Skills sessions in Going Global 2016

On the 3-5 May 2016 the British Council welcomed delegates from around the world to Cape Town, South Africa for Going Global 2016.  As an open forum for education world leaders, skills featured strongly in the programme, both in specific sessions and throughout the wider event.

A number of UK skills organisations attended the conference, with City and Guilds, The Association of Colleges (AoC) and The Education and Training Foundationamongst others contributing to discussions on a number of themes.

Skills sessions 

Locally or globally: tackling employability challenges

Chaired by Raymond Patel the CEO of merSETA South Africa, with speakers David Corke (AoC), Nadine Kater (Association of Accounting Technicians: South Africa) and Mark Cunnington (Pearson), through an interactive marketplace format, this session addressed the conflict between local and global approaches to employability challenges.  

All were agreed on the need to work across the spectrum to improve outcomes, liberating innovation but ensuring a method of central control.

Should education shape an economy or follow it?

When countries want to diversify their economies, increase the number of new enterprises or improve productivity, should education and training be central to these ambitions?

Should educational institutions have an active and leading role in the development of their local economy or just be a provider of knowledge and skills?

Our panel of experts addressed these questions and more in an interactive debate. They discussed how changing economies are planning for the future, the impact of technology on education and the link between education and economic development.  

You can listen to the podcast of the session here.

Through SpotMe voting delegates were able to vote on the same question twice, once at the start of the session and once at the end. Results were as follows:

Should Education shape an economy? 

Before Yes – 73.9%  No – 26.1%
After Yes - 58.1%  No - 48.9%

Can education be employer led and values focussed?

With an increasing global leadership and participation in education being shown by employers does this risk compromising central tenets of education. Should we be teaching young people to prepare them for work? What do we mean by a values based education?

The discussion looked at the role of employers in education, the impact this has on the education system and whether these different drivers are compatible. Is there in fact an alignment between employer engagement and improving the values based educational experience?

You can listen to the podcast of the session here

Through SpotMe voting delegates were able to vote on the same question twice, once at the start of the session and once at the end. Results were as follows:

Does employer led education compromise values based education? 


Yes – 67.8%  No – 32.3%
After Yes – 48.5%  No – 51.5%

Study visit and roundtable discussion

Following the conclusion of the main conference, British Council South Africa organised a study visit to Damen Shipyard and the College of Cape Town. 

During the visit delegates from the UK and South Africa took part in a roundtable discussion, sharing mutual challenges and opportunities in the administration of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in their countries.

Tracy Ferrier (Global Skills Lead for the British Council) gave an overview of UK reform and current policy shifts such as the apprenticeship levy and area reviews for colleges.  Dr Florus Prinsloo (Director – Delivery Support Unit TVET in the office of the Western Cape Premier, and previously of the Department of Higher Education and Training) provided an overview of recent and planned reforms in South Africa.  

Looking ahead to Going Global 2017

The 2017 conference will take place from Monday 22 May to Wednesday 24 May 2017 in London, UK.  Find out more about Going Global 2017.