New Apec scholarship initiative allows cross-border education
CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Philippines— The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) launched a “scholarship initiative” to allow greater access to cross-border education in the Asia-Pacific region among its 21-member economies during the first day of the Senior Officials’ meeting at the Fontana Convention hall on Friday in Clark, Pampanga.
“The initiative aggregates sponsored study and career development exchanges offered by universities and companies in Apec member economies and supports the creation of new opportunities by facilitating coordination among government, higher learning institution and companies in the region,” Apec said in a statement.
John F. Kerry, Secretary of State of the United States said in a statement that “a well-educated, well-trained and well connected workforce is critical to ensuring long-term growth and prosperity on both sides of the Pacific.”
“Together, Apec and the private sector are opening the gates of opportunity to provide more of the region’s three billion people the knowledge, skills and experience they need to thrive in a 21st century marketplace,” Kerry said.
The Apec scholarship Initiative was introduced during a meeting of Apec trade ministers in China in May 2014 and was endorsed by the Apec leaders in Beijing in November 2014 during the 22nd Apec summit.
“Our goal is to maximize oppurtunities afforded by globalization to strengthen people’s employability and earning potential,” said Dr. Allan Bollard, executive director of the Apec secretariat.
“We are particularly intent on empowering the youth and women to narrow economic inequalities and drive new growth,” Bollard added.
According to Bollard, “broadening access to education training and skills are needed to mitigate the threat of skilled labor shortages due tto the unfolding demographic changes around Asia-Pacific, namely aging population and lower birthrates”
“Candidates with overseas experience are in many cases viewed more favorably by firms seeking future leaders with a global outlook,” he said.
He said nurturing a more skilled and mobile workforce is beneficial for people’s career development, which is good for employers and for economic growth.
“Economic empowerment promotes a virtuous cycle of greater productivity, the creation of higher quality, higher paying jobs and more prosperous and equitable societies, which is what we are all aspiring to achieve,” he said.
Application forms and more information on the scholarship are now available online through http://educationn.apec.org
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