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January 14th, 2020, Bronwyn Wainwright, Top Employers Institute

Education: the renewable resource of the future

International Day of Education 2020 turns the focus on education and learning as humanity’s greatest renewable resource. Read on to learn how global Top Employers are implementing HR practices that support opportunities for lifelong learning and skills development.

Education at the heart of progress

Now in its second year of celebration, 24 January has been proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly as ‘International Day of Education’. This year the emphasis is on empowering people, creating peace and prosperity, and preserving the planet. As one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, quality education has been highlighted as the pivot around which every society can unite to achieve a shared vision of the future that promotes equality, diversity, social impact, and sustainability.

Ten targets for 2030 

Our research shows that Top Employer organisations have a significant role to play in achieving many of the educational targets set out in the SDG 17 manifesto by 2030, not the least being the ability to further relevant skills, gender equality, sustainable development and global citizenship. The Sustainable Development Goal 4, Quality Education targets are:

  1. Equal access to technical/vocational and higher education
  2. Relevant skills for decent work
  3. Gender equality and inclusion
  4. Universal youth and adult literacy
  5. Education for sustainable development and global citizenship
  6. Effective learning environments
  7. Expand the number of scholarships available to developing countries
  8. Increase the supply of qualified teachers
  9. Early childhood development and universal pre-primary education
  10.  Universal primary and secondary education

Future focused

While many of these targets emphasise early education, HR leaders are recognising the importance of creating new Learning and Development initiatives that facilitate these targets and further lifelong learning opportunities.

Across all regions covered in the annual Top Employers Institute survey, 89% of certified global organisations offer graduate development programmes or traineeships while 93% offer internship programmes, the latter of which has seen a 4% increase over the past five years. Investing in this resource of the future is a long-term goal.

In a bid to help the leaders of tomorrow to become more aware of the realities and expectations of the corporate world, two thirds of Top Employers also create and maintain (internal and/or external) candidate communities. These networks also serve to attract and engage interesting candidates for potential future opportunities.

These efforts indicate the commitment Top Employers have to helping the global community reach the SDG education goals by 2030. Is your organisation committed to truly transforming the lives of its employees and creating a better world of work?