On its third year collaborative venture, the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) successfully organized the 7th International Skills Forum held from December 12-14, 2017 at the ADB Headquarters, Manila, Philippines.
With this year’s theme, Anticipating and Preparing for Emerging Skills and Jobs, officials and delegates from the education sector, finance and planning of government agencies, NGOs and civil society organizations, embassies and/or trade commissioners, institutes, centers of excellence and development partners took a holistic approach to different types of skills. Discussions focused on skills that employers are looking for and how the education and training systems are responding to rapidly changing requirements in light of the fourth industrial revolution. The forum also highlighted the importance of different types of skills (cognitive, noncognitive, and occupational) as well as lifelong learning needs to improve life choices of an increasingly mobile workforce that expects to have more careers in a world of longer working life and changing definition of jobs.
The event provided an opportunity to: showcase transformational practices to equip the youth with employable and life skills; bring together representatives from government, private sector and other partners involved in education and training to showcase innovative good practices; and; inspire experts and developing member countries’ counterparts, and promote collaboration between key stakeholders to incorporate new approaches and technologies to design and implement innovative projects and programs in education and training.
Inclusive among the approximately 300 participants of the forum were the CPSC member country delegates from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Fiji, India, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand and Sri Lanka. The event proved to be a perfect venue for policy makers, government officials, practitioners, and entrepreneurs in highlighting how the private and public sectors are contributing to skills development in preparing workforce needs, and demonstrating cross-sector collaboration including some challenges and issues on skills development in the region particularly among said member countries represented.
The CPSC Director General Dr. Ramhari Lamichhane who were among the select number of international speakers and thinkers during the forum, spoke on Quality Benchmarking and Accrediting TVET Institutions. In his presentation he highlighted the need for standardized quality of TVET delivery in the Asia Pacific region, which the CPSC pioneered through the Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission.
Dr. Bambang Susantono, Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development of ADB gave the opening remarks. The forum proceeded with two plenary sessions divided by three parallel sessions.
CPSC participated in the forum’s booth exhibits with displays of CPSC and APACC publications and informational materials.