Moving Beyond Individual Relationships with Employers: The Benefits of Industry-Wide Collaboration in Education and Training

Author(s): 
Lito Ibarra, Luis Rivera, Gracia María Rossi, Estera Barbarasa
Organization/Affiliation(s): 
RTI International, SVNet, Microsoft
Resource Type: 
Publication Date: 
Oct, 2015

While engaging the private sector in education and training is widely encouraged, collaboration typically boils down to isolated examples of individual companies working directly with a school. This session will explore the benefits of private sector engagement at an industry-wide level. In El Salvador through USAID's Higher Education for Economic Growth project, RTI is leading a model of Industry-Higher Education Partnership Clusters to facilitate sector-level planning between industry associations and groups of higher education institutions (HEIs) to improve the talent pipeline and enhance industry competitiveness. We will explore lessons learned in structuring the Clusters, discuss incentives for employers to collaborate at the industry level with HEIs, and share how to overcome the challenge of short-term business thinking and buy-in to the value of collaboration for long-term payoffs for talent pipelines. The session will feature examples from El Salvador’s first-ever Industry-Higher Education Cluster in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, and discuss how this industry-wide collaboration is contributing to enhancing the sector’s competitiveness and improving the preparation of the talent pipeline for high-demand careers in ICT.

Topic: 
Workforce Development
Regions: 
Latin America & the Caribbean