
sustainable and balanced growth.
Part I briefly describes selected drivers of longer-term change that challenge
national skills development systems and provide the motivation for a commitment to
improving them.
Part II provides a conceptual framework for a skills development strategy, with
reference to national policy objectives, that is relevant to the diverse realities and needs
of individual countries.
Part III assembles the essential building blocks of a robust training strategy as
called for by the G20 leaders, with reference to a range of illustrations drawing on
national examples

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