Reports and briefings

Working with partners, we share research and reports to support policy reform and system transformation. Access some of our latest publications below.  

Global Skills Spotlight: Global Youth Employability

The British Council and Think Global were delighted to welcome a number of stakeholders from across the Skills and International Development Sectors for a discussion on Global Youth Employability on 15 December 2016.

The event started with a welcome from Chris Cooper, Senior Skills Adviser, British Council. Chris highlighted the importance of the topic and the different definitions of this term. He pointed out that with globalisation, technology to communicate easily across borders and increased movement of people, young people will need to be able to operate and communicate in complex and changing multicultural contexts.

Catherine Richardson from Think Global then referenced Turbulent Times. Their report developed with OCR which surveyed employers views on a number of questions related to how well we are coping, and are likely to cope in the future, with the unpredictable demands of a global world. Catherine highlighted three key findings from the report, namely that the skills gap persists, more needs to be done to prepare for future skills requirements in a global world and that employers are out of touch.

We then heard from Leighton Ernsberger, Head of Skills, British Council India. Leighton introduced an Overview of India's evolving Skills development Landscape which highlights the challenges facing India and the initiatives being taken to address them. Of particular note was the fact that the average age of the population in India by 2020 will be 29 years as against 40 years in USA, 46 years in Europe and 47 years in Japan. Leighton also pointed out that unemployment is highest amongst graduates and the significant opportunities for the UK to engage with the Indian Skills Sector.

Further comments were made as the discussion widened, including that:

  • It is important to consider audiences differently and, in particular, understand some of the challenges in gender parity
  • Decisions and structural factors affecting young people today can mean those young people carry the consequences for the rest of their lives
  • Policy needs to be right but education establishments and employers need to adapt to meet the challenges
  • Qualifications alone won’t create fully global citizens
  • Globalism is more effective when it permeates and is not viewed as a bolt on.

There was a general consensus that this issue is a key challenge of our time. We would welcome any stories or examples of effective practice or thinking in this area that we can share through our Global Skills Spotlight newsletter.

Please do get in touch by emailing Andrew.hall@britishcouncil.org if you have something to share or would like to subscribe to the Global Skills Spotlight newsletter.

OVERVIEW OF INDIA’S EVOLVING SKILL DEVELOPMENT LANDSCAPE

The Governments of India and the UK have made Skill Development a priority in their respective countries and it is a key part of their bi-lateral relationship. The current Government in India has made significant changes to the governance of Skills in India, in what is already a complex landscape. Therefore, this report is a useful introduction for UK Skills providers to help navigate India’s skill sector. It provides a snapshot of the skills system and highlights the skills structures and includes the historic background, new policies and programmes, ministries involved and UK organisations working in this sector in India.

Read the full report: Overview of India’s evolving Skill development landscape

Which ministry should lead Skills development? International reflections on TVET governance

For our own purposes the British Council recently completed a survey of our education teams across the world to understand how different governments organise themselves for skills development. We were interested in the huge variety of approaches reported back, and we thought we should dig a little deeper. The result is this short discussion paper which looks at structures in six countries, along with some reflections and questions for the future. 

This is a very timely report for the English skills sector. In the cabinet reshuffle on the 15 July 2016, instigated by the new UK Prime Minister Theresa May, skills and further education responsibility moved to the Department for Education. What can England learn from other systems who follow this approach? This report highlights the challenges and opportunities that face different ministerial departments in shaping skills policy. Additionally we consider whether which ministry holds responsibility for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is an intrinsic part of the success or failure of systems or are other factors such as the centralisation of authority more influential?

Read the full discussion paper: Which ministry should lead Skills development? International reflections on TVET governance.

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT IN UKRAINE

Over the past decades, Ukraine has seen a disconnect between its education system and the labour market. Among the main reasons are: orientation of vocational and higher education curricula towards the demand and preferences of school graduates rather than economic trends and forecasts; absence of career counselling; and low level of cooperation between businesses and universities.

This brief provides an overview of skills landscape in Ukraine and outlines current skills development challenges and initiatives seeking to address them.

Read the report: Skills development in Ukraine.

 Culture at work:  The value of intercultural skills in the workplace

Intercultural skills are of key importance to employers, this report – produced in partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton and Ipsos Public Affairs – finds. 

Based on surveys of employers working in public, private, and non-profit organisations in nine countries, the report suggests that employers recognise a clear business value in employing staff who can work effectively with individuals and organisations from cultural backgrounds different from their own. Conversely, organisations whose employees lack these intercultural skills are more exposed to risk.

Read the full report: Culture at work: The value of intercultural skills in the workplace.

Enhancing Employer Engagement in the Design and Development of Effective Skills Solutions

Human resource development against a backdrop of raising youth unemployment is a challenge facing governments and educators throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Creating conditions for employers to own and drive the skills agenda is essential to the development of effective solutions.

The Enhancing Employer Engagement in the Design and Development of Effective Skills Solutions workshop, held in Amman in September 2015, brought together 26 professionals from six countries across the Middle East and North Africa. The aim was to share knowledge and experiences and discuss good practice partnership models that enhance skills investment against the backdrop of the global race to develop and deploy the talent needed in an innovation-driven economy. 

Delegates left the workshop with straightforward strategies and tools to support them in driving forward change.  The workshop report sets out the conclusions and suggestions for next steps.  

Read the workshop report: Enhancing Employer Engagement in the Design and Development of Effective Skills Solutions

See the workshop programme and presentation slides

SEA-TVET: Working Together Towards Harmonisation and Internationalisation

Realising the importance of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the region, the Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC), the Ministry of Education Thailand in partnership with the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) Secretariat, and the British Council, organised the High Officials Meeting on SEA-TVET: Working Together Towards Harmonisation and Internationalisation.  The meeting took place in Chiang Mai, Thailand in August 2015. 

The objectives of the meeting were to strengthen the network of TVET national policymakers and practitioners in Southeast Asia to coordinate efforts for ASEAN integration, and to prioritise TVET areas of development and strategies, especially with respect to harmonisation and internationalisation. 

As a result of the meeting, the Chiang Mai agreement was signed – a commitment to collaborate with SEA-TVET organisations in pursuing the strategic plan to promote competent and recognised vocational manpower. 

Read the full report: SEA-TVET: Working Together Towards Harmonisation and Internationalisation.  More information can also be found on the SEA-TVET website.