In association with the UK Department for International Trade and Pearson Education
This Wilton Park dialogue, held in Vietnam, was the third in a series focused on skills development in ASEAN, with previous meetings in Kuala Lumpur in 2016, and Bangkok in March 2018. A virtual conference in November 2020 examined the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on education and skills around the world.
The conference brought together experienced leaders from Government, key employers, and education providers from across the Asia Pacific and the UK to look at the challenges facing all three to draw together some common themes and explore best practice.
The key themes of the discussion included:
- The effect of Net Zero and climate change on the demand for skilled jobs.
- Enabling mobility: upskilling and reskilling.
- Driving innovation through education and workplace partnerships.
- Integrating ‘hard to reach’ groups for the benefit of wider society.
- The value of lifelong learning and employability.
- The dependency of the UN Sustainable Development Goals on skills.
This conference formed part of the UK’s Plan of Action following the approval of the UK’s application for Dialogue Partnership with ASEAN. At the South-East Asian Ministers of Education Organisations (SEAMEO) Ministerial conference on TVET in Brunei in September 2019, Ministers adopted a resolution to actively participate in the next Wilton Park Skills and Education Dialogue.
The Wilton Park dialogue explored how countries face the question of ensuring sufficient skilled workers are available for the Net Zero world. There was a particular focus on how economies can grow the right number of students with, for instance, green engineering skills, data analysis skills or AI skills, in an uncertain environment without wasting effort or duplicating unnecessarily. With a focus on the potential of human capital approach, economies can develop workforces with key skills, such as lifelong learning, evidence-based decision making or creative confidence, while refining employer needs. Within this, emphasis was placed on the role of government in ensuring opportunity for all in these new jobs. Those responsible for skills policy and its implementation can draw on international efforts to meet the UN Sustainably Development Goals as both a guide and measure of success.