AMMAN, Jordan, December 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Over one hundred participants, representing the vocational industry from the Arab World and the UK, will take part in a conference organised by The British Council on Quality in Skills Education and Workforce Development in Amman, Jordan on 14-15 December 2009. This initiative is part of the Skills for Employability programme developed by the British Council which addresses the demand for skills in a global economy so that national educational and training systems are better able to respond to labour market demands and learner needs.

This quality assurance international conference aims at connecting people in the region to address how best to ensure quality in skills education for the institution and for workforce development. It will showcase good practice both in the UK and across the region; examine the key challenges facing countries in improving the quality of skills education; and explore potential solutions and ways of cooperating across the region and between the UK and the Arab world. The participants taking part in the conference come from all over the Arab world, the UK, in addition to Vietnam and Pakistan.

The event will highlight related work in the areas of employer engagement, curriculum development, teacher training and occupational standards. It will focus on identifying practical recommendations to advance the delivery of better skills education in the region and on identifying potential pilot projects in the field of assuring and improving quality in skills education. The conference will be facilitated by the British Council jointly with UK expertise.

Marc Jessel, British Council Director Jordan, commented: In the current global context, competitive advantage is hinged on the quality of skills within any given labour market. In countries such as Jordan where young people represent such a considerable proportion of the population, equipping the next generation with top-notch skills is of utmost strategic importance. We at the British Council feel that we are in a great position to facilitate the exchange of experience in skills development between the UK, the Arab world, and other countries.

The Skills for Employability Programme

The Skills for Employability programme is a British Council programme whose overall aim is to support economic and social development by skills and enterprise training, and to provide opportunities for the next generation. Through Skills for Employability we engage the UK's leading policymakers and agencies for skills and enterprise with their counterparts in the country and the region.

Skills for Employability works to address the challenges of globalisation and the demand for skills in a global economy - through facilitating college partnerships, working with policymakers, providing access to UK skills and training expertise and creating opportunities to promote innovation.

So far, representatives from nineteen UK colleges have visited six countries in the Middle East. The first step in the process was to apply for a formal partnership with key ministries in the country under the guidance and with the support of the Skills for Employability programme. During the visits UK delegates met Heads of Department from colleges. They had the opportunity to tour the colleges, discuss course material, quality assurance and benchmarking, as well as explore potential for partnership projects. The visit also provided an opportunity for the potential partners to gain an understanding of the importance of TVET reform agendas in each other's countries.

Successful applications receive a British Council grant to take forward their partnership projects. Currently we have partnerships set up and agreed in the following countries: Syria with Bradford College, Egypt with Stockton College, Palestine with Anniesland College, Jordan with Castle College, Lebanon with Craven College, and Morocco with Llandrillo College.

The British Council is the UK's international body for cultural relations. We build engagement and trust for the UK through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people worldwide.

For more information or questions, please contact Rana Moughabghab, Communications Manager for Regional Projects, Near East and North Africa, British Council on M +961-70-119740, E-mail

SOURCE: British Council, Near East and North Africa

CONTACT: For more information or questions, please contact RanaMoughabghab, Communications Manager for Regional Projects, Near East andNorth Africa, British Council on M +961-70-119740