Bringing together business, education providers and government is often the clarion call for the promotion of entrepreneurial enterprise, but mechanisms for this should already be a feature of the skills-based training sector. Skills education achieves most when it is aligned to directly meet the needs of employers. Challenges facing industries have a significant impact on the way in which employers identify collaboration partners that can deliver their business needs. Thus, there is a need to move towards a focus on competency-based education, and the example was given of Thailand as a country changing from degree-oriented to employability-oriented education.
The strategy in Thailand has focused on three major principles:
- Sharing winning outcomes.
- ROI (Returns on Investment).
- In-depth collaboration with education and employer networks.
With a greater focus on skills development, there has been a notable increase in productivity, which has been visible in factory outputs with increases of 30-40% productivity across the board. The SDGs also represent a key framework for policy in Thailand, with leadership, government and partnerships regularly referring to the SDGs. Going forwards, a greater focus on people and individuals is necessary, listening to their objectives and ambitions, and what they need from skills programmes.
The importance of collaboration has been reiterated over the past three years. There is a lot of opportunity within the ASEAN region to share knowledge and learn from one another, and the UK can assist with content development and long-term sustainability.