A new approach to skills for sustainable communities

Cover of The Egan Review skills for sustainable communitiesIn 2004 the Egan Review started the discussion around skills for sustainable communities.

The Review aimed to identify the skills necessary, and any potential skill gaps, to deliver successful, sustainable communities.

The review recommended:

To encourage people into built environment professions and other core occupations; address gateway educational needs by working with employers, professional and academic institutions; address professional development needs; enable continuous development and review; and manage knowledge for those in associated and wider public groups.

However, two assumptions underline these recommendations:

  1. Qualifications and skills are equivalent
  2. Once you have learned a new set of skills (or achieved a qualification) you will practice the knowledge acquired.

I understand these assumptions are practical in terms of the analysis but could we say they are realistic?

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Investment in higher level skills and the knowledge economy

The government’s University Challenge initiative aims to support investment in higher education at a local level in order to:

1: Support the development of a ‘knowledge economy’ by unlocking the talents of local people and providing the skills and knowledge transfer that enables local businesses to grow and to attract new investment to the area.

2: Make a real difference to the cultural life of our towns and cities.

Our review (PDF, 538KB) of the ‘market’ for higher education in the West Midlands, conducted at the request of Advantage West Midlands and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, highlights a range of key issues and barriers that any new investment needs to help to address.

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