Skilling up

Readers' Views No 280, July 2010
OECD Observer

A country's education system has the potential to develop innovation skills in young people at an early age ("What a lasting recovery needs", OECD Observer No 279, May 2010). Comments I've read on the topic seem to assume that business thinking starts after leaving school, say, with 16-18 year-olds.

In the Internet age attention should be given to 14-16 year-olds. Subjects could be reviewed and rebalanced according to current-day relevance, with a reduction in some content to allow room for applied learning, such as what a mortgage is and the basics of business structure and operation, and increased exposure to work experience. Two years preparation before leaving at 16 would enable many school-leavers to be viewed as genuinely employable. Apart from an increase in innovation we may also expect increased productivity in newlyemployed youngsters.

Phil Tetlow
Queenscliff, Australia


As companies seek to find only the "perfect" fit for every job, they look over many of the most intelligent, diverse and well-rounded individuals available for hire. Where corporations used to offer strong training, growth from within, and a sense of mutual dedication, we have seen a new goal of simply moving "human assets" to suit the corporations' needs. Allowing a greater "skilled immigration" exacerbates the problem rather than solving it. We need a dynamic shift in how corporations look at their hires and how they utilise their workforce. If we continue to look "elsewhere" for solutions to our problems, those solutions will continue to be "elsewhere" rather than where they are needed.

Jeff W

See www.oecd.org/employment and www.oecd.org/els


Comments and letters may be edited for publishing. Send your letters to observer@oecd.org or post your comments at these portals: www.oecdobserver.org, www.oecdinsights.org, or at the other OECD portals on this page. 

©OECD Observer No 280, July 2010




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