Skills for Work and Life

Faced with high levels of youth unemployment, rapidly changing labour markets, technological advancement, globalisation, and persistent social inequalities and tensions, many governments are prioritising the development of skills for the world of work through technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

In this context, UNESCO is calling for the transformation of TVET so it encompasses the full range of skills that are needed for, and in, the world of work. This implies grounding TVET in a lifelong perspective of learning, which seeks to guarantee equality of opportunity to for all.  This transformed vision of TVET comprises formal, non-formal and informal learning.

Guided by this approach, UNESCO - with the assistance of the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre - assists countries to improve their TVET systems and practices.

UNESCO’s Strategy for TVET (2010-2015) identifies three main areas of work for the Organization: policy advice and capacity development; setting international standards and monitoring; and knowledge sharing.

The global framework that guides collective action in support of the development of TVET was defined at the Third International Congress on TVET (Shanghai, 2012) organized by UNESCO.

Policy advice and capacity development

UNESCO’s Capacity Development for Education for All (CapEFA) (pdf) Programme is working with governments for the development of TVET systems in Afghanistan, Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Liberia, Madagascar and Malawi.

The BEAR Project (Better Education for Africa’s Rise) is a five-year initiative supported by the Republic of Korea that is supporting the development of TVET in Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Namibia and Zambia, in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region.

Setting international standards and monitoring

UNESCO is responsible for monitoring the implementation of two normative instruments concerning TVET: the 1989 Convention and the 2001 Revised Recommendation.

UNESCO facilitates the Inter-Agency Working Group on TVET, which is an international mechanism for policy dialogue and cooperation. The group includes the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Training Foundation, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank and others.

Published by UNESCO and developed by an independent team, the annual Education for All Global Monitoring Report monitors global progress towards the six EFA goals, which address TVET (Goal 3). The 2012 issue of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report focussed on, “Youth and Skills: Putting Education to Work”.

Knowledge sharing

Learning Knowledge and Skills for Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods, a project carried out by UNESCO in cooperation with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), is a research project that links literacy, learning and skills development for youth in rural areas in Cambodia, Egypt and Ethiopia.

The International Task Force on Teachers for EFA, in collaboration with UNESCO and the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre is conducting a Review of TVET Teacher and Instructor Training in the Arab States.

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