Friday, September 23, 2005

Education should be more focused on employment

"I'm not saying that business wants to write the curriculum but, at a time when globalisation provides both a challenge and an opportunity, it does want to spell out what it needs.

"It needs the right attitudes and basic skills, meaningful qualifications, specialized science, technology, engineering and mathematical skills and creative thinking that will help it meet the ever changing demands of the global economy.

"Education and business should form a compact with schools and employers coming together to produce highly employable young people. This could be the real magic bullet to make our education system work.

It isn't as if this hasn't been done before. The old vocational school or School-To-Work programs are much the same as this. The real problem is that the nature of work has changed. We are no longer working in factories where you can become specialized in a particular and mostly mindless task and get paid enough to live a middle class lifestyle. Jobs like that are getting automated away.

Employers want people who they can just plug into their business and let them run from the start, there is no time for a learning curve as they need to see results today so they can show stockholder value, and not be laid off themselves.

The education for a typical job is usually not very demanding, but what you need to know often has little to do with the job description. Just look at the advice from Danger Quicksand - Have A Nice Day.


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