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BBIS2: Developing our Future Workforce - Innovation in Education

By Danny Harrington

On Thursday 8th June 2017, ITS Executive Principal Albert Ma presented at the second Better Business Innovation Series event – a cross-business chamber initiative which draws together experts in multiple fields to discuss, share and possibly collaborate on projects which benefit the future of Hong Kong.

This event focused on education and included a wide variety of speakers including Professor Peter Mathieson, Vice Chancellor, HKU, Carrie Yau, Executive Director, VTC, Brian Cooklin, Principal, Nord Anglia, Gary Wong, Founder, InspiringHK Sports Foundation and a host of others.

Albert spoke about how two of the key concerns for the future workforce from an education perspective are the type of education & quality of accreditations exiting education that students receives. If industry wants more it always has been able to and can continue to provide specific work-based learning. This then begs the question how to deal with these innovatively without dumping what we have – the transition is crucial.

We need variety of subject matter, variety of thinkers, modern skills, ability to learn, ability to analyse and problem solve, ability to move between group work and individual work. These can be provided by combining existing curricula with modern technology and supplementing in a learner-led way (with guidance). We should not only focus on the classroom but look to experiential opportunities both in the outdoors for resilience and team-building and into industry – if you want a prepared workforce you need to contribute.

We need to be able to trust that people have accreditations which relate to a particular level of experience and ability. This is a big problem with MOOCs which are nevertheless a massive innovation. Many curricula are examined which poses huge problems around security which need to be solved. This needs will and investment. The tech is there – we at ITS already do it.

So we transition by moving existing curricula into a wider variety of learning models, providing greater accessibility and improving efficiency with individualised learning. Overcome security with modern tech or moving to assignment based accreditation.

Essentially, that is how ITS operates and has done so for a while now. Our whole purpose was to move rapidly beyond the traditional forms of mainstream education which are rooted in the 19thcentury. If you’re interested in how we help students access qualifications in a modern way for the modern world, get in touch.


ITS runs a variety of IGCSEA-level and BTEC courses both in its schools and online.

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