Select Committee on Treasury Written Evidence

Supplementary memorandum submitted by HSBC

  Further to the HSBC submission of approx 3,000 words from Stephen King to this enquiry, we would like to add the following additional, background information and comments on the specific topic of the UK's response, in the education field, to the issue of globalisation:

  1.  The rise of new economic powerhouses, such as China and India, during the current globalisation process is significant for UK education and skills policy. Both these countries are paying considerable government attention to the development of a highly skilled labour force as part of their continued economic development strategy. Thus the UK response to globalisation must incorporate the development of education and skills policies which take into account the economic and demographic effects of globalisation over a 10-20 year time frame, in particular, in respect of the creation of a global labour force. Education and skills development in the UK should be responsive to:

    —  the opportunities these new markets may provide for UK business, and

    —  the need to ensure that the quality of our graduates and school leavers remains competitive, in the increasingly border-free market for labour.

  2.  Education and skills policies should examine not just the issue of linguistic competence (such as the need for greater Mandarin teaching in schools or the development of linguistic abilities within the UK business community). It should also seek to develop deeper cross cultural understanding and experience, including an appreciation of the business culture and competencies and economic significance of other countries and global regions.

    —  For instance, programmes to promote international understanding among young people.

    —  Opportunities for universities and schools in the UK to develop global communication and cross cultural work skills.

    —  Examples[102] might include programmes such as "Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE)", INET, school partnership schemes, global work experience programmes and outward bound type schemes with an international/cross cultural element.

  3.  To fully develop both linguistic and cross cultural education, greater support for teacher training and educational exchanges is to be encouraged. Strong benefit can be derived from close collaboration between government, education providers and business in these areas.

May 2006

102   We submit, by way of additional background, which may be of incidental interest, rather than by way of our main submission, a copy of a presentation HSBC provided to Minister for Higher Education and Lifelong Learning, Mr Bill Rammell, which has fuller details of schemes such as SIFE, INET and a number of other international and linguistic training schemes. This is not an all inclusive list, it being those schemes which HSBC is supporting, but will give a flavour of the types of initiative that we feel are proving beneficial in developing both young people and (eg the Confucius Institute), the wider business community [Not printed]. Back

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