Education and Industry – An Overview and Critique of Current Thinking

This seminar reflected on three decades of education and industry interaction.

Abstract: The aim of this seminar was to explore topics that sometimes get shunted to one side. With youth unemployment high and rising, public money scarce and about to become scarcer, educational institutions under severe pressure, and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES, 2009) offering a fresh definition and analysis of the causes of the UK’s ‘skills problem’ (one based around weak demand and poor skill utilisation, rather than failings of supply), big questions were posed about the conceptual backdrop against which the bulk of education/industry collaboration takes place.

Professor Ewart Keep is one of the most prominent academic commentators on the subject of employer engagement in education. He is the Deputy Director of SKOPE (ESRC Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance) and is based at the Cardiff University, School of Social Sciences. His research interests include: lifelong learning policy, learning organisations, the management of the VET system, employer’s attitudes towards skills and what shapes these, and the nature of the relationship between skills and performance.

Professor Ewart Keep’s presentation.