Bridging the Skills Gap: Innovations in Africa and Asia

Job creation and income generation are vital for economic growth in developing countries. This in turn depends on the availability of an appropriately educated and skilled workforce with the knowledge, skills and competencies necessary for work in the globalized economy. The movement towards knowledge-based industries makes the completion of quality, relevant secondary school particularly critical. Additionally, the expansion of primary education is increasing demand for secondary education in developing countries. However, both limited enrolment and poor quality of secondary education mean that youth do not acquire the skills needed for employment and income generation. Furthermore, there is a persistent mismatch – skills gap – between what employers seek and what youth are equipped with via their schooling.

Bridging the Skills Gap: Innovations in Africa and Asia builds on R4D’s Innovative Secondary Education for Skills Enhancement (ISESE) research, probing deeper into five key themes relevant to the skills discussion and vital to close the skills gap in these regions. Topics covered in the book include: inclusive skills development, technical skills, systemic curricular change, pedagogy reform, and soft skills. Recent research and debate in each of these themes is explored with the support of case studies to illustrate successes, challenges, and lessons using real world examples. Each chapter is authored by experts with a range of regional perspectives in this field, including practitioners, researchers, and academics. The book is intended as a useful resource for program implementers wishing to improve their models, funders wishing to focus resources, and policymakers wishing to adapt or include models into mainstream systems.

It is jointly edited by R4D and Professor Bob Adamson, the head of the Centre for Lifelong Learning Research & Development at the Education University of Hong Kong. Professor Adamson publishes in the fields of English language teaching, teacher education, comparative education, curriculum studies and higher education, and served on the reference group on the ISESE project.

The book is available for purchase here.


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