Cover image: The SDGs and Global Skills

The SDGs and Global Skills

Putting Global Skills at the Centre of our Workplaces

This is the third in a three-part seminar series organised by Think Global and the British Council about the role of the formal education system in helping to realise the SDGs. The skills and behaviours that underpin success with the Sustainable Development Goals are also highly valued by employers around the world. They are seen as essential skills for the 21st century. This final seminar in the series looks at how the UK’s young people are being prepared for life and work in a global world. We know that there are multiple stakeholders with interests and responsiblities for ensuring our young people are in the best possible position to thrive, and to support achievement of the SDGs, as they move from school into the wider world. Employers are key; as are careers advisors, further and higher education providers, and specialist educators and youth development workers. We also know that to date, it has been difficult to bring these disparate stakeholders together, to create a coordinated approach to training for a global labour market. This seminar will provide a space for just such a collaboration, with speakers drawn from within and beyond the school education sector to share insights into how best we can put global skills at the centre of our workplaces. Speakers to be confirmed. Book your free place via Eventbrite. We look forward to seeing you there! Read our report of the second event in this Joint Seminar Series: Education for the SDGs – a critical role for global skills On Wednesday 27th April, Think Global and the British Council were pleased to welcome a range of stakeholders across the education sector to the second of our three-part seminar series about the role of the education in achieving the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). [caption id="" align="alignright" width="251"]Panel discussion image Panel: Dominic Regester, Liz Allum & Morgan Phillips[/caption] While our first seminar focused on the movement underway to raise awareness about the SDGs and the conditions necessary for human behaviours to change, this second session delved deeper, looking at various initiatives to support teachers and students develop the skills, attitudes and values that will enable them to thrive in a complex global world. Such global skills and competencies are vital if the SDGs are to be realised. It was a pleasure to have three speakers share their insights – Dominic Regester from the British Council, Liz Allum from the Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC) and Morgan Phillips from Keep Britain Tidy and the Eco-Schools programme. Dominic launched the seminar by introducing the British Council’s work to develop the “Core Skills” of students’ across the world, and the rationale behind it. Through the professional development of teachers and head teachers, the Core Skills programme aims to build young people’s capacity in five key areas: communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving, citizenship and student leadership. It’s exciting to reflect on huge potential of such an initiative to prepare all young people for an increasingly interconnected world – especially when considering the British Council’s global reach. With offices in 110 countries, last year it had face to face engagement with almost 11 million people, and with 116 million people online! [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="250"]Liz Allum Liz Allum[/caption] Liz’s presentation, “How do we know it’s working?” focused on global skills development at the UK level. She spoke about RISC’s work measuring attitudinal change, clearly demonstrating how it enable enables teachers to deliver global learning more effectively, and most importantly, to measure young people’s willingness and ability to take action for change. This is crucial in context of achieving the SDGs, where the success of the goals depends on learning progressing to action. It was fascinating to hear of case studies where pupils had moved from a charity to more of a social justice mentality, and could make the connection between local actions and global impacts. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="251"]Morgan Phillips Morgan Phillips[/caption] Morgan closed the speaker session by reiterating the core message of the seminar – that if we are to succeed with the SDGs, then time in school needs to be given to the development of global skills, attitudes and values, alongside traditional learning outcomes. This is a core aim of the Eco-Schools programme, and an area they are focusing on in teacher and environmental educator training. Morgan emphasised in particular the importance of compassionate values in motivating people to express social and environmental concern, and therefore change their behaviour, resonating clearly with Zhi Soon’s presentation about behaviour change in the first seminar. The speaker presentations provoked vibrant discussion, with seminar participants highlighting the challenges of convincing teachers to prioritise global learning alongside an ever-increasing workload and the current policy climate, and the intricacies of parental and community engagement. The importance of individual contact with schools and teachers was emphasised by both speakers and participants, considering that every school and community has its own context and identity. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="251"]Seminar audience Seminar audience[/caption] Think Global and the British Council would like to thank everyone for their participation in the seminar and for their thoughtful contributions. We look forward to welcoming you the final event in the series, “Putting global skills at the centre of our workplaces” on Wednesday 15th June!