1.4.3 Broadening Stakeholder Base to Contribute to Industrial Policy

A revived focus on industrial policy in multilateral institutions and developing country governments will create opportunities for workforce development practitioners to adapt and innovate in formal sector training for youth. Much of this discussion is inspired by China, where the strength (or power) of public coordinating institutions has permitted great advances in strategic industrial policy with corresponding investments in appropriate workforce development infrastructure. In the opening plenary session of the 2011 Conference, David Arkless, President of Corporate and Government Affairs of ManpowerGroup, explained how the Municipal Government of Shanghai had adopted a very aggressive approach to skill development in order to ensure that key industries find well-prepared workers in Shanghai in the future. With ManpowerGroup’s assistance, the Municipal Government of Shanghai surveyed thousands of firms on their future expansion and upgrading plans in order to align policies and university and vocational education and training institutions offerings and enrollments to projected future needs.1

In places with less well-developed institutions, however, workforce development practitioners and systems may be called upon to assume a very important coordinating role among industry, education providers, and government agencies. Participating effectively in such efforts will require youth-focused workforce development practitioners to broaden outreach beyond the traditional youth-focused constituencies in government (e.g. education and training ministries) and specific employers. New entities to understand and work with may include ministries of industry, trade, commerce, and finance; inward investment promotion agencies; as well as chambers of commerce and other business stakeholders. There is also a large body of work from the U.S., Europe, Malaysia, and other and mature emerging economies related to providing the skills for establishing and upgrading industries, which can be accessed through global institutions and practitioner networks.

  • 1. This was also a rare example of a government addressing university over-enrollment by demonstrating career opportunities for technically-trained workers.