Fair play: decent work for early childhood educators

Many years ago, when my kids were small, my wife and I used to leave them at the local day care centre so that we could go to work. Our families lived far away and it’s hard to imagine how we both could have kept working without that vital service.

Every day, millions of working parents around the world do the same thing, entrusting their children to early childhood education (ECE) personnel in crèches, nursery schools and day care centres. It’s no surprise that many countries around the world are investing heavily in it. Continue reading

The top 6 skills today’s employers want

After four years of college, my son is about to graduate with a degree in Environmental Politics. We are both aware that he is entering the job market at a time when more and more young people cannot find work.

While putting together his résumé, he recently asked me what kind of skills today’s employers want from a new job candidate. A lot of people his age are probably asking the same question, so I thought I’d share a few thoughts.

According to recent surveys, employers these days aren’t just looking for experience. They’re also interested in “softer skills” like problem-solving and creativity that can play as big a role in career advancement as training or education.

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How cell phones can break migrant workers’ enforced isolation

Rahel was confined for more than two years in her employer’s home in Beirut, 13 years ago.

She explained that for six months her only contact with any person outside her employer’s immediate family was through hand signals across the roofs to another woman. After some time she realised she could converse with some Sudanese kitchen workers in a hotel that backed onto her employer’s house. Through a sealed window she established her first verbal contact beyond that of the “madam’s” family, but she never saw their faces.

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