Skills Development for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in Developing Asia-Pacific

Publication | December 2012

As countries in Asia and the Pacific recalibrate their growth models to consolidate their positions in the global economy, availability of a highly skilled and technically qualified human resource base will be a crucial determinant of success. In their quest to gain market shares in higher-order manufacturing and services, governments and other stakeholders are paying close attention to developing the requisite technical and scientific capabilities.

If emerging economies in Asia and the Pacific are to maintain their robust economic growth rates, they need to respond to the challenges posed by the ascent of knowledge economies. The labor cost advantages in manufacturing of the past are giving way to innovation-intensive competitiveness based on the ability to generate new ideas, products, and processes. Mere cost advantages are no longer sufficient, and companies should have a holistic approach considering economic, social, environmental, and financial aspects.

Advancement of societies is predicated on putting knowledge and innovation to work and developing new products and new services. This requires governments to have appropriate policies and incentives to deepen talent pools and to expand access to market-relevant skills development to the disadvantaged sections of the population.

New approach to education and training

Focusing on the Asia-Pacific region, this volume surveys trends and prospects in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) with particular reference to achieving inclusive growth and the greening of economies. Underlying the increasing pressure for new models of TVET provision is the rapid pace of technological change, demand for a work force which is highly responsive to evolving needs and a transforming market place that calls for higher order skills and lifelong learning.

The book proposes a re-engineered, modernized TVET system that fosters an innovative approach which enhances the employability of workers as well as the sustainability of their livelihoods. The book includes contributions from leading policy makers, researchers, and practitioners, including those in the private sector in analyzing and forecasting the most urgent priorities in skills development.

The book also argues for creative approaches to TVET design and delivery particularly with a view to improving job prospects, and meeting the goals of inclusion, sustainable development and social cohesion. Addressing issues such as the chronic mismatches between skills acquired and actual skills required in the work place, the volume proposes diversified approaches towards workforce development and partnerships with the private sector to improve the quality and relevance of skills development.

The new imperatives created by 'greening' economies and responses required in skills development and training are addressed. Developing TVET is a high priority for governments in the Asia Pacific region as they seek to achieve long-term sustainable growth since the continued success of their economic destinies depend on it. The volume also includes an emerging framework for skills development for inclusive and sustainable growth in the Asia and Pacific region.

Contents 

  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Major Trends and Concerns in Skills Development
  • Skills Development: Emerging Issues and Strategies
  • TVET and the Greening of Economies
  • Going Forward: Possible Next Steps for a Skills Framework
  • References