Education and Economic Growth, 19 CCEM Ministerial Roundtable

eDiscussion through the Education Hub Community of Practice

D1 Eduction and economic growth

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Leading up to the 19th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM), held from 22-26 June 2015 in the Bahamas, the Education Hub launched a discussion on the purpose of Education in our societies and the extent to which education can address to issues of economic growth and youth employment.

The discussion questioned the evidence base to demonstrate a direct link between education and economic growth, and emphasised that policy making in this area needs to take a holistic approach to both delivery and the content of curricula. Participants balanced the need for greater alignment between education and economic policy, with a need to ensure that skill sets taught are broad and flexible enough to meet employability needs.

Recommendations included:

  • Improve and transform the quality of TVET provision, ensuring coverage of the full spectrum of skills. Curricula should include foundation and transferable skills for a changing global and digital world, alongside more specialised technical skills.
  • Look beyond tertiary provision to secondary, primary and early years’ curricula to ensure occupationally relevant skills are taught throughout the education cycle.
  • Adopt an integrated approach, working across ministries to ensure alignment between education and economic policies, and fostering partnerships with education institutions and industry/employers to ensure relevant skills are taught and that graduates are employed.

Issues discussed in detail:

  • Limited evidence base
  • Bridging the skills gap
  • Old problem, new context
  • Focus beyond tertiary
  • An integrated approach