UNESCO‘s International Conference to reflect on challenges and new directions for Technical and Vocational Education and Training

UNESCO is organizing an International Conference under the theme “Transforming Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for successful and just transitions” on 7 and 8 December 2021, from 13:30 to 15:30 (CET). The International Conference organized in consultation with Member States, International Organizations, partners and stakeholders in TVET Institutions will be held online.

The conference is premised on findings and outcomes based on the UNESCO Strategy for TVET (2016-2021) and the transformation that TVET has undergone in the recent years while considering post pandemic effects. Discussions will explore the findings and outcomes and spearhead thinking towards digital transformation and greening of economies and labour markets and implications for TVET and shaping a new UNESCO Strategy for TVET (2022–2029).

TVET is at the intersection of education and the world of work and is expected to facilitate the insertion of young people and adults into the labour market, and their career progression. However, 31 per cent of young women and 14 per cent of young men worldwide were not in employment, education or training in 2019. Many young people were trapped in vulnerable employment in low-skilled jobs or settling for jobs for which they were overqualified and underpaid. As a result, 12 per cent of young people in employment were living in extreme poverty (below US$ 1.90 a day), twice the rate of adults.

The new Strategy is expected to build upon the achievements under the Strategy for TVET 2016-2021 and seek to generate a global momentum for TVET, contributing to the post-COVID-19 social and economic recovery and to an acceleration of progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 and other SDGs in particular SDG8 on inclusive growth and decent work. It is expected to instill a renewed ambition for TVET in Member States and stakeholders and build a common vision for transforming labour markets, economies, and societies.

The draft for the new Strategy for TVET will be prepared in consultation with Member States, international partners and the wider TVET community, ensuring its relevance to each region. Major milestones are foreseen in preparation of the new Strategy for TVET, aligning with UNESCO’s programming cycle (2022-2029). The draft for the new Strategy will be submitted for approval to the Executive Board at its 214th session (spring 2022).

On the occasion of the International Conference in December, a high-level segment including a Ministerial panel will take place on day one and a technical segment with four parallel sessions will be held on day two. Participants and stakeholders in skills development will be invited to drive discussions on sub-topics such as TVET in a world of work undergoing multiple transitions while exploring proactive TVET systems and the way they adapt to training supply; supporting individuals to be lifelong learners and with up to date skills; supporting economies in which labour market demand for skills shift, and supporting societies that will be increasingly challenged by multiple changes in the world of work.