Eric Livny holds radical views on how policymakers can best respond to how people’s skills are assessed, quantified and recorded. And how skills can better respond to jobs in the rapidly changing, digitalised world of work.
Mr Livny, President of the International School of Economics Georgia, sees certification as blocking progress in the new economy.
‘But scrapping paper qualifications is a very difficult barrier to overcome,’ he told experts at the Eastern Partnership Torino Process policy forum.
Twenty-first century learning should be online with some peer meetings, says Mr Livny, who is also part of the ISET Policy Institute team.
‘We need to move beyond certification. A transition to more opportunities for unregulated learning through technology platforms.’
Mr Livny says the challenge of economies in countries like Georgia – where rapid economic growth has brought riches to a few – highlights the need to re-think qualifications.
Over the past 15 years, Georgia’s GDP has increased between 5-7% per year, despite this, employment rates have not gone above 15%.
So, how to open the benefits of economic growth?
Mr Livny says problem cultural and professional: ‘Large numbers of Georgians are locked into the rural way of life.’
Business can’t find people with the right skills, meaning those in work command higher salaries, he says, adding that people from the countryside can lack professional role-models, foreign languages, and digital skills for the new economy.
Mr Livny says vocational education and training systems must play a role in how people are trained and how their skills are assessed. And he has some suggestions:
Business must be in the driving seat and there has to be better coordination between stakeholders.
‘No single actor can singlehandedly solve the problem.’
The government’s role is to provide a forum for regular meetings between stakeholders to coordinate policy.
Story by ETF’s roving reporter Nick Holdsworth
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