Nov. 16, 2017
The 2nd International Conference on Regional and Industry Skills Development, co-hosted by the Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) and the Human Resources Development Service of Korea (HRD Korea) and organized by the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET), took place at the Sheraton Seoul Palace Gangnam Hotel on November 16th (Thu.).
The international conference was launched in 2016 when regional and sectoral HRD councils' activities began in earnest.
The conference is establishing itself as a global HRD event at which region- and industry-based HRD experts from abroad are invited to share and discuss the current HRD situation and issues and related improvement measures.
What is an HRD Council?
□ In the past, vocational training courses had been developed and provided, taking little account of industry needs. → It was necessary to improve training quality and outcomes.
□ MOEL has established an industry needs-driven HRD system to provide field-oriented tailored training.
○ Since 2013, a total of 16 Regional HRD Councils (RCs) have been set up, led by relevant organizations in each region, to provide regional joint training based on the results of training supply and demand surveys.
○ Since 2015 a total of 17 Industry Skills Councils (ISCs) have been set up, led by associations or organizations and trade unions representing each industry. ISCs analyze manpower supply and demand by industry and are actively involved in spreading National Competency Standards (NCS) and work-based learning (i.e. the work-study dual system).
This year's conference was held under the theme, "How Can We Identify Skills Needs at Regional and Sectoral Level for Industry 4.0?"
Leading HRD experts at home and abroad, including those from the ILO, Japan, Singapore, Australia and Korea, participated in the conference. They discussed countries' response methods to forecast skills needs and industry- and region-specific HRD measures for the future.
Kazutoshi Chatani, a skills development officer at the International Labor Office, who is a leading expert in the field of skills development, cited sufficient and consistent data provision, institutional capacity and expert availability as the key elements of skills needs anticipation and emphasized social dialogue among stakeholders to respond to future skills needs.
Bill Galvin, a member of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC), talked about Australia's training package system. AISC's role in coping with future skills needs got particular attention during his presentation.
Shigemi Yahata, a former professor at Hosei University in Japan, stressed the need to devise response measures taking account of growing demand for ICT workers in the face of the fourth industrial revolution.
Dr. Michael Fung, an expert from Singapore, presented a case study of "SkillsFuture", a statutory body under Singapore's Ministry of Education, which is leading the way in promoting lifelong learning through cooperation between private and public training institutions.
Kim Cheol-hee, a senior research fellow at KRIVET, who was the last speaker of the day, gave a detailed explanation of the content and techniques of the training demand surveys and training supply and demand analyses conducted in Korea after 2013.
He said that Korea had set up a systematic training system by identifying the training needs of industries in a timely manner through manpower demand surveys conducted by HRD councils and developing training courses accordingly.
He predicted that better and more sophisticated methodologies and utilization of surveys and analyses would greatly help regions and industries obtain and use quality information on vocational training.
Lim Seo-jeong, MOEL's Deputy Minister for Employment Policy, emphasized, "We should identify labor market trends and skills needs promptly and create an innovative training system that breaks away from the existing framework to prepare for the rapid technological change brought about by the fourth industrial revolution."
He said, "It is time for Regional Councils and Industry Skills Councils to perform various roles, including not only assessing manpower demand and supply but also developing tailored education programs and promoting the setting up of training courses in regions and fields isolated from training, in order to foster the skilled workforce required by regions and industries."