We live in rapidly changing times, and education and training systems need to be more flexible and responsive to evolving skills demands than ever before. Yet, at present, education and training in most countries are not geared up to meet even today’s challenges, and data show that most of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets relevant to skills are off-track and will not be achieved by 2030. In fact, the challenge of aligning effective skills supply with demand and the need for structural changes are expected to become even greater. Such changes in the labour market raise important questions about what is taught, how it is taught and to whom. Factors such as demographic changes and technology innovation, are altering the nature of the demand for skills, making this both more difficult to anticipate and more necessary. In the increasingly dynamic labour market of the next decade, high quality lifelong learning will be crucial for successful transitions from school to work and from workplace to workplace. Vocational education and training (VET) systems must be able to respond and adapt to this new environment with the required structural changes. Financing for developing skills is often a low priority for governments. Yet adequate public and private contributions in support of flexible education and training are needed to help ensure that people are able to access quality learning opportunities throughout their lives. Some countries (Bangladesh, Chile, Georgia, and Germany, for example) offer some policy and programme experiences that may be useful for other countries to consider.
Read the paper Making education and training flexible and responsive to society’s and the economy’s demands for new skills
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