Presentation on theme: "ESRC Centre on Skills, Knowledge & Organisational Performance"— Presentation transcript:
1 ESRC Centre on Skills, Knowledge & Organisational Performance AN EDUCATION & TRAINING STRATEGY ( & SYSTEM) FOR 2020 – THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME?Ewart KeepESRC Centre on Skills, Knowledge & Organisational Performance
2 IN THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE - THE BAD NEWS IS………. All the easy problems are now more or less solved!Nearly all the skills ‘issues’ that can be tackled through publicly-funded increases to the skills supply have been ‘resolved’.What remain are the ‘wicked problems’.
3 SKILLS POLICY - THE TRADITIONAL MODEL Policy makers are trapped in a cycle of intervention.Employers say they want more skills AND/OR the state aspires to move itself up the OECD league tables for stocks of qualifications/participation in some form of E&T.RESULT:State funds expansion of education system AND/OR offers employers subsidy.
4 A PIECE OF WISDOMAdair Turner, ex-DG of the Confederation of British Industry:When I joined the National Skills Task Force I thought skills was a simply problem. By the time we finished our work, I had come to realise that skills is the most complex public policy problem that exists today.
5 SO WHAT MIGHT THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE? The year is The model that follows draws on leading edge developments taking place today across the OECD - in places like Australia, Ireland, Scotland and the Nordic countries.
6 HEALTH WARNINGS!As yet, there is no off-the-peg, proven winner model available. There are interesting developments in a group of countries.In the time available, I can only talk about design principles.
7 BROAD INITIAL EDUCATION In 2020 initial education, at every level (including vocational offerings for young people), aims to give individuals a broad platform of learning upon which subsequent, more specialised vocational learning can be built.Initial learning is seen as a preparation, not just for work, but for the whole of life. Belief that in C21 success will go to the countries that have, not just smart workforces, but also smart societies and citizens.
8 THE SHALLOW V. THE DEEP MODEL OF INITIAL E&T Lorry driver training in the UK and Germany:UKBasic Heavy Goods Vehicle licence, plus H&SGermanyMaths, physics, German, logistics management, vehicle maintenance and a large component of citizenship learning (since workers have ‘careers’ as citizens as well as in work).
9 NESTING SKILLS INSIDE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES All the available research evidence tells us two things:1. There is NO simple, direct causal link between stocks of skills and economic success (for economies or for firms)2. The reason for 1 is that:Skills are one factor among many (R&D, innovation, product market strategy, capital investment, etc).Skills are a 3rd order issue.
10 YOU DON’T START WITH SKILLS 1st Order = Product market/competitive strategy and production system.2nd Order = HRM, work organisation & job design to deliver 1.3rd Order = Workforce skills profile needed for 2
11 A NEW PLACE FOR SKILLS POLICY Therefore, in 2020, beyond initial education, workforce skills policy nests inside:Economic DevelopmentBusiness ImprovementLabour Market/Employee Relations/Work Organisation/Job Design
12 A NEW FOCUS FOR SKILLS POLICY Old ModelFrom building the biggest stockpile of qualifications (SUPPLY)2020 ModelSupplying the skills that are really needed, stimulating further demand for skill, and ensuring that the skill that has already been supplied gets used to maximum productive effect (SUPPLY, DEMAND & USAGE).
13 AS A CONSEQUENCEMany policies and interventions do not start with, or have a primary focus on skills.They will be to do with issues such as innovation, the development of new products and services, and new forms of production system and work organisation - which will have consequences for the design and delivery of skills supply systems.
14 FROM THROUGHPUT TO CAPACITY BUILDING Traditional E&T funding systems obsessed about maximising throughput or volume in publicly-funded E&T schemes that aimed to substitute for employer effort and spending.In 2020 policy focuses more on effort and resources on helping employers to help themselves, through state investment in E&T capacity building.
15 CAPACITY BUILDING Training of trainers Group training associations/clubs/collective training provision.Shared trainers/HRD expertsLearning hubs (e.g. for a trading estate)
16 SHARED RESPONSIBILITY AND POLICY PARTNERSHIP In 2020 the E&T system is managed through:Clear division of labour (‘the 3Rs’ - rights, roles and responsibilities) between the state, employers and individuals.Partnership between (rather than state dominance of) individuals and their representatives, employers and their representatives, and E&T providers.
17 DEVOLVED STRUCTURESIn 2020, the overall strategic funding, design and management of the E&T system and its linkages to other areas of economic and social policy is managed by a central partnership.The detailed design, development, execution and monitoring of policy is devolved to local, sectoral/sub-sectoral, cluster, occupational levels.Blanket, one-size-fits all interventions are now rare!
18 TOP-DOWN AND BOTTOM-UP Traditional top-down models of policy design and implementation have been supplemented, via devolution of responsibility, with opportunities for the bottom-up design of interventions, for networking across the E&T system, and the use of strong feedback loops that allow those at the front line of delivering policy to offer views and advice to those who design and manage the system at the top.
19 HIGH TRUST RELATIONSHIPS Within a system with a clear set of responsibilities, and where power is devolved, there is also a high degree of trust between the different actors, agencies and levels.As a result, reliance on management by simple output targets has become much rarer.
20 POLICY RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT The E&T system in 2020 supports, and is supported by, a programme of action research/policy development that aims to create the new policy instruments and agencies needed to address skill demand and usage issues.Evaluation is built into all policy lines and there are good feedback loops that allow its fruits to be shared and used across the policy community.
21 ONGOING CHALLENGESIn 2020 there are still unanswered questions and challenges:Skills certification: of what, for what, for whom, and how?Adult workforce development v. wider lifelong learningDeveloping, sustaining and replicating a cadre of facilitators and consultants with the expertise to help businesses think about competitive strategies, labour markets, job design and skills in new ways. This requires a very different skill set from someone whose jobs is to set up a new training course.
22 MORE CHALLENGESPolicy makers learning to work across silos and outside the ‘departmental’ box - joined up policy is hard.Top level policy makers learning to do less and to let go (more really can be less, and less really can be more).
23 GETTING FROM THE HERE AND NOW TO 2020 We can only find out what works by trying it!The only alternative on the table is to go back to traditional skills supply models.The country or countries that get closest to the kind of model outlined above are liable to have a big advantage in the C21.