British Council launches international conference on "Quality in Skills Education and Workforce Development" in the Arab World

Published December 27th, 2009 - 12:51 GMT

Over one hundred participants,
representing the vocational
industry from the Arab World and the UK, will take part in a conference
organised by The British Council on "Quality in Skills Education and
Workforce Development" in Amman, Jordan on 14-15 December 2009. This
initiative is part of the Skills for Employability programme developed by the
British Council which addresses the demand for skills in a global economy so
that national educational and training systems are better able to respond to
labour market demands and learner needs.


    This quality assurance international conference aims at
connecting people in the region to address how best to ensure quality in
skills education for the institution and for workforce development. It will
showcase good practice both in the UK and across the region; examine the key
challenges facing countries in improving the quality of skills education; and
explore potential solutions and ways of cooperating across the region and
between the UK and the Arab world. The participants taking part in the
conference come from all over the Arab world, the UK, in addition to Vietnam
and Pakistan.


    The event will highlight related work in the areas of employer
engagement, curriculum development, teacher training and occupational
standards. It will focus on identifying practical recommendations to advance
the delivery of better skills education in the region and on identifying
potential pilot projects in the field of assuring and improving quality in
skills education. The conference will be facilitated by the British Council
jointly with UK expertise.


    Marc Jessel, British Council Director Jordan, commented: "In
the current global context, competitive advantage is hinged on the quality of
skills within any given labour market. In countries such as Jordan where
young people represent such a considerable proportion of the population,
equipping the next generation with top-notch skills is of utmost strategic
importance. We at the British Council feel that we are in a great position to
facilitate the exchange of experience in skills development between the UK,
the Arab world, and other countries."


    The Skills for Employability Programme


    The Skills for Employability programme is a British Council
programme whose overall aim is to support economic and social development by
skills and enterprise training, and to provide opportunities for the next
generation. Through Skills for Employability we engage the UK's leading
policymakers and agencies for skills and enterprise with their counterparts
in the country and the region.


    Skills for Employability works to address the challenges of
globalisation and the demand for skills in a global economy - through
facilitating college partnerships, working with policymakers, providing
access to UK skills and training expertise and creating opportunities to
promote innovation.


    So far, representatives from nineteen UK colleges have visited
six countries in the Middle East. The first step in the process was to apply
for a formal partnership with key ministries in the country under the
guidance and with the support of the Skills for Employability programme.
During the visits UK delegates met Heads of Department from colleges. They
had the opportunity to tour the colleges, discuss course material, quality
assurance and benchmarking, as well as explore potential for partnership
projects. The visit also provided an opportunity for the potential partners
to gain an understanding of the importance of TVET reform agendas in each
other's countries.


    Successful applications receive a British Council grant to
take forward their partnership projects. Currently we have partnerships set
up and agreed in the following countries: Syria with Bradford College, Egypt
with Stockton College, Palestine with Anniesland College, Jordan with Castle
College, Lebanon with Craven College, and Morocco with Llandrillo College.


    The British Council is the UK's international body for
cultural relations. We build engagement and trust for the UK through the
exchange of knowledge and ideas between people worldwide.


    For more information or questions, please contact Rana
Moughabghab, Communications Manager for Regional Projects, Near East and
North Africa, British Council on M +961-70-119740, E-mail

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