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Governments around the world are dealing with the challenges being brought by globalisation and the economic downturn. Education and skills development is increasingly being seen as a priority for nations to prosper, for employers to be competitive, for communities to thrive and be socially cohesive and for individuals to secure their futures. In this context, how do we maximise return on that investment in education and skills for governments, business and individuals?
Measuring return on investment of education and skills interventions is inherently difficult. There are challenges in demonstrating the causal links between inputs and outputs and the evidence that is available tends to be for specific interventions. There can also be tensions between who the return on investment should be for: successful outcomes for employers may be different and not always compatible with successful outcomes for individuals. In the UK, the skills development agenda is set within the wider public sector reforms and this will have implications for priorities for return on investment.
In many countries expenditure on education and training is under scrutiny and return on investment will therefore become increasingly important. Can we maximise return on investment so that everyone is a winner? What potential merits are there for employers, society and individuals? Who pays – how do we equitably share the costs between the state, employers and individuals so that both the costs and returns are fairly shared? What can be done to ensure that the economy grows and there are wider opportunities for jobs and individual fulfilment? What can we learn from international experience of maximising and measuring return on investment? Are new, more sophisticated and flexible metrics for success now required?
The purpose of this session is to look for answers to some of these questions. It reviews the existing evidence and the work that has been done to maximise gains from investment in education and skills development to grow the economy and individual opportunity. The session also shares lessons on work done to date and the current issues being faced in the UK. This session is of interest to policy makers, institutional senior managers and practitioners.
Featuring: Ir. Daniel M Cheng, Deputy Chairman, Federation of Hong Kong Industries and Managing Director, Dunwell Enviro-Tech (Holdings) Ltd; Bruce Poh, Executive Director and Chief Executive, Institute of Technical Education, Singapore; Geoff Russell, Chief Executive, Skills Funding Agency, Department for Business Innovation and Skills, UK; Dr Carrie Willis SBS, MBE, JP, Executive Director, Vocational Training Council, Hong Kong