Second International Congress
on Technical and Vocational Education
Seoul, Republic of Korea, 26 - 30 April 1999


Lifelong Learning and Training for the
World of Work in the Twenty-first Century
Improving Education and Training Systems
Providing lifelong learning and training for the world of work in the twenty-first century is the main thrust of the Second International Congress on Technical and Vocational Education which is being organized by UNESCO in co-operation with the Government of the Republic of Korea. This Congress will address some of the central issues relating to learning and training for the development of the human resources that will be required in the early years of the next century  -  issues that confront both developed and developing countries in an age of rapid social, economic and technological change.
The acquisition of appropriate skills  -  both technical and social  -   is required to cope with the challenges presented by the evolving needs of the workplace. Education and training systems that respond adequately to these demands will contribute to the efforts to overcome the growing unemployment and marginalization of young people and adults in the industrialized as well as the developing world.

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Seoul Industrial High School, Republic of Korea

One of UNESCO's major thrusts for contributing to development is directed towards renewing and diversifying technical and vocational education. This includes a closer articulation between general and vocational education so as to prepare young people and adults for the world of work, as well as for responsible civic life. It also includes the development of alternative educational opportunities to provide every individual with access, at any time, to education and training compatible with his or her needs. Indeed, UNESCO considers 'learning to do' one of the four pillars on which education is based, whereby occupational skills are acquired together with the competence to deal with many situations and to work in teams. Towards this end, UNESCO promotes the fostering of partnerships between the education sector and the world of work. Such partnerships aim to promote opportunities for learning the skills necessary for employment, including self-employment, especially with a view to narrowing gender and economic disparities.
The Seoul Congress is expected to focus on developing strategies for improving technical and vocational education in the early years of the twenty-first century. Strengthening national development capacities, the international sharing of experiences and multilateral actions through networking are expected to constitute important components of such strategies. The Congress will bring together policy-makers from UNESCO's Member States, partners from inter-governmental organizations such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) and representatives of concerned non-governmental organizations, industry and labour associations who will make specific recommendations on how we may address the challenges for technical and vocational education in the next century.


Preparatory Regional Conferences The Current Context
The Second International Congress on Technical and Vocational Education is to be preceded by regional conferences that will help focus the technical and vocational education experiences and needs of the countries in those regions. The participants in these conferences will describe the problems their countries have encountered and the innovations which have proved successful. The summarized conclusions of the regional conferences are expected to serve as contributions from those regions to the Seoul Congress.

The regional conference for Asia and the Pacific was held in Adelaide, Australia, 25-27 March 1998. The conference for the European Region was held in Crete, Greece, 23 to 26 September 1998. Similar conferences for other regions are expected to be held during the last quarter of 1998.



Ten years after the Berlin Congress and facing a new environment created by trends such as globalization, the enhanced mobility of labour forces, and the rapid advancement of information and communication technologies, many people working in the field of technical and vocational education are convinced that it is time for all parties concerned to hold another international forum to examine how the field should adapt to these new circumstances. They hold the view that technical and vocational education needs new thrusts to make it contribute to both socio-economic and individual development in a more effective way. The establishment of co-ordinated education and training systems that will ensure flexible access to learning and training throughout life, or learning on demand, for young people as well as those requiring re-training in mid-life, is thought to be one method of increasing the effectiveness of technical and vocational education.


The Previous Congress

UNESCO held the International Congress on the Development and Improvement of Technical and Vocational Education in Berlin, in 1987. This congress led to the creation of UNESCO’s International Project on Technical and Vocational Education (UNEVOC) which was launched in 1992 with the goal of strengthening the development and improvement of technical and vocational education in its Member States. At present, a network of 165 UNEVOC Centres devoted to systems and infrastructure development and information exchange has been established in 110 countries.tourism.jpg (23544 octets)
Hotel Management and Tourism School, Qingdao, China
The principal objective of the Seoul Congress is to bring together stakeholders of technical and vocational education to exchange experiences and to suggest how policy and practice may be renovated in order to render this sector of education more relevant to the employment and social demands of the future. This objective is to be achieved by reviewing national and international experiences, analysing the new challenges, formulating recommendations on strategies and policies, and promoting international co-operation.











After extensive consultations with UNESCO’s Member States, concerned international organizations, heads of institutions and specialists, six main themes have emerged as those with the most immediate relevance to technical and vocational education in the next century. These six themes are proposed to guide the deliberations at the Seoul Congress. A further special theme will review the experience of the Republic of Korea in the field of technical and vocational education during the past several decades.
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The changing demands of the twenty-first century:
challenges to technical and vocational education*

• Globalization, labour force mobility and the new information and communication technologies – their impact on TVE
• TVE, unemployment and employability
• TVE and emerging market economies
• TVE and social / economic development

* In the context of the Congress, the term Technical and Vocational Education (TVE) also includes vocational training

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Innovating the education and training process

• New methods in the initial training of teachers and trainers – facilitating continuous upgrading of competencies
• Interaction between learning and the world of work throughout the educational process
• Introducing new information technologies, environmental issues and foreign languages/ cultures into TVE
• Entrepreneurship and training for self-employment and employment in small enterprises
• Assessment, accreditation of work experience and certification standards

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Improving systems providing education and
training throughout life

• TVE as an integral part of national education systems
• Sound initial education and training to ensure re-trainability
• Flexible access to TVE throughout life –policies for establishing co-ordinated education and training systems
• Educational and vocational guidance and counselling (including for out-of-school youth and the unemployed)


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TVE for all

• Ensuring equal access for girls and women
• A tool for social integration and coherence
• For marginalized youth
• For people with special needs


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Enhancing international co-operation in TVE

• Scope and orientation for UNESCO’s long-term TVE programme
• Multilateral partnerships for developing TVE

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Changing roles of government and other
stakeholders in TVE

• Provision of TVE by public and private sectors
• Roles and responsibilities of government: national agenda and legislation
• Financing TVE, including cost-sharing and resource-generation by institutions

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Innovation and reform of TVE in the Republic of Korea


Expected Outcomes

The Seoul Congress is expected to formulate sets of recommendations to the Director-General of UNESCO relating to:
fleche.gif (1041 octets) suggested strategies for Member States in further developing technical and vocational education systems that respond effectively to the economic and social challenges of the early years of the twenty-first century, and

fleche.gif (1041 octets) the Organization’s long-term strategy for actions in the field of technical and vocational education.

Based on these recommendations, the Director-General will present to the Organization’s Member States at the 30th Session of its General Conference (in October-November 1999), a programme in technical and vocational education which is expected to be implemented during the first ten years of the twenty-first century.


The Director-General of UNESCO will invite experts in technical and vocational education in their personal capacities.

In addition, the Director-General will invite the Organization’s Member States, Associate Member States, non-member States, and the Palestinian Authority as well as the United Nations and other Organizations of the United Nations System, international inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, institutions and foundations to send representatives and observers to the Congress, bringing together a total of about 750 participants.

Official letters of invitation are expected to be delivered during the last querter of 1998.

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Training centre under the authority of the Ministry of Agriculture, France

Provisional Programme

bTbhe Congress will be held at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Seoul in the Republic of Korea, 26 - 30 April 1999.

Its opening ceremonies will be followed by plenary sessions on the first morning and afternoon of the Congress. These sessions will focus on theme 1. On the second and third days, the congress will continue in four separate commissions dealing with themes 2 to 5. On the evenings of the second and third days, four round-table discussions on related topics will take place. These round-table discussions will be organized and conducted by UNESCO’s partner organizations in the field of technical and vocational education. Plenary sessions will be resumed on the fourth morning when theme 6 will be discussed. In the afternoon, interested participants will be taken on a field trip to inspect selected technical and vocational education institutions and industries in Seoul. On the final morning, discussions on the special theme will be followed by a presentation of results and a brief closing ceremony.

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Jubail Industrial College, Saudi Arabia

Monday 26 April
Morning Opening ceremony
Plenary session (theme 1)
Afternoon Plenary session (theme 1cont’d)
Tuesday 27 April
Morning Commission I (theme 2)
Commission II (theme 3)
Afternoon Commission I (theme 2 cont’d)
Commission II (theme 3 cont’d)
Evening Round table 1 Round table 2
Wednesday 28 April
Morning Commission III (theme 4)
Commission IV (theme 5)
Afternoon Commission III (theme 4 cont’d)
Commission IV (theme 5 cont’d)
Evening Round table 3 Round table 4
Thursday 29 April
Morning Plenary session (theme 6)
Report of Commissions
Afternoon Field visit
Friday 30 April
Morning Plenary session (special theme)
Presentation of results
Closing ceremony






Working Languages
The working languages of the congress will be English and French. Simultaneous interpretation in these languages will be provided during the plenary sessions and the commissions. Interpretation into Korean will also be provided.

Cultural Events
Aprogramme of cultural events will be organized by the host city. More details regarding these events will be announced in due course.

UNESCO wishes to acknowledge with thanks the immense contribution of the Government of the Republic of Korea towards the organization of this Congress. The contributions of development co-operation agencies, foundations and industries towards the sponsorship of some of the participants are also gratefully acknowledged.

Further Information

More detailed information about the Congress may be obtained by contacting:

Section for Technical and
Vocational Education
7, place de Fontenoy
F-75352 PARIS 07 SP

Phone: (33)(1) 45 68 08 38
Fax: (33)(1) 45 68 56 30


World Wide Web: