In the context of the events of 2016 so far, the title of our new report “Turbulent Times: Skills for a Global World” – an investigation into the skills young people need to succeed in a global world – could not be more relevant. After all, the main aim of our research collaboration with OCR over the last 12 months has been to build an up-to-date picture of the extent to which our young people are prepared to live and work within a fast-paced and changing international reality.
With our report recommending a set of actions for stakeholders in the skills system, discussions are underway at Think Global about how we can both promote these recommendations, and facilitate their realisation. If, as feedback from our Westminster launch suggested, we are to encourage the business sector to develop a much broader vision for how it will engage and nurture young people with the skills to prosper within a variety of political and social contexts, a coordinated, focused effort from all parties with an interest in skills development will be required; including government and training providers.
One of the ways to begin to do this will be to further engage education practitioners in this area of work. Our recent seminar series with the British Council on the role of education in achieving the Global Goals highlighted some of the existing ideas and definitions around the concept of global competence. Given the rise of ‘global skills’ on the international education agenda, with the OECD set to measure these in the 2018 round of PISA tests, I am keen to set up a space for education practitioners to discuss these developments; both to raise awareness of the importance of global skills, and to further articulate what these skills constitute.
I am also looking to extend the report’s theme of collaboration into the Further Education sphere. In our current reality of continuous re-training, in which a ‘job for life’ is no longer the norm, this sector has an important stake in the progression of our skills work, especially considering the formative role that it plays in young people’s transition to adulthood and the workplace. One of the options we are currently exploring is producing a condensed version of our recent seminar series for Further Education professionals, providing a platform for discussion and idea-sharing around global competences. We are also liaising with the British Council about how we can use the report as a stimulus for future policy development within the Further Education and Skills sector.
In our unpredictable current climate, the need for stakeholders to come together to develop global capabilities amongst our young people, such as resilience and open-mindedness to difference, has never been greater. As this programme of work moves forward, we will be keeping you updated through our website and communications. If you have any suggestions to make – particularly around our Further Education plans such as ideas for seminar themes or speakers, do get in touch with me at email@example.com.