Equitable society or competitiveness: you can have both, says ETF study

A series of studies on equity and competitiveness, carried out by the European Training Foundation (ETF) and experts from five countries in the EU neighbourhood, show that, in terms of human capital development, more equitable societies are better prepared to face economic competition, contrary to the general conception that social equity and economic competitiveness are contradictory values.
A press release said research was carried out in Armenia, Egypt, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Ukraine from 2008 to 2010.  Experts and stakeholders in ETF-led research met in Turin on 24 and 25 May and exchanged experience from the studies, trying to find out how to invest in education and training to contribute to social and economic development.
“Opportunities to learn and develop should be for open to all,” said Siria Taurelli, an ETF expert, who coordinated the studies. “Failing in this makes not only individuals miss their chance, but also the societies and economies.”
The ETF study shows that a developed human capital – knowledge, skills, competencies that help people create well-being – supports social equity and economic competitiveness, and, in a case of virtuous circle, more equitable and competitive societies provide for better human capital. It suggests, however, that for human capital to help in competitiveness, people must have equitable access, quality and choice in learning.
“Until recently, people were considered a burden, they were too many, they were a problem to control, to guide,” said Mona ElBaradei, who led the research in Egypt. “The revolution showed that people are the main asset of our country.”
The European Training Foundation is an agency of the European Union established to contribute to the development of the education and training systems of the EU partner countries. With an annual budget of €18 million, its mission is to help transition and developing countries to harness the potential of their human capital through the reform of education, training and labour market systems in the context of the EU's external relations policy. (ENPI Info Centre)
Read more
Press release
European Training Foundation – website
ENPI Info Centre – Education and Training


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