Transforming Education into Better Jobs and Better Lives

This blog post also appears in NORRAG NEWS 48, 2012: The Year of Global Reports on TVET, Skills & Jobs Consensus or diversity? (April 2013), available free online at


Andreas Schleicher, OECD.

OECDEverywhere skills transform lives and drive economies; and without the right skills, people are kept on the margins of society, technological progress does not translate into economic growth, and countries can’t compete in today’s economies. But the toxic co-existence of unemployed graduates on the street, while employers tell us that they cannot find the people with the skills they need, shows that more education does not automatically translate into better economic and social outcomes.

It all starts with building the right skills. Anticipating the evolution of labour-demand is the essential starting point for that. We then need to improve the quality of learning outcomes, by putting the premium on skills-oriented learning throughout life instead of qualifications-focused education upfront. That’s about fostering demand-sensitive and relevant learning. Skills development is far more effective if the world of learning and the world of work are linked. Compared to purely government-designed…

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