Five Innovative Ways to Produce Job-Worthy Graduates

Increased access to technology in schools helps improve learning outcomes and provide students with in-demand technical skills. Photo: ADB.

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Success lies in industry links, technology, skills development, new modes of education delivery, and school-to-work transition programs.


A variety of new approaches to education and skills development have emerged in recent years. The 2016 International Skills Forum, organized by the Asian Development Bank in Manila, featured some of the best practices, which ranged from partnerships with the private sector to adoption of technology to new modes of delivery for education.  And they all have a common goal: to strengthen the foundation of higher education and technical vocational education and training (TVET).

1. Establish university-industry linkages.

Universities are significant generators of new knowledge. They produce highly skilled workers and help foster innovation across different sectors. Successful models of linkages have supported innovation through research, use of technology, and business incubation (commercializing products) in partnership between universities and industries. They can contribute to economic development through research, community engagement, the generation of new ideas for products, and discover new ways to increase productivity.

For example, in the People’s Republic of China, Microsoft has forged partnerships with the information technology (IT) department of several universities.  The American multinational technology company sends senior staff to the universities as part-time lecturers and offers job placements for IT students.

2. Use technology to facilitate teaching and learning.

Technology has played a big role in engaging stakeholders and expanding the reach of education. With the increasing reach of the internet and the widespread use of various technological devices, such as computers, tablets and smartphones, it has become crucial to use technology in education.

For example, blended and e-Learning broadens teaching and learning by providing additional tools to explain complex issues or retain student attention. They also enable students to learn anywhere and anytime as well as learn from experts from any part of the world.

In Australia, Coder Factory Academy offers coding boot camps to equip students with in-demand technology skills.

3. Engage employers in skills development.

There is an increasing emphasis on education and the world of work through work-integrated-learning, career development, and ensuring skills development matches the needs of the emerging workforce. Governments across Asia and the Pacific are looking for more effective ways to engage industry in skills development so they can ensure they have competitive, productive, and job-ready workers.

Learn more from three case studies of employer engagement.

4. Tap into new modes of delivery for education.

New methodologies in teaching and learning encompass innovations in online education technology, which was triggered by the revolution in information and communications technology and the widespread use of the internet. New modes of delivery, such as massive open online courses or MOOCs, have changed the education landscape, improved learning outcomes and provided greater access in equitable and cost-effective ways.

Examples of new modes of delivery:

5. Facilitate school-to-work transition.

School-to-work transition is a training program, such as on-the-job trainings and apprenticeships, aimed at preparing high school students or out-of-school youths for the labor market.

Examples of school-to-work transition programs

  • JobStart Philippines provides career guidance and coaching and life skills training to unemployed youth.
  • Enderun Colleges provides students with industry mentors and offer work internships in the Philippines and abroad.

Brajesh Panth
Former Chief of Education Sector Group, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank

Brajesh Panth provided technical leadership to the education sector group, led the preparation of the group’s work plan, mentored project teams, and facilitated collaboration across sector and technical groups in ADB and with external partners, particularly for innovative projects. He has over 25 years of experience in education, including sector assessment, project processing, implementation, evaluation, and policy dialogue, covering primary, secondary, TVET, and higher education. He holds master’s and doctorate degrees in Education Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University.

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Karina Veal
International Expert in Vocational and Higher Education

Karina Veal served as a senior education specialist for the Asian Development Bank (ADB), where she provided strategic advice and technical expertise to governments across Asia. She also advocated new approaches for ADB's $2.7 billion TVET portfolio. Prior to joining ADB in 2012, she provided consulting services in skills for development, advising UN and bilateral agencies; and held public policy roles in the Australian TVET system. 

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