How to Link Education and Skills Training to Employment in Solomon Islands
HONIARA, January 28, 2014 – Solomon Islands’ policies and systems that address development of the country’s workforce are at the center of a workshop which opened in Honiara this morning (Tuesday) by Government, the World Bank and relevant stakeholders.
The workshop being held over the next three days will seek the expertise of employers, training providers, government policy makers, donor partners and non-government organizations to discuss and assess Solomon Islands’ workforce development systems.
The Ministry of Education & Human Resources Development has pioneered the use of a World Bank tool for assessing skills development systems using international experience of what works for better outcomes.
With seven out of ten Solomon Islanders under the age of 29 and the working-age population set to increase by 30 per cent in the next decade, Solomon Islands needs systems which prepare Solomon Islanders for employment and livelihood opportunities.
With new and emerging economic opportunities available for Solomon Islanders, in construction and investment projects, natural resources, tourism, small enterprise, and labour migration, increasing employment and livelihood opportunities is particularly important for women, youth and rural Solomon Islanders.
Through Workforce Development Assessment, Solomon Islanders will discuss core strategic questions that other countries have addressed in setting up systems to strengthen the link from training to employment.
How government encourages demand-led training, identifying champions for skills development and how to support training access for vulnerable groups are all among questions raised.
“Any relevant information raised by the workforce development assessment tool of the World Bank is important to contribute to overall improvement and efficiency in identifying human resource needs”, according to Daniel Rove, Director Social Services in the Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Coordination.
Mr. Rove is part of a Government team that has been working closely with the World Bank to identify areas in which a skills development system is useful for Solomon Islands. He sees this work as important.
“The highest priority in this process is the discussion – the dialogue between employers, training providers and government, to develop understanding of what it takes to get more Solomon Islanders into employment”, says Anne Tully, the World Bank Country Representative to Solomon Islands.
The assessment is supported by the World Bank, the Australian Aid Program and the Government of Solomon Islands as part of a joint program of analysis and interventions to assess and strengthen workforce development systems, training and employment.
Following the workshop a joint Solomon Islands- international team will prepare findings and seek feedback in a second workshop on February 11th, 2014.