Friday, May 31, 2013

Employers, Education Providers, and Youth, Live in Parrallel Universes

Technical Education Magazine 

Education to Employment: Designing a System that Works, (a report conducted by McKinsey & Company Center for Government, MCG) examines dual global crises—high levels of youth unemployment and a shortage of job seekers with critical job skills. The International Labour Organization estimates that 75 million young people are unemployed globally and probably triple that number if estimates of the underemployed were included. 
The report states that although global leaders are aware of the painful consequences for the social and economic conditions of youths believing their futures are compromised, the leaders struggle not only to develop effective responses, but also to define what they need to know. While it is shown that employers need to work with education providers so students can learn the skills they need to succeed in the workplace, there is little clarity on which practices and interventions work, and which can be scaled up successfully. To that end, the report focuses on skill development, giving special attention to the mechanisms that connect education to employment. 
In addition to the two crises, the report addresses a lack of data about which skills are required for employment, what practices are the most promising in training youths, and how to identify the programs with the best results. In response, the authors developed two unique fact bases: an analysis of more than 100 education-to-employment initiatives in 25 countries (selected on the basis of their innovation and effectiveness), and a survey of 8,000 youths, education providers, and employers in nine countries—Brazil, Germany, India, Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The result is the development of a global perspective on what characterizes successful skills-training systems. 
Six report findings emerged from the report:
  1. Employers, education providers, and youth live in parallel universes;
  2. The education-to-employment journey is fraught with obstacles;
  3. The education-to-employment system fails for most employers and young people;
  4. Innovative and effective programs around the world have important elements in common;
  5. Creating a successful education-to-employment system requires new incentives and structures; and
  6. Education-to-employment solutions need to scale up. 
This first-of-its-kind report for McKinsey is intended to begin to fill the knowledge gap, provide a useful road map of the education-to-work system for the future, and serve as a structured call to action to improve the understanding of employers, education providers, governments, and young people about what is needed in the area of skill development.

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