Although vocational education and training (VET) systems are often an afterthought in education policy, they can play a critical role in economic development.
So concludes the new book, Vocational Education and Training for a Global Economy: Lessons from Four Countries, edited by National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) founder and senior fellow Marc Tucker and published by Harvard Education Press.
The book provides in-depth case studies of the VET systems of Switzerland, Singapore, China and the United States—showing in detail how these VET systems evolved over time and how the systems relate to the countries’ economies.
With the advancement of technologies such as artificial intelligence, the kinds of skills that will be needed in a workforce composed of both humans and intelligent machines will be transformed, observes Tucker.
In the book, Tucker suggests the principles that could underlie a well-designed, future-ready VET system, given the rapid and expansive change in the global economy.
Robert B. Schwartz, senior research fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Nancy Hoffman, senior advisor at Jobs for the Future authored the Switzerland and United States case studies. While Vivien Stewart, senior advisor for education and former vice president at the Asia Society, and Tucker authored the China and Singapore case studies respectively.
On Nov. 7, 2019, New America will host a live event with Tucker to discuss the book’s findings and its implications for policy makers and practitioners. Details are forthcoming.
"Workers must be able to move easily between learning and earning over the course of their lives. Governments must respond to those needs by reinventing their educational systems, creating pathways to shared prosperity for all their citizens. Policy makers, legislators, and business leaders ready to meet that challenge could find no better starting point than this book."
"The United States needs a new approach to preparing our young people for lasting success in lifelong education and career. This provocative book offers valuable insights from other countries. It also underscores that the most likely pathway will be uniquely American. We just have to figure it out."