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2017
Asia Needs more Dialogue
Solutions to urban pollution may prove complex
Spread of ESGs could herald new global movement
Investing in quality education is imperative if India wants to reap demographic dividends
China needs to lead in new multi-stakeholder world
China’s B&R initiative leading a resurgence of Asia
Education is key - but long-term: Can we survive?
New wave of robots will be beneficial to all
China needs to continue with its ‘heavy lifting’
Time is right for Chinese firms to invest in Europe
Robots to the rescue for China?
Asian Multinationals are Going Global, But to Where?
China ratchets forward with energy efforts
China’s calm necessary for globalization push
Bridging managerial gaps involves trust-building
China well-placed to power its future through green technology advances
China's new 'springtime' is here
2016
China’s moves show it’s banking on the future
Mindset for action at the G20 summit will be determined by Chinese presidency
Chinese head-hunting intensifies for rare managers that can steer overseas firms
US talk of isolation jars with growing links in Europe and Asia
Electoral rhetoric on global trade not in sync with reality
Is it time to be prudent and consider austerity policies again?
What will we do if we have no oil?
Unlock talent by finding the right fit for a person
The benefits are real and tangible
Trade along China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ won’t succeed without the currency of trust
Reasons for optimism about the long term
2015
Can big oil go green and win?
Poorer Nations Could Sway Climate Talks
Combating Idleness and Deprivation
How China can be a model of food sustainability for the developing world
Kyoto II – Is it a Done Deal?
A meeting of the two largest economic powers
Why China will experience a 'soft' landing
Beware of superstitions
The Elephant and Dragon move ahead
G-7 target on fossil fuels raises many questions
Why Battle for Net Neutrality in the US Matters Globally
China’s resurgence – the ‘normal new’
Wanted: A managerial culture that embraces cultural differences
China's early education plan a smart investment in the future
The New Normal for China and India
2014
China's infrastructure push offers a sure track to better growth
US-China climate pact a good start, but not quite enough
Rethink the human’s place in the ‘digital revolution’
China springs a carbon surprise
Infrastructure - the invisible hand in full view
Dialogue vital for survival of Iraqi nation
China must nurture a new generation of beautiful minds
Great expectations in China and India
GM Cereals – The Pros and Corns
Time to be Honest about Our Energy Prospects
Weathering the Storm of Climate Change
Making a Big Decision? Beware of Your Biases
West Deserves Better Logistics Infrastructure
Digital Currencies do Represent the Future
From 'Printed' Houses to Wooden Skyscrapers
It’s time to bail out our schools, not our firms
Solution to India’s housing shortage – print new ones!
And the most promising green technologies of 2014 are ...
Transport infrastructure key to domestic, export growth
Oil stopgaps: Not worth risking
2013
Why the US should grant Edward Snowden amnesty
May we be more optimistic!
China headed for another massive social experiment?
A dialogue that worked
Yes, politicians deserve vacations - because we benefit
NPOs, NGOs invaluable as creators of dialogue
Look closer and ask: Is America reinventing itself?
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
Millennium Development Goals or own goals?
As usual it's about balance - and timing - of course
Chinese strategists make right moves for growth
2012
Preparing for tomorrow
Austerity or growth?
Japan in danger of becoming 'just a place to fly over'
Beware of the business cycle?
An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
Where did our money go?
Leading from behind - a year of elections is almost over
Driving towards a green future
Waiting for springtime
Preserve or Perish
Startlingly similar Asia policy for Obama, Romney
Globalisation remains an irresistible trend
Google has the edge in smartphone war
U.S. Braces for China's Rise
Mankind’s General Scourge
The summer holidays are over and nothing has changed!
Put the hidden trillions to work
Making sense of India’s woes and wonders
Storm in a teacup!
Let’s give bad bankers a venue to admit their sins
News is about depth, not puff or velocity
Booming India, but too few toilets
Delayed Court decisions doesn't mean one may continue to play 'Great Game'
We need media to reflect on data and offer public a balanced view
Big polluters can lead in forging common purpose
The weighty issue of choosing a leader
EU-India Relations - Facing similar challenges
Educating with a goal
The Judicial Malaise
We are growing out, but not growing up
EU´s retrenchment enigma
Urbulence in the Eurozone and the effect on SMEs
Skolkovo May Help Russia to Diversify
Make things more effective
Tapping into the Commonwealth connection
Innovative models for public finance
Facebook revolution but Indian style
The feel-good factor
Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
India needs to be taller and stronger
China´s low sales volume...
Nations playing leapfrog
Shafts of sunlight
What webs we weave
As performers go to Davos, the circus steals the show
Can we control the politicians?
 
2011
Europe’s reminiscence
China firms should go for win-win in overseas ventures
Of procrastination...
Making sense of profiteering
Truth about financial mess must be laid bare
Small is also beautiful
China can help Europe with debt crisis
Excising the cancer of global corruption
Education, a critical asset
Arab uprisings set in motion forces of creative destruction
A new era of change
We must ensure better education for all
Beijing wary of bankrolling a lost cause
Asean's re-emergence as a local and global leader
Why India's Role in the Global Economy is Still Work in Progress
Its the leadership, stupid!
Reverse globalisation: The new buzzword
EU´s retrenchment enigma
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Khaleej Times, May 6, 2012
 

Last May the OECD noted "Millions of workers lost their jobs in the recent economic crisis. And with the global economy still subdued, the OECD expects unemployment to remain high. One lesson from the crisis has been the importance of skills in today´s workplace: job losses among skilled workers were much lower than among the unskilled.

In a globally competitive, knowledge-based economy, having a skilled workforce is necessary to ensure productivity and sustainable growth".

Years ago it was sufficient to sit at the feet of masters and to be examined by them during the course of conversations to achieve a graduation: at that time knowledge did not change much and many of their theories live on today developed, for instance, by Pythagoras or Hippocrates. Now we demand our children are polymaths, but they rarely achieve their potential due to poor teaching, which we have inherited from our complacency over several generations.

Schools in Europe and America were set up by generous benefactors sometimes with a religious backing and the curricula reflected the Board´s ideas. Those passing with honours often returned as teachers so promoting the early aims... and the cycle continued. As the Board members saw success they did not think to change the curricula. Even just a few years ago as the knowledge base expanded fast the curricula did not look ahead - it was still locked into `learn this and repeat it to me in examinations´, which may have satisfied the teachers, but not the industrialists. They said, as they do now `... these young people know nothing relevant to the jobs they seek´.

We must ask if it can be done better. The failure of modern education has occupied, at least, two generations, and its rescue will take another two. So what might an interim solution be?

Through my recent travels and meetings I have been informed often of the growing crisis of unemployment, especially of the youth. Various ministers were aware of this but shrugged it off, saying it was an aspect of the financial crisis... `later we will re-employ these people´. But they forget that the idle lose their skill set: they need to exercise their brains and work a full day otherwise they atrophy and virtually die. Further, as time passes, new techniques are developed elsewhere and their machinery is changed confounding the failed managers in these countries who now have little capital remaining and thus their out-of-work have no hope, especially the young.

All however is not gloomy. Several trends are apparent. First is that Asia, especially China is looking to re-develop its workers´ skill set to add much more value to its export products (and to sell these items also to their own growing middle class market). Second is that logistics researchers sense a trend of retrenchment as manufacturers, hit by supply chain disruptions caused by large scale disasters, attempt to shorten their own supply chains and to negotiate multiple local sourcing.

The flooding in Thailand and the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan caused direct and indirect chaos to supply chains, halting assembly of vital sub-components that were thus not able later to be incorporated into finished products so whole supply chains had to be closed. If new local supplies are to be sought, new factories have to be created, and new training schemes have to be instigated.

And that brings us full-circle to education again. Obviously, we cannot wait for 20 years for new school children to graduate and enter the job place - though we ought to agitate to have their curricula altered to look to the future. We must act in the short-term to bring youngsters back into a learning environment in conjunction with the once grumbling employers who could create suitable apprentice schemes that would offer diplomas in three to four years and which would train precisely for a given occupation. Critical thinking courses are still a requirement, but more stress will be laid upon skills training that `re-engineer and re-focus´ youth to do a good job of work in the near future.

This is not a panacea for these times. Nor should retrenchment be seen as a failure of globalisation, but rather it is an acceptance that the global/local needs a rebalance. Now is probably the right time to begin this change as we see our way to evolve out of the financial mess.

 

Frank-Jürgen Richter is chairman and founder of Horasis, a global business community


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