Comment by Farrukh Tyuryaev
Association of Scientific & Technical Intelligentsia (ASTI), Tajikistan
The European new skills agenda excellent example for re-thinking in Central Asia
After reading the article by Dana Bachmann and Paul Holdsworth for several times, I caught myself thinking that many of the challenges and solutions presented in this article are both important and relevant to our region. Sometimes it seemed that the experts of the European Commission, who prepared this document also conducted in-depth analysis of the situation in our region. Here are some examples:
- Despite the considerable lag in the economic development of the countries of the region from the European ones, it is important to realize that the general development of the digital transformation of the entire labor market begins to play a significant role on the economies of the countries and on the lifes of people of the region. This becomes even more important, given the considerable lag in the sphere of education of the region in the development of digital skills among the elderly and middle-aged people.
- The imbalance of education programs in terms of inclusion and consideration of special needs and characteristics of all groups; including people with different physical and mental limitations, and with low employment rates among women, also occurs in the region. The efforts of the vocational education system of the region are needed to reduce this imbalance in education programs and in the management of the education system.
- Although, countries of the region have a common Soviet past and general principles and approaches to the development of the vocational education system, over the past 25 years of independent development they have largely developed their own systems. As a result, the systems began to differ in different countries of the region. It is difficult to say whether it is good or bad for each individual country, taking into account the specifics of development. But if one looks at regional integration processes and close links between labor markets and high labor migration in the region, the question of coordinated standards of the quality of vocational education becomes relevant.
- The role of informal and additional education in the region represented by civil society organizations, non-governmental and non-profitable providers of educational services is quite high. Tens of thousands of people annually study at various trainings, short-term courses and receive various skills. In this regard, there is a rather high need for various forms of formal recognition of these forms of training by both employers and the society as a whole.
- In light of a rather high level of the general education of the population, twenty five years of independent development of the countries of the region, especially the first years of development of the “wild market” has led to the emergence of a huge number of people that are “functionally illiterate”. The needs of the labor market, a sharp imbalance in the level of wages in various spheres of the economy led to the fact that hundreds of thousands of doctors, teachers, engineers were forced either to leave for labor migration, or to change the sphere of activity, and become entrepreneurs.
But, lacking appropriate professional skills, they needed special forms of additional or new vocational education. All this contributed to a significant extent to the economic regression faced by the Central Asian countries.
Therefore, it is also important for us within the region to understand that the time has come for the development of the co called “The New Skills Agenda for Central Asia”. And this agenda as well as in Europe should take into account three important factors:
- How can we improve the quality and relevance of skills formation?
- How can we make skills more visible and comparable?
- How can we improve intelligence and information skills for better career choices?
Here I would underline several important European lessons, taking from the abstract, which are relevant to our region:
- “To set of actions to improve skills formation across all life stages, with actions ranging from strengthening basic skills for adults to mainstreaming digital skills and making VET a first choice”
- “To develop a package of education or training tailored to the specific learning needs of each individual, and (c) opportunities to have their skills validated and recognised.”
- “Promote opportunities for learners to undertake a work-based learning experience as part of their studies, support partnerships between learning providers, research and business to foster joint work on higher vocational programmes”
- “To launching the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition to develop a large digital talent pool and ensure that individuals and the labour force in Europe are equipped with adequate digital skills”.
- “To propose actions to improve the transparency and comparability of qualifications and to support the early profiling of migrants’ skills and qualifications”.
- “To propose a number of measures to more rapidly integrate third country nationals, including a tool to assist receiving countries to identify and document the skills, qualifications and experience of newly-arrived Third Country Nationals and to support the training of staff in reception facilities as well as making available online language learning for newly arrived migrants.”
- “To develop the sectoral skills partnerships, in industry and services, will be set up to identify skills needs and develop concrete solutions, such as joint development of higher VET opportunities and business-education-research partnerships and to promote the recognition of sectoral qualifications and certifications.”
The use of these ideas in our region significantly improved and raised the level and quality of vocational education, contributing to both horizontal and vertical integration in the countries of the region the new “skills development agenda”. Such developed and jointly adopted policy would be an excellent platform for coordinating the efforts of all actors and stakeholders in the industry across all the countries of the Central Asia.
These are the links to the AED 83/2016 publication in three languages:
Estos son los links para acceder a la publicación en tres idiomas:
Voici les liens vers la publication en trois langues:
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