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In a context of rapid economic growth, skills development systems have become increasingly important to countries in Southeast Asia in response to skills gaps generated by changing labour-market conditions. Countries in the region have no alternative but to invest in the development and maintenance of these systems. This paper asserts that in doing so they should recognise the importance of adopting a definition of skills that encompasses cognitive and soft skills as well as technical skills, they should regard as being essential to the development of effective labour market information systems, and they should adopt and institutional frameworks that are adequate to the task of managing complex and effective national skills development systems.
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