A comparative perspective on work-readiness challenges in the Asia Pacific region
This chapter presents a brief comparative overview of the higher education (HE) and vocational education and training (VET) sectors and their associated graduate work-readiness challenges across the nine Asia Pacific economies. The nine Asia Pacific countries are: Australia, Indonesia, India, Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR), Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam. The chapter introduces the socio-economic and demographic trends in the region and reviews the common threads in their work-readiness challenges. The work-readiness concept signifies three-pronged abilities: the ability to gain employment, the ability to maintain employment, and the ability to make transitions between jobs and roles. The nature and scope of work-readiness often depends on how well a particular country's educational system allows stakeholders to build, maintain, and harness interrelationships. Stakeholders represent groups or individuals who can be affected by the functioning of an organization. The fact that nine nations in the region are at different stages of economic development translates into diverse labour mobility opportunities and skill shortages.