Globalisation requires countries to compete, with economically successful countries holding competitive and comparative advantages over other economies. The education and training of a country’s workers is a major factor in determining how well a country’s economy will do. A country’s economy becomes more productive as the proportion of educated workers increases, as educated workers can more efficiently carry out tasks that require critical thinking.
Many people assume education is solely academic, but a country doesn’t need to have an extensive network of colleges or universities to benefit from education, it just needs relevant training. For an economy, education can increase the human capital in the labour force, which increases labour productivity and thus leads to a higher level of output. Education facilitates the transmission of knowledge needed to understand and process new information and to implement new technologies. It can also therefore increase the innovative capacity of the economy, with the knowledge of new technologies, products, and processes promoting growth.
Many countries have a vision to be ‘Internationally Competitive’ with a ‘Diversified Economy’. Sustainable economic development requires substantial investment in human capital. Education raises people’s productivity and creativity, promoting entrepreneurship and technological advances. In addition, it plays a very crucial role in securing economic and social progress. Learning enriches people’s understanding of themselves and world. It improves the quality of their lives and leads to broad social benefits to individuals and society. By improving people’s ability to function as members of their communities, education and training increases social cohesion, reduces crime, and improves income distribution.
A lifelong learning framework encompasses learning throughout the life-cycle, from early childhood through to retirement. Opportunities for learning throughout a lifetime are becoming increasingly critical for countries to be competitive in the knowledge economy. The global knowledge economy is transforming the demands of the labour market throughout the world. It is also placing new demands on citizens, who need more skills and knowledge to be able to function in their day-to-day lives. A lot of learning takes place in the initial stages of a worker starting a new job, but in the knowledge economy, change is so rapid that workers constantly need to acquire new skills. Therefore, corporate spending on training has increased dramatically, as businesses realise that lifelong learning is crucial to preparing workers to compete in the global knowledge economy.