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APO launches study to formulate skill development framework

18 Jan 2018

The research explores how member countries can use the STEM perspective to improve human capital.

In a rapidly evolving employment landscape, the ability to anticipate and prepare for future skill requirements, changing job content, and their aggregate effect on employment is critical for businesses, governments, and individuals. It is therefore essential to formulate a comprehensive human capital strategy that can provide impetus to developing national competitive advantages, especially with the pace of change in the global employment scenario.

The Asian Productivity Organization (APO) recently launched its research on Public Policy Innovation for Human Capital Development to explore innovative approaches to public investment in human capital using the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) framework in selected member countries. The results will enable the APO to make recommendations on what member economies should do for future skill management and workforce development to keep pace with technology-driven changes facing the world.


To kickstart the research project, the APO along with the National Productivity Secretariat of Sri Lanka conducted a coordination meeting in Colombo, 11–13 December 2017. The meeting served as a forum to review public investment in human capital development, analyze its role in determining overall development, and provide recommendations on managing future skill requirements for human capital in member countries.

The meeting was attended by 10 national experts from Cambodia, the ROC, India, IR Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam along with Chief Expert Associate Professor Yuto Kitamura, Deputy Director of the Center for Excellence in School Education, the University of Tokyo. During the meeting, the experts deliberated on innovative approaches to and policies for human capital development, as well as the STEM framework in education. The group also brainstormed on issues related to requirements for future talent and skill formation. Each national expert made a presentation on preliminary research findings.

The opening ceremony was attended by APO Alternate Director for Sri Lanka Pradeepa Serasinghe, who emphasized the importance of the research given that the employment landscape in almost all member countries was changing drastically driven by ongoing technological advances. She added that the output should contribute to the planning of NPOs’ future projects, especially those related to skill development and overall productivity from the STEM and technical and vocational education and training perspectives.


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