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What UNESCO does on TVET


© UNESCO/Veruschka McKay

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. 

The TVET Strategy for 2016 - 2021 has three priority areas:

  1. Fostering youth employment and entrepreneurship
  2. Promoting equity and gender equality
  3. Facilitating the transition to green economies and sustainable societies

Fostering youth employment and entrepreneurship

UNESCO addresses the issue of growing youth unemployment through TVET by supporting countries in providing access for young people to quality skills training for the world of work and self-employment.

To ensure a smoother transition between education and the world of work, UNESCO supports cross-sector collaboration and partnerships with the private sector, for relevant incorporation of entrepreneurship skills.

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 and of the implementation from 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.

Promoting equity and gender equality

One of UNESCO’s main priorities is mainstreaming gender equality and promoting equity through TVET policies and programmes.

Equity and gender equality are promoted in and through policy dialogue and programmes on TVET, to make sure that all youth and adults, including vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, have equal access to learning opportunities and skills development.

Disadvantaged groups are included in skills development through apprenticeships, quality training in the workplace and in rural communities.

UNESCO integrates gender equality in and through national TVET systems in different ways, such as through identification of promising international practices; development of guidelines; and by gender-sensitive evaluations of TVET programmes. 

UNESCO also supports innovative means to widen access and participation in TVET for vulnerable groups through digital technologies.

Facilitating the transition to green economies and sustainable societies

Climate change calls for an urgent transition to green economies and climate resilient sustainable societies.

UNESCO supports a smooth transition to green economies through appropriate strategies, cross-sector synergies and partnerships. It is also connecting TVET and the other Sustainable Development Goals within priority areas such as health, water, sustainable industrialisation, energy, agriculture, food safety and security.

UNESCO strategically incorporates green skills in TVET activities and programmes to address new and necessary approaches to employment, consumption and production patterns for sustainable development.

At the global level, the greening of TVET is supported by knowledge sharing and peer learning through the UNESCO-UNEVOC network, cooperation with the Inter-Agency Group (IAG-TVET) and other UN organizations.

Another priority is to leverage technologies to include all youth and adults in the digital world. UNESCO is supporting this through research, policy advice, capacity-building, modernizing teacher qualifications, curricula and by reinforcing learning and recognition of digital skills in workplace settings.

For more information, please contact UNESCO’s Section for Youth, Literacy and Skills Development:

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