The goal of human resources development in APEC is to promote the well-being of all people and achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the region.
The Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG), established in 1990, has played an important role in building the region’s human capacity and achieving this goal.
The HRDWG conducts work programs on education, labor and capacity building to develop human resources. It derives its mandate from taskings from APEC Leaders and Ministers as well as Labor and Education Ministers. The group’s mission is to share knowledge, experience, and skills to strengthen human resource development and promote sustainable economic growth.
The HRDWG conducts its work program through three networks:
- Capacity Building Network (CBN)
- Education Network (EDNET)
- Labour and Social Protection Network (LSPN)
The following objectives guide the three HRDWG networks in achieving the HRDWG’s mission:
- Develop 21st Century Knowledge and Skills For All
- Integrate HRD into the Global Economy
- Address the Social Dimensions of Globalization
Recognizing that human resources development is a cross-cutting issue, the HRDWG has been coordinating with several APEC working groups including the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI), the Economic Committee (EC), the Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group (SMEWG), the Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG), and the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).
Points of collaboration include building human capital for business sectors; implementing the APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform (ANSSR); conducting disaster reduction education; and conducting skills mapping research exercises in the APEC region.
The HRDWG also cooperates with other international organizations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) in the areas of labor and social protection and foreign language education and training.
- Current Activities
In 2012, the HRDWG is focused on better aligning its activities with the APEC’s Medium Term ECOTECH Priorities (2010-2015) and the APEC 2012 priorities. The main focus-areas for the group include:
Regional Economic Integration
The HRDWG is continuing to building human capital for trade and investment liberalization. “A project on Strengthening Human Resource Management System of SMEs for Facilitating Successful Trade and Investment in APEC” is currently underway.
The HRDWG is also focusing on the nature disaster reduction and emergency preparedness education and training. Projects on these areas are currently being planned.
Safeguarding of Life through Environmentally Sound Growth
The HRDWG is working to support this goal through green job creation and education. A project on “Human Capital Policies for Green Growth and Employment” was implemented and a workshop on green job skills was held in March 2012.
Addressing the Social Dimensions of Globalization
The HRDWG is focusing on employment promotion and social protection. The APEC Skills Development Promotion Centre will continue to hold a number of train the trainer courses and Skills Camp for people across the APEC region. A project on the “Skills Mapping in the APEC Region”, which will be carried out with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), and another project on “Entrepreneur Skills Development for the Unemployed” is underway.
The HRDWG has completed a project on “Advancing Inclusive Growth through Social Protection” with two seminars on strengthening social protection system held in September 2011 in San Francisco, the United States and in July 2012 in Manila, the Philippines.
The 34th HRDWG meeting was held on 7-10 February 2012 in Moscow, Russia. The “Moscow Initiative” on fostering public-private partnership (PPP) in HRDWG’s work was agreed.
In the margin of the HRDWG meeting, a pre-ministerial symposium for the 5th Education Ministerial Meeting was held on 5-6 February 2012. The symposium introduced the progress in preparing for the ministerial meeting and the draft arrangement of the meeting activities. It also discussed the priority areas and the research papers to be submitted at the meeting.
The 5th Education Ministerial Meeting (AEMM) was held in Gyeongju, Korea on 21-23 May 2012. APEC Education Ministers met under the theme: Future Challenges and Educational Responses: Fostering Global, Innovative and Cooperative Education and issued a joint statement committing to innovation and greater cooperation in education.
An Education Cooperation Project (ECP) for enhancing practical and sustainable educational cooperation was endorsed by ministers as the “Gyeongju Initiative”, and an APEC Educational Cooperation Strategies was expected to be submitted to the 6th AEMM through EDNET by 2016.
An International Education Conference on “Shaping Education within APEC” was held in Vladivostok, Russia on 9-10 July 2012, identifying priorities for future work to enhance APEC education cooperation as follows:
- Enhancing the mobility of students;
- Enhancing the mobility of researchers;
- Enhancing the mobility of education providers;
- Increasing the interaction between higher education institutions; and
- Increasing data collection on trade in education services.
The summary of the conference was submitted to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and was then endorsed by APEC Leaders.
To access full reports of recently completed HRDWG projects, please click here.
The HRDWG has made significant progress in activities that facilitate the development of the APEC region’s human resources through capacity building, education, and labor and social protection. In particular, these activities have been focused on:
Providing people in the Asia-Pacific region with 21st Century competencies and skills through education
The HRDWG has made significant achievements in expanding education in the areas of mathematics and foreign languages. The group has implemented projects such as “APEC 21st Mathematics and Science Education for All,” which provided an APEC-wide practice guide for encouraging girls’ performance in these areas. A network of universities to support the math-science priority areas was also established,
In addition, the HRDWG carried out the project, “Strategic Action Plan for English and Other Languages,” which has helped students build up the 21st century skills of learning more than one language.
The HRDWG also focused on improving the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in APEC economies, which has led to the establishment of the APEC Cyber Education Network; the Knowledge Bank of Policy and Practice; the APEC Cyber Academy; the APEC Learning Community for Shared Prosperity (ALCom); and the ICT Model School Network.
The HRDWG has conducted projects on higher education and cross-border education. A seminar on “Capacity Building for Policies and Monitoring of Cross-Border Education” was held in June 2011. Another conference on “Quality in Higher Education was held in August 2011” and a report was published.
Promoting human resource development by strengthening markets and building organizational capacity in public, private and not-for-profit sectors
The HRDWG has focused on improving enterprises performance through capacity building activities on managerial practices. It has completed projects including the “Strategic Intellectual Asset Management for Emerging Enterprises” and the “Corporate Social Responsibility in the Global Supply Chain and Corporate Social Responsibility in the APEC Region,” which addressed the issue of developing the capacity of management personnel for effective corporate governance.
The HRDWG has also encouraged the development of entrepreneurship. It held a “Seminar-Workshop to Develop a Framework on Mentoring and Coaching Out-of-School Youth on Entrepreneurship” and conducted a project on “Innovations in Entrepreneur Development in APEC Economies,” which focused on providing capacity building for qualified entrepreneurs.
In July 2011, the Capacity Building Network (CBN) of the HRDWG published the “Strategic Approach to Sustainable Capacity Building: Meeting the Challenges of Regional Economic Integration in APEC” report, which summarized the results of the project that was designed to assess past APEC capacity building and to develop a medium-term strategic framework to guide future projects.
Fostering strong and flexible labor markets and strengthening social protection and safety nets
The HRDWG has focused on enhancing the region’s workforce. It has held a symposium on “Public Private Partnerships: Meeting the Needs of the 21st century Global Workforce” in 2008, which facilitated the exchange of ideas on innovative public-private partnerships between APEC members to address workforce challenges in the 21st century’s global economy.
The HRDWG also conducted a number of activities on Vocational Education and Training (VET) to build and foster an adaptable and competent APEC workforce. A multi-year project on “APEC Skills Development Promotion” has been launched and an APEC Skill Development Promotion Center was established in Wuxi, China in February 2011. The project has held a policy dialogue on “Post-Crisis Skills Development” and two training-of-trainers (TOT) courses.
The HRDWG has also focused on strengthening social protection. It has successfully held a seminar on “Advancing Inclusive Growth through Social Protection” in San Francisco in September 2011, which shared best practices and recommendations for ensuring greater effectiveness and sustainability of social protection measures and systems.
Prof Young-Hwan KIM (Mr)
Institute of APEC Collaborative Education (IACE)
Department of Education, College of Education
Pusan National University
30 Jangjeon-dong, Geumjeong-gu,
Tel: +8251 510 3825
+8251 510 2624
Fax: +8251 515 2617
+8251 518 2965
firstname.lastname@example.org (Jia KIM)
email@example.com (Sangmi KIM)
Diego BELEVAN (Mr)