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Letter from Ross

Dear Readers,

2010 has been a wonderful year for Effective Education for Employment. Our flagship report was published in both Spanish and English, we launched our new website, we have been participants and speakers in a number of international conferences and discussion groups, and the project has earned more attention and recognition than ever before.

Certainly, we are proud of the progress that has been made throughout the last year, but we are even more excited about what lies ahead.

In the coming year, we will be launching our second interview series which will offer a deeper understanding of employers’ needs and the connection between the classroom and the boardroom.

Additionally, we will continue our research on the qualities that tomorrow’s employees will be expected to possess. The world is quickly changing, and as such, today’s skill sets must be able to endure the ever-evolving workplace.

Thank you for your support and interest over the last year.

Happy New Year!


On The Ground

A brief review of the UNESCO-APEID Conference
By Jim Playfoot

There is an intense debate arising regarding 21st Century skills: what is it that individuals need from education that can help them survive and thrive in the 21st century?. What do we actually mean by 'skills'? Can empathy, for instance, be considered a skill? Who should be the designers of tomorrow's curricula?

These questions, and many more, were the focus of the UNESCO-APEID conference in October 2010, which I had the privilege of attending and at which I presented the key findings of the Effective Education for Employment project.

Human Capital Redefined
No longer is human capital purely an economic concept; rather it is about jobs, family and community. As one speaker noted, many are advocating for a fundamental change in the purpose of education, shifting from human resource development to ‘human being development’, as the social outcomes of learning are increasingly important in defining the value of education and are thereby pushing education further up many political agendas.

Read more


BETT 2011, the main global showcase for education and technology, takes place in the UK in January. Pearson and Edexcel will be have a major presence in the exhibition, and a list of international delegates will be published by UKTI. More information.

TVET UK has been invited to participate in the visit of Henry Bellingham MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Africa and the United Nations), Foreign and Commonwealth Office to Angola in December, reportedly a country with huge educational potential funded partially by hydrocarbon reserves

The International Conference in Mathematics Education Research (ICMER 2010) will be held by the Institute of Mathematical Research on December 13-14, 2010 in Malacca, Malaysia. The aim of the conference is to open up a discussion platform for the analysis, development, exchange and critique of ideas on recent practices and research in mathematics education. For more information about the conference and registration see http://einspem.upm.edu.my/icmer2010/

The European Symposium entitled “Schools, the Future of Europe? Europe, the Future of Schools?” will take place from November 20-21 in Paris. Organized by AEDE-France, teachers, scholars, leaders of educational institutions will exchange and discuss their ideas and approaches for future of European education. For more information about the Symposium and registration see http://www.aede-france.org/

UKTI will be organising a corporate training event in the Czech Republic on March 1st next year – more details at http://www.ukti.gov.uk/uktihome/item/121600.html

Universities UK has organised a conference around HE and Europe to be held in London on 1st February. More information.

UKTI will be assisting organisations involved in the New Zealand exhibition Learning@school from 23rd to 25th February next year. More information.
In Saudi Arabia, the government is promoting education and its link to industry, particularly construction. UKTI have organised a tour to take advantage of this at the end of January. More information.

There is an event in the UK next week – 16th December – about the new digital publishing opportunities. More information.

The 9th International Conference on Education and Information Systems, Technologies and Applications will be in held in Florida, USA in June next year. More information.

The Canada International Conference on Education (CICE) to be held in Toronto, Canada from the 4th to 7th of April, 2011 is calling for the submission of papers on various topics. More information.

The 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society will be hosted by the Faculty of Education at McGill University, from May 1 to May 5 2011, in Montréal, Canada. More information.

News You Should Know

Somaliland’s relative stability and security means more are sending their children there for their education. Read more.

In South Africa, the government is working with stakeholders to produce a plan for the next three years, part of an overall aim for education in 2025. Read more.

In Namibia, the government is moving ahead to implement wide ranging education projects with a budget of N85m, including on quality and textbooks. Read more.

In the UAE, their national government outlines plans for a new regulator of qualifications. Read more.

The latest achievements and progress made as part of education reform in Peru, have been recognized by the Program for Promotion of Educational Reform in Latin America and the Caribbean. Read more.

In Latin America, the OEI has produced its report aiming to improve education across the continent by 2021. Read more.

In Australia, the concern over the new curriculum continues, with NSW unhappy with the nature of the standards among other things. Read more.

UNICEF held a roundtable event that pushed for greater post primary educational opportunities. Read more.

OECD launched report on the cost of low education performance. Read more.

On The Issues

Money Matters
In today’s economy, money matters. In a study recently conducted by London Economics on behalf of Edexcel, it was revealed that BTEC vocational qualifications not only produce an educational return on investment, but a financial return as well.

Here’s a review of the findings:
BTEC vocational qualifications are a stepping-stone. Of individuals who possess a BTEC Level 1 qualification, 39 percent also have 5+ GCSEs at grades A*-C. Of individuals who possess BTEC Level 2, 3, or 4, the proportion with 5+ GCSEs rises to 43 percent, 60 percent, and 64 percent, respectively.

A premium on earnings returns. Individuals with BTEC Level 3 qualifications earn as much as a 34 percent premium over individuals with no formal qualifications.

Strong relationship between vocational qualifications and employment. For men, City & Guilds and BTEC Level 3 qualifications boost employment by 11 and 5 percentage points, respectively. For women, NVQs produce the greatest employment return. BTEC Level 3 qualifications offer women an 8.2 percentage point employment boost relative to Level 2 qualifications.

BTEC Level 3 qualifications produce a positive lifetime benefit more often than NVQ Level 3 qualifications.
• Compared to Level 2 qualifications, the net present value of the lifetime benefit associated with Level 3 stands between £15,000 and £24,000 (NVQ) and £59,000 and £92,000 (BTEC).
• For Level 2, the benefits range from £24,000 to £35,000 (City & Guilds qualifications) and £28,000 and £42,000 (BTEC). The net benefit for NVQ Level 2 is negative.
• For Level 1 qualifications, the benefits range from £6,000 to £9,000 (City & Guilds). NVQ is again negative.

The Exchequer is estimated to achieve positive returns from the majority of vocational qualifications. This is especially true for Level 3 qualifications, which produce benefits between £10,000 and £15,000 (NVQ) and £35,000 and £54,000 (BTEC).

To read the report in its entirety, please click here

By The Numbers

In Hong Kong, 87 percent of companies have less than 10 employees.

Of the 304,000 companies there, just 110 have more than 1,000 employees.

One in 10 Hong Kong workers are freelancers, meaning that corporate structure is eliminated.

The same can be found in the United States where 98 percent of businesses have less than 100 employees.

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Copyright edexcel 2010