UNESCO has developed a Strategy for TVET (2016-2021) in alignment with Sustainable Development Goal 4 and the Education 2030 Framework for Action to strengthen TVET systems of Member States and advance youth employment, access to decent work, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning opportunities in specific national contexts.
TVET comprises education, training and skills development relating to a wide range of occupational fields, production services and livelihoods. It empowers individuals, organizations, enterprises and communities and fosters employment, decent work and lifelong learning thereby promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth and competitiveness, social equity and environmental sustainability. Three targets under SDG4 (4.3, 4.4 and 4.5) have an explicit mentioning of TVET covering issues related to access, relevance and gender equality.
The TVET Strategy for 2016 - 2021 has three priority areas:
- Fostering youth employment and entrepreneurship
- Promoting equity and gender equality
- Facilitating the transition to green economies and sustainable societies
Skills development for decent work and livelihood are critical contributions to peace and stability. Developing life and work skills means equipping learners with relevant ensembles of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that learners can mobilize independently, efficiently, and ethically to solve problems from a sustainable development and global citizenship perspective. UNESCO Beirut is involved in several important activities related to skills development for the youth population in the context of TVET by means of supporting youth employment.
The Youth Employment in the Mediterranean (YEM) project focuses on improving skills anticipation systems and enhancing the relevance of skills development for life and work from a sustainable development perspective. The YEM project is implemented over a period of three years in the Mediterranean region. Such activities aim to reinforce capacities of countries in accessing the labour market demands, use the results of skills assessment and forecasting to promote quality TVET pathways, and reinforce regional cooperation in the field of TVET.
Based on needs and contexts of the specific countries, UNESCO supports Member States in reviewing their TVET policies through analysis and alignment of key policy areas. It also supports the development of sustainable TVET financing mechanisms, with the view to mobilize resources for the implementation of the TVET Strategy. To support the effectiveness of TVET reforms, UNESCO has initiated a TVET Leadership Programme through the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre to equip managers in ministries, agencies and TVET institutions with effective leadership tools and skills to move from policy design to implementation and achieve the SDG4 targets on vocational skills. In addition, UNESCO has been working on Work-Based Learning (WBL), which seeks to inform policymakers and practitioners in the Arab region including private sector and civil society about how to design and manage effective WBL programmes targeting young people.