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Ability Matters: Spatial Dynamics and Human Capability in Regional Policy 9 th European Week of Cities and Regions, Brussels, Open Days 10-13 October 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Ability Matters: Spatial Dynamics and Human Capability in Regional Policy 9 th European Week of Cities and Regions, Brussels, Open Days 10-13 October 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ability Matters: Spatial Dynamics and Human Capability in Regional Policy 9 th European Week of Cities and Regions, Brussels, Open Days 10-13 October 2011 Workshop:11UNIV01 Evaluating Regional Development Initiatives: An EU-Australian Comparison Professor Steve Garlick University of Newcastle and University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia

2 Outline Spatial patterns of economic growth in Australia [3-5] Importance of interpreting human capital, enterprising & capability, stages of life, neuroscience and engaging with place [6-9] Human capital in Australian spatial policy [10] A European example – Värmland (Sweden) [11- 14] Conclusions [15]

3 Spatial Economic Growth & Human Capital Flows: Australian Research Modelling of 94 Australian regions over 18 years & in-depth study of 12 spatially diverse regions increasing disparity in relative regional economic growth - becoming entrenched in large metro conurbations despite Australian regional policy aimed at reducing disparity Eight hypothesised drivers of Australian regional growth tested - human capital flows and technological leadership most significant. Unfortunately, spatial aspects of human capital development are nowhere considered in Australian policy.

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6 Interpreting Human capital, enterprising and capability Human capital investment in higher order cognitive ability to meet production goals – however not ethically, social justice or spatially linked Enterprising human capital linked to the achievement of new outcomes on the ground within a spatial and ethical (sp-ethics) context – however not cognitively linked Human capability approach (Sen) enables a capacity for freedom & opportunity realisation within social justice & well-being framework. Not specifically a spatial concept.

7 Critical and sensitive periods & places & engaged learning for regional growth Sensitive & critical periods & the skills multiplier (Heckman) Investing in sensitive and critical periods ensures multiplied returns in later years. Neurologically, early life experiences influence the biochemistry and architecture of neural circuits. (see fig) Sensitive & Critical places Investing in the connection of human capital in the transformative influence of places (nature, society, history, culture) and its people (mentoring) enhances the return on early human capital investment. Encourages the practical application of intellect. Places are laboratories of multidisciplinary diversity and complexity Regionally engaged learning & opportunity realisation (see fig) Summary: Invest in early learning and engage in learning in place

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10 Australian regional policy & the human capital question No investment in regionally-oriented capability or human capital planning. No explicit policy to foster long-term engagement of learning with regional development/ global priorities. Some pathway articulation between further and higher education. Some workplace learning modules. Only meets national and state learning goals in areas of skills shortage competencies (eg mining). Reactive and short term in nature. No policy connection between education, science/ technology/ industry and regional development portfolios and between spheres of government.

11 Pascals PURE Regional Initiative Värmland (Sweden) Develop human capital plan that connects formal/ informal learning with business clusters Develop human capital plan that connects formal/ informal learning with business clusters Address demographic concerns (brain drain, ageing population, rural-urban drift, gender imbalance) Address demographic concerns (brain drain, ageing population, rural-urban drift, gender imbalance) Enterprising education, pathways & inward flow of knowledge Enterprising education, pathways & inward flow of knowledge Internationalisation Internationalisation lifelong learning agenda lifelong learning agenda Visit: http://pure.pascalobservatory.org/ Visit: http://pure.pascalobservatory.org/

12 Comprehensive region-specific human capital planning undertaken in the region to: (a) (a)raise the overall level of education in the region at a faster rate than comparable regions (b) increase employability of regional people (c) improve outcomes for regional business and public services, and (d) lifelong learning. Värmland region: Human capital goals

13 Värmland human capital plan: Strategies & projects Investing in younger age learning – a range of initiatives covering science, technology, business experience focusing on ages 4 to 16 involving regional business, education institutions, municipal government and regional organisations.. Investing in the regions brain gain – a range of initiatives covering career fairs, region induction programmes, recruitment programme, identifying skill needs. Enhancing regional connectivity for human capital development through partnership arrangements with business clusters, Karlstad University, schools, vocational education, local councils, regional bodies. Initiatives include - regional investment in Teknikcollege and in care and nursing colleges. Enhancing quality, mobility and coordination among teachers in the Regions learning organisations.

14 Värmland human capital plan: Technology in Steel & Engineering Pre-school education Primary education Secondary education Vovcational education Adult& further education Higher education Stages of learning Regional objective Technology in steel & engineering cluster Childrens university Enterprising learning programmes Science Centre Technology club Technology hunt PhD scholarships Enterprising learning programmes New professorships Targeted research projects Technology colleges Investment in apprentice training Six institutes for adult education Other objectives

15 Conclusions Ability matters for regions in a knowledge – based society. Human capital is not spatially sticky with leakage and underemployment from non-metro to metro regions. Decide what kinds of ability are important in regional community and undertake capability planning and action that engages all learning entities with regional and global priorities. Regional agencies and policy institutions have a role in facilitating region-specific solutions to enhance connectivity between capability realisation and regional and global priorities. Pascals PURE initiative provides a framework & vehicle to connect up learning, regional and global goals, agencies and economic outcomes based on European experiences. Värmland region shows what can be done by investing in early ages connected to place.

16 References. Garlick, S. 2010. A capabilities solution to the flight of human capital from Australias regions. Third Global Knowledge Cities Summit Conference, Melbourne. Garlick, S., Taylor, M., and Plummer, P. 2007. An enterprising approach to regional growth. Adelaide, NCVER. Heckman, J. 2007. The economics, technology and neuroscience of human capability formation. Discussion paper 2875, IZA, Bonn. Heckman, J and Cunha, F. 2006. Interpreting the evidence on life cycle skill formation. JEL Sen, A. 1985. Commodities and capabilities. Amsterdam, North- Holland. Sen, A. 2009. The idea of justice. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.


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