I had the pleasure of attending a fascinating meeting yesterday, the event had a number of commercial organisations and UK Universities discussing the following challenges which the UK education and employers face.
- The pace of both social and technological change means that education, including higher education, can no longer be confined to the early years of life.
- The demand from employers to re-skill or develop their existing work force. For example an increasing number of universities are providing continuing professional development (CPD) to business … currently around £250m out of a £23bn market opportunity as stated by a recent DfES report.
- It was fascinating to hear how the traditionally HEIs have ‘supply driven’ not ‘demand led’ approach which really presented a huge opportunity for continuous professional development and its truly an era of lifelong learning.
What was interesting is that the fact that in both academia and employment the most common measures of skills are qualifications.
- For individuals they provide portability in the labour market,
- For employers they provide valuable signals when recruiting new workers
- They motivate employees to complete their training.
Qualifications form a major part of employer recruitment strategies, especially screening candidates prior to interview. As a result, the majority of individuals prefer studying towards a qualification and over one half of employers say they would like to support their employees to gain qualifications.
So the debate is should Universities meet employers requirements of providing not only academic qualifications but also professional certification in the form of vendors certifications?
Should Universities provide more life long learning opportunities and tailored courses which meet the demand of employers or specialised around specific employer requirements.
Such as fascinating debate and discussion.. If your interested in the learning more about Microsoft Professional certification look at the following presentation.