Yesterday, GBSN hosted a webinar, Creating
Jobs: Education’s Role in Reducing Unemployment featuring GBSN’s Nora Brown,
COO, and Lisa Leander, Membership Officer. In advance of the upcoming 2013 GBSN
Annual Conference in Tunisia "Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship,” Nora
and Lisa discussed research on employment and education and ways that business
schools can help create jobs.
takes center stage on the global agenda, the international development
community is asking themselves critical questions about the complexity of the
current jobs crisis. Business schools play an important roll in addressing the
jobs shortage, and will be key to educating young people with relevant skills
for the workplace.
There are about
200 million people unemployed globally in 2013, including 12.3% of youth. There
are 600 million new jobs that need to be created to keep up with population
How did we get
to this situation that we are facing in 2013? The world population has grown significantly
in the last 100 years. One of the major challenges that we face is the high
competition for jobs because there are a lot more people entering the
workforce. The 2008 financial crisis just exacerbated the problem.
In addition to
poor economic performance and population growth, we are also looking at a big
skills mismatch. A major reason that
employers don’t fill entry-level positions is skill shortages. There are jobs
available, but candidates who have relevant skills are lacking.
Why does this
matter? Jobs are a foundation of economic and social development, improving
living standards, productivity and social cohesion. Jobs are responsible for
moving people out of poverty.
challenges, what is the role of education in improving unemployment? Some
recent research shows a high correlation between educational attainment,
employment and earnings. The more education you have, the less likely you are to be
unemployed and the higher your weekly earning rate becomes.
Ironically, in low-income
countries like India, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Morocco, studies show that
university graduates are more likely to be unemployed than non-graduates. This
raises the question: Does education really lead to employment?
Here at GBSN,
we believe that when done right, education can have a big impact on
employability of graduates. What does good education look like? In setting up educational
programs, it is important for schools to consider what employers want: identifying
the skills gap, incorporating the needs of the marketplace into the curriculum,
and building a bridge between academia and employers.
thing for business schools to think about is how educators can incorporate work
experience and experiential learning into education. The World Bank looked at the
success rates of different types of programs, and found that the most
successful programs were those that have in-class and workplace training
combined, plus other services such as mentoring and alumni support.
at the role of business schools in supporting job creation from the GBSN
perspective, Lisa highlighted a number of opportunities for business schools:
curriculum that focuses on relevant skills that employers need
that promote development of soft skills
experiential learning opportunities – on the ground experience like internships
and consultancies that helps build those soft skills
programs targeting various sectors
with primary and secondary schools – building management education at a younger
convener as well as offering research and policy recommendations
greater accessibility to training through MOOCs and the use of technology
at a specific example, one of GBSN’s member schools, George Washington
University, has a tourism management program within their business school that
works to develop the tourism industry in emerging markets. Recently they
collaborated with USAID and other partners to develop a guide on how programs
can incorporate youth and marginalized communities to increase employment.
example came from the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER)
at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School. CIBER just
launched a certificate program - essentials for successful cross-cultural business
communication, which fits with the discussion on the need to soft skills. The
program offers four 3-hour workshops on general cross-cultural communication
skills. The participants undergo an assessment where they stand in terms of
their communication skills and styles and how that relates to other countries.
The workshops are supplemented by four webinars on specific issues in China and
Brazil, the two countries that were focused on this year. The program is open
to business students and professionals around the world. People need more of
these soft skills to have the ability to function in diverse teams, in more
globally oriented markets and corporations.
College has developed three unique niche programs that are focused on youth
leadership and youth entrepreneurial education.
Study for high school students program – academic residential emersion program
that runs for 5 weeks every summer. Students from around the world participate
every summer and explore social, economic and environmental problems in the
context of developing new ventures as solutions, learning how to grow
commercial or social ventures, and developing tools and resources for business.
Day is a partnership with the city of Boston and is part of a nationwide
organization. Babson has connected a network of staff, students, alumni who are
working with teachers and agencies in the Boston area to teach about
entrepreneurship and skills to the youth in the area. It culminates in a city
wide daylong event with youth-run lemonade stands throughout Boston.
Babson developed collaboration with LeadAmerica. The program itself focuses on
core issues by entrepreneurs, explores leadership and entrepreneurship as a
means of value creation, and uniquely engages Babson faculty in concert with
LeadAmerica faculty and staff.
supports an agricultural technical secondary school in a rural area in Mexico
that suffers from economic, social and educational deficiencies. They give
scholarships to students to attend this school. They do all the fundraising for
all the scholarships. While IPADE doesn’t do any of the teaching, they provide
the support. This example is in regard to a sector area looking at agribusiness
and supporting those rural families.
is excited to continue this conversation at our annual conference, which is