Reforming TVET in Iraq

Project name :

Reforming Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Iraq

Location :

Iraq
UNESCO Iraq, working in partnership with government and the private sector, is implementing a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) reform project funded by the European Union. The initiative aims to support the establishment of an open, stable, and sustainable society, based on a diversified and growing market economy that generates employment, reduces poverty, and promotes equitable economic and social development.

UNESCO Iraq, working in partnership with government and the private sector, is implementing a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) reform project funded by the European Union.

TVET Reform Project is working on four objectives, the second of these is:

A demand-driven TVET supported by comprehensive understanding of labour market needs

More so than many of the other components of the education system, TVET is particularly orientated towards ensuring its graduates can access labour markets, finding and maintaining decent life-long employment where this is desired. Ensuring this function of TVET is fulfilled is the reason for the focus on making TVET demand-led – that is to say responsive to the demands of the labour market for workers with specific knowledge, skills and competencies as well as essential workplace attributes and behaviours.

Being demand-led has many implications for the TVET system as a whole. It requires that the voice and support of employers is routinely sort when determining strategy for the sector, when designing curriculum, when determine which courses, in which sectors at what levels are required. If TVET provision is to be made more demand-led there is a need for good quality labour market information both to help guide and inform provision and to identify what is working and what is not.

A strong TVET system is one where the supply of training provision matches the demand for skills in the local economy and is able to predict to changes in demand flexible enough to respond in good time to these.

The TVET Reform project is helping to make the TVET system in Iraq demand-led in four main areas:

  • Creating partnerships between employers, government and educators though new governance arrangements, for example the TVET Law, and more widely engaging employers in the design and delivery of TVET programme, in the provision of careers guidance and in the financing of the sector.
  • Undertaking labour market skills assessments in key economic sectors in order to direct training provision to meet labour market demand.
  • Designing new competency-based curriculum built on the skills profiles of specific occupations.
  • Raising awareness of the role of employers in TVET through campaigns and other initiatives.

Labour Market and Skills Analysis

As part of its work on demand-driven TVET, the TVET Reform Project is undertaking a comprehensive study of labour market need so that planners and educators can work to align TVET provision to respond to these needs.

The project has commissioned Labour Market Assessment and Skills Analysis Report on sever economic sectors, with an eight report looking into the informal economy:

  • Food and Accommodation Services (Hospitality and Tourism)
  • Construction
  • Transport and Storage
  • Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry
  • Wholesale and Retail
  • Information and Communications
  • Manufacturing

TVET is widely understood to be key to achieving a range of sustainable development goals including alleviation of poverty by empowering people to work and create jobs for others; increasing productivity and economic growth; promoting social equity, stability and peace; and increasing awareness of environmental issues and promoting green practices. TVET is regarded as pivotal to the achievement of inclusive, equitable and sustainable economic growth, youth employability and enhanced social well-being. A TVET system has potential to influence work practices in the long term by emphasising occupational and professional standards, through developing skills and knowledge for sustainable work practices, and by introducing new technologies.

A TVET system capable of achieving these aspirations should be demand-driven by the current and projected needs of the labour market and by identified social and economic development opportunities for the future, so that it is relevant to the needs of employers and the opportunities of the formal and informal sectors. It needs to be accessible to all social groups (including urban and rural and marginalised segments of the population) and include a range of components to ensure that graduates (especially youth) are equipped with work-ready skills.

This Labour Market and Skill Analysis is an essential element in the realisation of the desired outcome for the TVET system in Iraq. The TVET Reform programme needs labour market information and analysis of skills supply to inform the development of new training programmes leading to the award of TVQF qualifications and youth employment and entrepreneurship initiatives. It also provides skills demand and supply analysis for these purposes and lays the groundwork for a system for employer participation in TVET, through the establishment of pilot Sector Councils.

The Labour Market Assessment and Skills Analysis Reports are each comprised of five sources of data and analysis:

  • An enterprise survey of 2,653 firms with 10 or more employees in 8 governorates
  • Desk-based sector research and PESTLE analysis (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental)
  • Mapping of supply and demand systems including the institutional landscape
  • In-depth stakeholder interviews
  • Pilot Sector Council workshops

Survey reports are available on the TVET Reform web site: Skills Build Iraq

TVET Public Private Partnerships

As part of its work on demand-driven TVET, the TVET Reform Project is supporting and developing the links between employers, TVET providers and policy-makers in the form of a Public Private Partnerships (PPP) for TVET.

Relevance and Quality are keywords for describing a successful TVET system. TVET graduates must possess relevant qualifications, i.e. the right knowledge, skills and competencies to match the needs of the labor market. And the delivery of the TVET system must be of high quality. Ideally the TVET graduates should be qualified for requested work operations without costly and time-consuming additional internal training after recruitment to an enterprise.

TVET authorities in a growing number of countries choose partnering with the private sector to the end of providing relevant and high quality TVET and thus developing the requested skills in students, thereby contributing to the companies’ competitiveness and thus to economic growth. Depending on the content and organization of the partnership also has the potential of overcoming the challenges related to funding for investments and effective operation, and access to updated professionals for delivery of specialized TVET.

The TVET Reform Project has been supporting TVET PPP development. In this respect it has:

  • Develop a best-practice guide for TVET PPPs
  • Undertaken mapping for TVET PPPs
  • Developed a PPP framework to be adopted by the National TVET Council
  • Developing a step-by-step road map incremental development of PPP arrangements

Business Champions

As part of its work on demand-driven TVET, the TVET Reform Project is supporting and developing the links between employers, TVET providers and policy-makers in the form of a Public Private Partnerships for TVET.

It is not uncommon for TVET partners not to see eye to eye. Employers set high expectations for high-calibre recruits who are work-ready, having skills and competencies making it easy to fit into work roles. Likewise, government and TVET providers expect employers to fully support the TVET system – on the basis that they ultimately benefits from the skill and qualifications the system delivers. The support from employers may include financial contribution to training, offering work placements, providing inputs in policy and strategy, helping develop competency –based curriculum, careers input, proving opportunities for trainees to use the latest industrial equipment and technologies.

In Iraq, public private partnerships starting to develop and the conversation between employers and providers is increasingly positive. There are many examples of close, hand in hand working, and it is important to recognise, celebrate and expand on these.

To this extent, the TVET Reform Project will host the Business Champions Awards – an award programme that will recognise TVET partnership and exemplar instances of close working between employers and the TVET system.

In the first quarter of 2019, following a period of research, nominations and adjudications a televised event will be held in Baghdad where a winning employers, competing in a number of award categories, will be announced and honoured.

Capacity Development

UNESCO Iraq, working in partnership with government and the private sector, is implementing a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) reform project funded by the European Union.

The TVET Reform Project is working on four objectives, the second of these is:

Improved capacities of TVET stakeholders