Our impact on society report 2012 Contributing to competitiveness

As many countries continue to wrestle with the economic, social and personal cost of unemployment, particularly for the young, it is even more important that we help people develop the skills they need for work.

The connection between education and long-term economic growth is well-documented and increasingly well understood.

Helping individuals get ready for work

Getting a job depends on having relevant skills. As many countries continue to wrestle with the economic, social and personal cost of unemployment, particularly for the young, it is even more important that we help people develop the skills they need for work.

Securing a professional or vocational qualification is an important factor in getting a job. We create and administer millions of admissions, tests, certifications, vocational assessments and general qualifications including:

  • BTEC, the vocational qualification recognised by schools, colleges, universities, employers and professional bodies across the United Kingdom and in over 100 countries worldwide. Case study: Next Generation BTECs.
  • The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), the leading test for entrance to business schools and management programmes worldwide.
  • NCLEX Nursing examination, required to obtain a licence necessary to apply for work as a nurse in the United States.

Sharing knowledge and investing in research

Few companies participate in education on a global scale so we have a responsibility to support educational improvement and to actively share our experience on models that work and those that do not.

We have:

  • Mapped current research activity and laid the foundation to launch our online research portal.
  • Convened a Pearson Executive Research Council bringing together the research professionals within Pearson.
  • Launched two publications with international acclaim – The Learning Curve and Oceans of Innovation: www.pearson.com/oceans

We will:

  • Invest in research to help advance education as well as inform the products and services we develop.
  • Partner with a range of organisations to conduct educational research and promote the dissemination of knowledge.
  • Promote open discussion through participating in and convening conferences and events.
  • Make research publicly available.

Contributing to debate

We are committed to playing an active role in helping shape and inform the global debate around education and learning policy.

With the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals and Education for All Goals fast approaching, it is certainly time to take stock on the role that education has played and should play for the future. We have joined with a range of organisations as an active member of the Global Compact on Learning. Ways we are helping include contributing to developing and agreeing common metrics to measure the success of the Global Compact: www.brookings.edu/learningmetrics

We are active participants in the Global Partnership for Education, having been one of the first companies to join the initiative and make a pledge at its replenishment conference. GPE brings together over 50 developing countries, donor governments, international organisations, the private sector, teachers, and civil society/NGO groups to support developing countries with their education sector plans through financial assistance and technical expertise: www.globalpartnership.org

We also believe that the wider private sector has an important contribution to make in developing education and learning policy. We supported and helped fund in 2012 the Global Business Coalition for Education. The aim is to help focus the wider business community on helping tackle the challenges faced by developing countries to promote learning: http://gbc-education.org/about-us

Doing informed business

The FT Group is the leading provider of essential information, insight and analysis to the global business and opinion-forming community. Access to trusted and informed information is the basis on which businesses make effective decisions. The FT plays a unique global role in providing that information.

Improving learning outcomes case studies

Case study: Next Generation BTECs

Pearson launched Next Generation BTECs, which meet new regulator and Department for Education criteria to make BTEC the best represented vocational qualification on the new accountability framework for schools in England.

Case study: The Learning Curve

This year, we supported the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in the development of The Learning Curve. The initiative brought together in one place a wide range of data sets designed to enable researchers and policymakers to correlate education outcomes with wider social and economic impact more easily than ever before. As international benchmarking of education systems has become ever more prevalent, the Learning Curve has the potential to add to our understanding of what successful education systems look like and how success can be achieved: