From education to employment

Bill Rammell MP to Give Speech at Conference on Global Skills in March

Globalisation has become the sort of word that is only uttered in dark corners. It is whispered under the breath with furtive glances over the shoulder, eyes flickering with fear at the thought of being accosted by anyone from Anarchists to multinationals.

The concept of globalisation is not simply a matter for the business world or for the destructive tendencies of those who hate Starbucks and McDonalds, however. There are issues of education and training that must be considered if Britain is to be considered as a true competitor in the global marketplace and be in a position to challenge for production and development contracts.

To that end, in partnership with the Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL), the British Council, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and other sector agencies, the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) will be hosting a conference in London on 8 March 2006, entitled “Global skills: world-class learning.”

The Event

The event, held on one day, will be a focussed and dedicated opportunity and will bring together college leaders, employers, sector agencies and other organisations to explore the concept and implications of globalisation within the context of further education. It follows on from the publication of a report by the DfES in 2004, entitled “Putting the World into World-Class Education.”

The publication clearly sets out the necessary focus that providers must obtain to build in their learners a capacity for flexibility and growth in their lives in a global society and to work with international partners to share best practice and maximise contribution to overseas trade and inward investment. Following this trend, the conference will seek to determine what is meant by the phrase “world-class education.” Also coming in for attention will be the relationship relationship between the DfES international strategy and its key FE domestic policy drivers, including the “Skills Agenda”, “Success for All” and the Leitch and Foster reviews (one published, one soon to be published).

There will also be the chance for the delegates to explore what globalisation means in practice to the UK’s learners, employers and local communities, and how, in times of diminishing resources and other conflicting priorities, their colleges can realistically begin to assimilate this concept and the awareness of this concept into their strategic planning and their implementation practices.

Key Speakers

Bill Rammell MP, Minister of State for lifelong learning, further and higher education, will deliver the opening keynote speech. Announcing the event, he said: “We are delighted to be hosting this important conference with our partners, and hope it will prove a catalyst for employers and the learning and skills sector to come together to understand the real benefits of developing an international dimension.

“Sharing our collective knowledge and experience will benefit whole sector,” he continued. “Not only do we want to attract those providers who have started on this journey and want to do more, but we also want to engage those colleges that have yet to recognise the benefits of adopting an international perspective.”

In addition to keynote speeches from government, employer and learning and skills sector representatives, the agenda will include workshops featuring case studies, best practice examples and practical advice for providers” specific circumstances. Delegates will also have the chance share their experiences and make valuable contacts.

Jethro Marsh

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