TVET as a Pathway to a Prosperous Future
" Following my passion and taking the decision to leave my office job was the best choice I have ever made. I became a pastry Chef where I excelled in making deserts that lead me to fame through social media platforms. This achievement served as a turning point where I finally obtained great support from my family who acknowledged my creativity." Hala Al Nabali, Pastry Chef, Ramallah.
Hala, like many others, was pressured by society to go into the traditional education track. Ever since her childhood, she knew that she wanted to be a Chef, but everyone advised her against it. So naturally, after completing her undergraduate degree and joining the work force, she shifted her career path and perused her passion for cooking. A lot of people can relate to Hala’s story. That’s why UNESCO works everyday with its national partners to reshape social norms in order to create a thriving work force.
UNESCO believes that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) has the power to increase employment, especially amongst youth, promote equity and gender equality, and facilitate a just transition to green economies and sustainable societies.
In line with this, UNESCO Ramallah is currently implementing a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of TVET as a strategy to combat rising unemployment rates amongst Palestinian youth. The campaign aims to ensure that young people are fully trained and equipped to access employment, as per labour market needs in Palestine which shall contribute to the social, economic, and technological development.
According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics - PCBS in 2020, half of youth aged between (18- 29 years) are not in employment or education/training (43% in the West Bank compared with 67% in Gaza strip)1. Through this campaign, UNESCO is busting myths and using real-life success stories to illustrate how TVET has the power and potential to help youth in Palestine to carve out a prosperous future.
To date, the UNESCO campaign has involved interactive sessions with students from both general and TVET educational pathways. Parents have been involved in these sessions too, given the influential role they play in their children’s decisions about their futures. People from the TVET sector from governmental organisations, civil society and the private sector have also taken part in the sessions.
These interactive sessions across March and April 2022 were organized in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in close cooperation with the TVET Commission, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Ministry of Labour. They included three debate sessions concluded with a students’ summit, five awareness-raising sessions with students in schools and three meetings with parents of students with disabilities currently on the TVET track. All sessions aimed to better identify opportunities and challenges within TVET, how those challenges are being addressed and how they affect young people’s transition to the labour market. In addition, the sessions have shed light on recommendations from students, youth with disabilities and their parents on how to realize a more inclusive TVET system in Palestine.
Although Palestine has committed resources to TVET and has made substantial progress; TVET system is still facing challenges that have impact on the effectiveness of the TVET system in terms of its relevance to the needs of the labour market. The mismatch between the supply and demand including needed skills; the absence of TVET promotion as a main strategy for economic development; devaluing of TVET and the limited resources for teaching and learning; the non-institutionalization of public-private partnerships and the social norms that affect attracting youth towards the TVET track are the main challenges addressed during the campaign sessions.
The multimedia element of the campaign aims to reach a much wider audience in the Palestinian community. The messages promote the potential of transversal skills, digitalization, and entrepreneurship, and the campaign content includes a combination of audio and visual advertisements, informative videos, social-media graphics, and inspirational success stories. The messaging illustrates the impact TVET has on young people’s lives, and how it can increase their opportunities to access the labour market. The campaign will be broadcast throughout the month of June 2022.
This campaign is implemented by UNESCO Ramallah within the framework of the projects: TVET4Future, funded by the Belgian Government through Enabel- Belgian Development Agency, and the project Developing digital education and skills for sustainable development through distance learning in Palestine funded by the government of Japan and implemented by Wattan Media Network.