Linking education and skills training


A three-day workshop that addressed the development of the Solomon Islands workforce policies and systems was held in Honiara last week. <!--more-->The World Bank in association with the Solomon Islands Government organised the workshop for relevant stakeholders.

The workshop sought the expertise of employers, training providers, government policy makers, donor partners and non-government organisations to discuss and assess Solomon Islands’ workforce development systems. The Ministry of Education &amp; 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<i>.</i>

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.

“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,” said Anne Tully, the World<b> </b>Bank Country Representative to Solomon Islands.

The World Bank, the Australian Aid Programme and the Government of Solomon Islands are supporting the assessment as part of a joint programme of analysis and interventions to assess and strengthen workforce development systems, training and employment.