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Technical and vocational training is often unjustly neglected by education systems. Employers have long been warning of widening gaps between the skills in demand and those that workers actually have - while governments have touted a need to foster more technical talent if countries want to be globally competitive. One report published by Deloitte estimated that 2.4 million positions in the manufacturing sector alone could remain unfilled between 2018 and 2028, with a potential economic impact of $2.5 trillion. Without adequate modifications to education and training systems, this gap will only worsen. Closing it promises to only become more complex, as skills requirements change at an accelerating pace - particularly in emerging technology fields. This calls for greater collaboration between the public and private sectors - in particular, more needs to be done to better balance the goals and desires of policy-makers, politicians, and educational institutions with those of entrepreneurs and investors. There is a need to better understand the linkages between these sometimes disparate interests, and ways they can be combined to serve people, the environment, and broader economies in healthier and more complementary ways. In 2019, Germany introduced a national continuing-education strategy based on a more holistic culture that takes into account the interests of the government, industry, and trade unions - and employs algorithmic matching, financing, and the visualization of competencies. Accurate, timely career guidance can help successfully transition young people from their school years to employment, by ensuring that they understand their true options based on real labour market data and demand. Proactive career guidance can also help circumvent the gender stereotyping and socio-economic opportunity gaps that often hold young people back from choosing certain occupations. In general, technical and vocational training is underutilized - and often unjustly neglected by education systems as a second-best option. Such training and education can be a key driver of economic growth, by providing many of the skills required for jobs that will have genuine staying power in future labour markets. Technical qualifications may be best designed through collaboration between employers and industry groups, and particular attention should be paid to fostering their evolution based on sets of mutually agreed-upon standards.

Relevant Continuing Education

KEY TRENDS

Diversification and democratization of education and learning