Rethinking Education-to-Employment Transition
I am, therefore, back to where I started - into competency-based education. What I am looking to do is to build competency models which are open, rather than made to order for one industry/ company or another. I know this is not what competencies are understood to be - they are specific by definition - but my argument is that the workplaces are rapidly changing and the competency models must adapt too. My inspiration is, as is obvious, the Dynamic Capabilities models that was developed in the 90s, which looked at organisational capabilities in a dynamic manner (how does the organisation respond to rapidly changing external environment by combining internal and external resources). I am hoping that this would move the argument forward from the woolly 'soft skills' - and adequately take into the reality of the workplace where nothing is certain and everything is possible.
The other important aspect where I have moved on from my earlier attempts at this is that I have abandoned the flat world assumptions that the earlier businesses were based on. The pitch for both of those businesses were for the global middle class, and the preparation for global work. But the experience has now taught me that education is a culturally specific activity, and underlying global work is a well-defined model of international division of labour. So, IT work in India is not the same as IT work in China or in Israel, and the Construction work is different in Malaysia and Dubai from what it is in India. And, methods of learning are also different - ranging from, if I use a known model, principles-first approach in India or China to applications-first approach in England or America. Indeed, once I abandon the assumption of the possibility of global education and global work, my model becomes locally defined and globally enabled education (rather than the other way around), with a significant brick-and-mortar component in the mix.