Boost economy - optimize your human skills
The world in general and the UAE in particular should concentrate on investments in human skills as a means to improving their economies, said a senior official from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),
In her lecture at the Crown Prince’s Court yesterday, Barbara Ischniger, OECD director of education, said: “Skills have become the global currency of 21st century economies. Without proper investment in skills, people languish on the margins of society, technological progress does not translate into economic growth, and countries can no longer compete in an increasingly knowledge-based global society.”
Attending the lecture were Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed, Foreign Minister, as well as many dignitaries and officials. Ischniger pointed out that this “currency” depreciates as the requirements of labour markets evolve and individuals lose the skills they do not use.
“The toxic mix of unemployed graduates, on the one hand, and employers unable to find the skills they need, on the other, sends a clear message: that skills do not automatically translate into higher incomes and high productivity,” she added.
“If we want to succeed at turning skills into better jobs and better lives, we need to understand more about those skills that transform lives and drive economies. We must then ensure that those skills are taught and learned effectively over the course of people’s lives,” explained Ischniger. She said that the 2008-2009 crises had reminded us that there can be drastic, sudden and unexpected changes in our economies.
“The Skills Strategy supports governments with gathering and using better intelligence about changing skill demand. It also helps them work more closely with the business sector in designing and delivering curricula and training programmes. “Skills development is simply much more effective if the world of learning and the world of work are linked together,” Ischniger said.
Ischniger called on governments to follow the Finnish model in education where teachers are given incentives and they are among the top four professions in the country.
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