International Conference on TVET Reform & Innovation-- “Quality, Innovation and Sustainable Development

When, local time: 
Tuesday, 9 May 2017 - 9:00am to Wednesday, 10 May 2017 - 12:00pm
Where: 
China, Tianjin
Type of Event: 
Category 7-Seminar and Workshop

UNESCO Beijing Office, and the Central Institute for Vocational and Technical Education (CIVTE) of Ministry of Education of China and Chinese National Commission for UNESCO are co-organizing the International Conference on TVET Reform & Innovation. The Conference will be held on 8-10 May 2017 at Tianjin Youth Professional College in Tianjin Municipality, China. The theme of the conference is “Quality, Innovation and Sustainable Development”.

The Conference is a response to the recently adopted 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in particular the SDG 4 related to education and the specific target concerning technical and vocational education and training (TVET). It aims to raise awareness and inspire to implement the New UNESCO TVET Strategy and Recommendation concerning TVET as a key to fulfil the Education 2030 targets. It will also serve as a platform to discuss and agree on the implementation strategy, milestones, experiences and cooperation towards the achievement of TVET related targets of SDG 4 – Education 2030.

Background
The International conference in TVET for East Asian Countries is a response to the recently adopted 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in particular the SDG 4 related to education and the specific target concerning technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

Sustainable development emphasizes a holistic, equitable and long-term approach to policy design, development and decision making at all levels. It emphasizes not just strong economic performance but intra-generational and intergenerational equity. It rests on integration and a balanced consideration of social, economic and environmental goals and objectives in both public and private decision-making.

In responding to sustainable development issues, TVET needs to be able to adapt to changing economic and social demands by creating relevant learning opportunities for all young people and adults throughout their lives.

Alongside other drivers of change such as globalization and rapid technological change, the drivers are increasingly causing important shifts in labour markets and demand for workforce with new skills profile. Public policies and enterprise strategies in many areas follow calls for innovative skills for rapidly expanding economies. Availability of skills for the rapidly evolving labour market can play a crucial role in helping economies to thrive, supporting technology shifts and the increasing digitization of the workplace and facilitating just and timely transitions to green and sustainable economies and societies. These factors are having a great impact on youth development and the ability of youth to respond adequately to these challenges. Transformation of TVET systems in countries not only has the potential to contribute to generation of new jobs, but can also change the scope and character of existing jobs.

The 2012 Third International Congress on TVET held in Shanghai devoted a Roundtable on the issue of Skills for Sustainable Development: Transforming TVET for Green Economies and Green Societies. This roundtable discussed, inter-alia, how TVET provisions be adjusted to meet new demands of a greener society and economy, how can sustainability principles and green skills be integrated into TVET programme, how these skills could be assessed and lead to demand-driven qualifications, and what roles can TVET play in ensuring low-carbon climate-resilient development. While TVET policy aims and reform choices often call for improved training for TVET teachers and trainers, the low status of TVET teaching as a profession, the low quality and the lack of training are frequent barriers.

More recently, the new UNESCO Strategy for TVET (2016-21) emphasized the importance of TVET for supporting the transition to green economies and sustainable development. In line with the UNESCO Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development , UNESCO will support Member States in greening TVET by adopting a whole-institutional approach to transforming institutions. This entails capacity building of leaders, education managers and teachers to implement systemic reforms that could lead to improving the performance and outcomes of TVET, including producing graduates equipped with skills for existing job shifts and emerging occupations. Member States were urged to pay attention to put in place adequate policy and funding mechanisms not only for improving quality of teaching and learning processes but also capacity development in the recruitment, management and professionalization of TVET teachers and trainers at all levels of education including formal and non-formal technical and vocational education and training. Further suggestions were made to develop instruments for promoting research and gathering relevant data to inform the global debate on the TVET teaching profession.

The recently adopted revised UNESCO Recommendation Concerning Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at the UNESCO General Conference in November 2015 recalls Member States’ effort to promote TVET in light of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It emphasized that TVET as part of lifelong learning, can take place at secondary, post-secondary and tertiary levels and includes work-based learning and continuing training and professional development which may lead to qualifications. The Recommendation has urged Member States to facilitate inter-sectoral coordination and improve capacities in governance and management; to encourage social dialogue and invite private sector and other stakeholders’ involvement; and to ensure equity and access of all youth and adults to learn and develop skills and competencies by transforming and expanding TVET. In this context, knowledge networks are key to support knowledge sharing, peer learning and international cooperation. UNEVOC, as a UNESCO International Centre for TVET, continues to play a critical role to reinforce national, regional and inter-regional strategic cooperation through maintaining an active and constantly learning knowledge network. The sub-regional conference will identify strategies to strengthen the UNEVOC network within the region It will lend itself useful for promoting interactions on contemporary TVET issues within China and the sub-region and enhancing sharing and peer learning across the local and sub-regional network.

Objectives:
• To discuss and share the alignment and gaps in present national TVET policies and strategies that enable or prevent response to Education 2030 for Sustainable Development Agenda;
• Raise awareness and inspire participants to implement the new UNESCO TVET Strategy and Recommendation concerning TVET as a key step to fulfil Education 2030 TVET related targets;
• Review challenges and barriers to improving quality of TVET in China and UNESCO Member States and explore the potential of the UNEVOC Network for overcoming these barriers;
• Discuss the institutional challenges to promote Lifelong Learning for All (Students & Adults) Culture in the TVET Sector.