Innovations in Human Resource and Economic Development

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APEC economies are more interconnected than ever before as we seek to address the unrelenting challenges of global change. A common understanding has emerged regarding the critical role that an educated and skilled workforce plays in ensuring sustainable growth in the 21st century.

To truly compete in the global marketplace, APEC economies must continue to search for innovative human resource development strategies. In addition, the demands of the global economy require that we go a step beyond effective education and training efforts to strategies that incorporate human resource development into larger economic strategies.
APEC’s Labour and Social Protection Network has discussed several innovations in this field. This on-line discussion resource will promote continuing dialogue around human resource development topics, as listed below:

Innovation Topics

21st Century Apprenticeship

21st Century Apprenticeship connects job seekers looking to learn new skills with employers looking for qualified workers. Employers, employer associations, and joint labor-management organizations—known collectively as apprenticeship sponsors—provide apprentices with instruction that reflects industry needs. Apprentices receive paid on-the-job learning and academic instruction that equip them with the portable skill sets needed to advance in their chosen field. Apprenticeship sponsors pay most of the training costs and apprentices’ wages rise as their skill and productivity levels increase.

21st Century Apprenticeship in Practice:

Building Capacity of Postsecondary Educational System

Technology and innovation, globalization, and the aging of America's workforce are continuously changing the nature of work and, indeed, the workplace. Businesses in high growth, high demand industries face increasing difficulties in finding workers with the right skills. As a result, community colleges in the United States (two-year and four-year colleges), or their equivalent in other APEC economies, are important providers for workers needing to develop, retool, refine and broaden their skills. Because of their close connection to local labor markets, community colleges are well positioned to prepare workers for high demand occupations.

Building Capacity of Postsecondary Educational Systems in Practice:

Public-Private Partnerships

An APEC Symposium on Developing Effective Public-Private Partnerships was held 11-13 August, 2008 as an attempt to facilitate the exchange of ideas on innovative public-private partnerships between APEC member Economies. This project was part of a two year United States Department of Labor project interested in Ensuring Sustainable Growth in the 21st Century through Workforce Development.

For more information and materials related to Public-Private Partnerships, please click here.

Regional Economic Development Initiatives

Challenges to developing a productive 21st Century workforce are often specific to particular regions within APEC economies. Rural areas may lack a solid inrastructure and strong basic education system to build a strong workforce. Urban areas, even when generally affluent, may have significant pockets of low-income or less educated populations. Indigenous populations may also be found concentrated regionally and may not have fully participated in economic growth. In such cases, strategies for regional economic development are advisable.

Regional Economic Development Initiatives in Practice:

Resource/Asset Mapping

A key element in economic transformation efforts is a thorough economic and workforce analysis of the community. An understanding of the community's resources is an important first step in this process.  Many APEC economies have developed tools and strategies that can be undertaken to document all the resources present in a community that can be marshaled to support human resource and economic development efforts. Resource mapping also provides a guideline on how to leverage and align financial resources to fund these efforts, an understanding of the interconnection of the resources, "gap" areas where further investment is needed, and a baseline by which to judge future progress toward prosperity.

Resource/Asset Mapping in Practice

See Also:

Skill Credentials

Due to globalization, innovation, and technological advancements, today's economy demands a higher level of education and skills from workers than in the past. These greater skill demands have led to increased efforts to establish occupational credentials or certificates that ensure workers have the skill levels required by business and industry.
The role of skill credentials and certificates in human resource development and models for developing such standards is part of this topic area. The possibility of establishing standards for uniformity of credentialing among APEC economies can also be explored.

Examples of Skills Credentialing in practice:

Skill Standards by Occupational Area: 

Strategies for Supporting Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs are essential for promoting economic prosperity - they create new jobs and develop new ideas and products that generate economic growth. Many APEC economies are understanding the importance of entrepreneurship in human resource and economic development for APEC economies. In addition, strategies for supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses at every stage of growth, from invention to the marketplace is an important topic in this area.

Example of Strategies for Supporting Entrepreneurship in Practice:

Using Technology in Human Resource Development

Technological advances around the globe have paved the way for the greater use of technology in the delivery of education and training.  Such innovations as technology-based learning (TBL) and online learning are recreating the way economies handle human resource and development challenges.

For more informaiton and materials related to Technology in Human Resource Development, please click here.

APEC Events

Innovations in Human Resource and Economic Development: Ensuring Sustainable Growth in the 21st Century

This meeting was held in Manila, Philippines, from 17-19 September, 2007, and provided an opportunity for the exchange of ideas and promising practices on strategies and ways to effectively link human resource and economic development in order to increase global competitiveness.

Developing Effective Public-Private Partnerships Symposium

This APEC Symposium was held 11-13 August, 2008 as an attempt to facilitate the exchange of ideas on innovative public-private partnerships between APEC member Economies.