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IT Skills Are Considered the Most Important for Tomorrow’s Global Workforce According to 400 Business Leaders from US, UK, China & Brazil

September 15, 2011

NEW YORK, Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — An international survey of 400 business leaders from the US, UK, China and Brazil, commissioned by Global Partnership Schools and GEMS Education from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), shows that increased technological capabilities such as IT, mobile computing and social media are considered to be the most important skills by far for tomorrow’s global workforce. Thirty seven percent of those surveyed ranked these skills as the most important.

Published at the World Economic Forum’s “Summer Davos” in Dalian, China, the survey asked business leaders across four continents whether today’s government education systems are meeting tomorrow’s business needs. Access to the results is publicly available through www.gemseducation.com/educationsolutions.

Dr. Manny Rivera, Chief Executive Officer of GEMS’ U.S.-based Global Partnership Schools, said, “We invited business leaders to rank what they considered the most important in the future: technological capabilities, multilingual capabilities, deeper technical skills, cross-cultural networking skills, autonomous work habits or a higher aptitude for innovation. The GEMS Education survey shows clearly that American business leaders, as well as those from other corners of the world, prioritize IT skills above any other skills for their future workforce. Governments need to take note of business leaders’ view of skills more than ever as there is a global skills race that is only going to get more competitive.”

Dr. Rivera added, “The survey also shows that a large proportion of business leaders from the US and UK feel that they have no access to the reform and design of the education system, and feel that students aren’t well prepared for the world of work. This is something that governments must fix quickly as students are increasingly in competition with graduates from other countries for global jobs. The rise of countries such as China, India and Brazil means that the global economy has a huge amount of growth to offer. The countries that are the most skilled are likely to reap the most rewards.”

The second highest priority was considered to be deep technical skills (specialist knowledge of the business) with 20 percent of business leaders polled ranking it as the most important skill for tomorrow’s global workforce. Emerging economies attached more importance to this skill than did the more mature ones. In China, 20 percent of business leaders considered deep technical skills to be the most important skill and in Brazil 32 percent of business leaders considered it to be the most important skill. However in the US, only 13 percent of business leaders considered deep technical skills to be the most important skill. And in the UK only 15 percent considered it to be the most important skill.

Emerging economies did not rank the importance of cross-cultural networking very highly. Only two percent of Chinese business leaders considered cross-cultural networking to be the most important skill for tomorrow’s workforce and only three percent of Brazilian business leaders considered it to be the most important skill. However, it was considered more important in developed economies. Thirteen percent of UK business leaders considered cross-cultural networking to be the most important skill – the highest of all countries surveyed. The US came second with nine percent of its business leaders considering it to be the most important skill.

Business leaders were also asked which strategies they should adopt to ensure they have access to the most suitable employees in the future. Chinese business leaders are by far the most likely to want to recruit from abroad with 22 percent saying that recruiting from abroad would be the most effective way of accessing suitable employees of the future. However, only nine percent of Brazilians consider recruiting from abroad to be the most effective way of accessing the most suitable employees whilst only five percent of US and UK businesses leaders consider recruiting from abroad to be the most effective way of finding the most suitable employees.

With so many important skills required for tomorrow’s global workforce there is real concern amongst those polled that students are not being prepared well to meet these needs. Only a quarter of Brazilian business leaders feel that students are being prepared well for the workplace. Forty three percent of US respondents feel that students are being prepared well. Exactly half of UK business leaders also hold that view.

When asked whether the state gives them access to the design or reform of the education system a huge 44 percent of US business leaders and a quarter of UK business leaders felt that they have no access. Chinese and Brazilian business leaders felt they had more access with only 15 percent of Brazilian business leaders and only six percent of Chinese business leaders saying they had no access to the design or reform of the education system.

A high proportion of business leaders from all four countries felt that their governments needed to improve basic skills of literacy and numeracy: 51 percent in China, 59 percent in UK; 63 percent in US; 67 percent in Brazil.

Note to Editors:

This was an e-survey of 404 senior business executives in the four target territories, and obtained approximately 100 responses from each area. The respondents included a range of senior executives including CEOs, CFO’s, managing directors, senior partners, partners and directors. The sample in each country included a mix of agriculture, manufacturing and services firms. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large firms (over 1000 employees) were also represented in the sample.

About GEMS Global Partnership Schools

GEMS Global Partnership Schools (GPS) is a division of GEMS Education which has been in the education sector for over 50 years. It harnesses the insights and expertise gained from the largest global network of International schools to improve standards in public education provision worldwide.

GEMS Global Partnership Schools comprises a team of world renowned educators and consultants to ensure it delivers global best practice. These include leaders who have excelled in education reform, curriculum development, teaching and learning practices as well as program design and evaluation.

It supports the development and improvement of standards in public education provision in the United States. Our teams of experienced professionals partner with local, state and federal government to deliver efficient, high quality public education to meet the expectations of aspiring families and their communities.

It focuses on the specific needs of school systems. We have a detailed understanding of the common issues facing public education and are aware of the importance of collaboration and consultation in driving change in public services. GEMS Global Partnership Schools has experience in advising and supporting state education providers which are eager to implement school reform. State providers are taken through a staged program of reform beginning with consultation and diagnostics and onto planning and coaching, observation and action planning, and ultimately to a focus on sustaining structures and capacity.

About GEMS Education

GEMS Education has a global network of world class international schools. With 50 years of experience in education, GEMS provides high quality holistic education to over 100,000 students from 140 countries. It employs over 10,000 education professionals, specialists and staff from around the world. The GEMS Education school model is unique in the world because it offers a broad range of curricula across a range of tuition fees making private education more accessible to the broader community. GEMS Education also supports Governments’ education reform agenda by working with Ministries of Education to lift school performance and improve the standards and expertise of government schools across the globe. GEMS Education has offices in the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, India and Singapore.

Survey and Articles

To view the results of the PwC survey and to view articles relating to ‘how today’s education systems can meet tomorrow’s business needs’ by prominent political, business and education leaders, including former US President Bill Clinton please visit www.gemseducation.com/educationsolutions.

SOURCE Global Partnership Schools


Source: PR Newswire