Changing roles of government and other stakeholders

28. In a modern market economy, TVE policy design, legislation and delivery must be achieved by a multifaceted system that is the joint responsibility of government, employers and the community. At present, the public sector is still the major provider of formal TVE in most countries although a growing trend towards decentralization and co-operation with the private sector is evident. Governments are responsible for giving TVE a priority proportional to its strategic importance, and for developing and providing the necessary legislative framework.

29. The roles and responsibilities of governments in the preparation of technical manpower and the implementation of national agenda for the development of TVE vary from country to country. In some countries undergoing rapid industrial and technological development, training technical personnel is the responsibility of special Industrial Vocational Training Boards (IVTB). The government and private sector industries are equally involved in IVTBs where short-term training needs are combined with long-term continuous retraining and upgrading of the workforce. Other countries have gone a step further by merging their vocational and education systems under one qualifications authority.

30. The diversification of providers of TVE requires a major change in the perception of its role. To create coherent partnerships where conflicts in practice are minimal, it is crucial that governments establish co-ordinated national agendas for the development of TVE. A coherent legislative framework is required so that policy and strategic directions can be set and enacted. The potential of private partners to strengthen TVE needs to be utilized. TVE should be viewed as an investment and public institutions given more autonomy so that competition is increased and the response to developmental needs more rapid. With the diversification of providers, co-ordinating mechanisms need to be established to ensure effective organization. Most importantly, the diversification of TVE providers necessitates also the diversification of funding sources.

31. The successful achievement of an overall agenda for the development of TVE depends greatly on the financing of TVE, including cost-sharing and resource generation by TVE institutions. It is generally agreed that TVE is among the most expensive education programmes and funding practices vary considerably among countries. Funding for TVE is obtained from national budgets, employers' contributions, learners' contributions, voluntary contributions, fund-raising through income-generating activities and other sources.

32. Governments continue to be pressured to reassess funding models for TVE. However, as non-governmental enterprises mature, a proportion of the responsibility for providing TVE must shift to the employers. The current practice of some employers providing in-house or on-the-job training has the advantage of exposing trainees to the real-life work environment. Yet the training is often focused on the host establishment's immediate need and interest in skill development, and lacks the vision needed for the long-term sustainable development and retrainability of the trainees.

33. For their part, governments would be expected to provide a climate conducive to a mutually beneficial coexistence between TVE providers and other stakeholders. In this regard, a critical question is

What incentives should governments offer employers in public and private sectors
to encourage commitment on their part to improving and strengthening TVE?


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