Book Chapter

Educating a global workforce?



Fenwick T & Farrell L (2007) Educating a global workforce?. In: Farrell L & Fenwick T (eds.) Educating the Global Workforce: Knowledge, Knowledge Work and Knowledge Workers. World Yearbook of Education 2007. Abingdon, Oxon: Taylor & Francis (Routledge), pp. 13-26.

In the public rhetoric, at least, education is the answer to most, if not all, the questions raised by the global knowledge-based economy. In this chapter we begin an examination of what education promises the global workforce, and what the global workforce, and the knowledgebased economy, might reasonably ask of education. Different perspectives on the knowledgebased economy imply different constructions of ‘knowledge’. Workers are characterised within these frameworks as ‘knowledge workers’ (an elite), or, perhaps, ‘knowledgeable workers’ (the non-elite majority) and questions arise around what they are required to learn, to know, and to be able to do. The global knowledge-based economy produces profound challenges to workrelated education at every level. While these challenges manifest themselves in uniquely local ways at specific local sites, they are produced, and must be addressed, in contexts that are uncompromisingly global. If work-related education is to contribute to positive outcomes for people and for local communities we (workers, corporations, educators, researchers, policy makers, politicians and international organisations) must find new ways to pay attention to the ways in which a workforce in the knowledge-based economy can be understood to be ‘global’ as well as ‘local’, and what workers need to be able to know and be able to do to move across and within these spatial and temporal domains.

globalisation; knowledge economy; workplace learning; Knowledge economy; Employees, Training of; Employment in foreign countries

Title of seriesWorld Yearbook of Education 2007
Publication date31/12/2007
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
Publisher URL
Place of publicationAbingdon, Oxon

People (1)


Professor Tara Fenwick

Professor Tara Fenwick

Emeritus Professor, Education