Changing Roles of Government and Other Stakeholders in TVE

5.1 Although governments carry the primary responsibility for TVE, in a modern market economy TVE policy design and delivery must be achieved through a new partnership between government, employers, vocations, industry, trades union and society. This partnership must create a coherent legislative framework to enable the launching of a national strategy for change. Within this strategy the government, apart from actually providing TVE, can fulfil the roles of giving leadership and vision, facilitating, coordinating, establishing quality assurance and ensuring that TVE is for all through identifying and addressing community service obligations. The capacities of the partnerships must be enhanced through training schemes and facilities to impart appropriate skills.

5.2 The new partnership should aim to establish a learning culture throughout the society whilst strengthening the economy, achieving social cohesion, helping to maintain cultural identity and diversity and the enhancement of humanity. Training for all occupations directly related to human development should include human rights and responsibilities. The learning culture should enable the establishment and maintenance of an institutional structure which will achieve lifelong learning, wider participation in education and training and foster the work ethic with a revitalized spirit of entrepreneurship.

5.3 Both the monetary and non-monetary benefits of TVE should be recognized by government, industry and other stakeholders.

5.4 The contribution of the voluntary and NGO sectors to the provision of TVE must be recognized and supported because it constitutes an extremely valuable but often overlooked resource.

5.5 Government and the private sector must recognize that TVE is an investment, not a cost, with significant returns including the well-being of workers, enhanced productivity and international competitiveness. Therefore funding for TVE must be shared to the maximum extent possible between government, industry, the community and the learner. There are also opportunities for fund-raising and income-generating activities through collective effort. The mix will vary for each country, but it is important to realize that the benefits of TVE are for all of the partners in society who should therefore take the responsibility to contribute to the creation and ongoing vitality of their TVE system through cost sharing mechanisms that incorporate appropriate government financial incentives.

5.6 A vibrant economy is best served by a diversity of public and private providers of TVE operating in healthy competition within a national framework of quality assurance. The balance can be struck in many ways but the government should assume responsibility for ensuring strong basic initial vocational preparation no matter which sector is providing its delivery. Government should also be considered a provider of last resort to ensure that potentially excluded populations are not overlooked and are ensured access to TVE programmes. There is a particular need in all countries to expand employment-based training which is well articulated with institutional training through a national framework which includes individual learning credit banks and records, and multiple and flexible entry and exit points. The private sector has a particularly important role to play in this regard.

5.7 Within governments there are often shared and overlapping responsibilities for various elements of TVE amongst departments and agencies. It is desirable that governments streamline their own public institutional framework to the maximum extent possible to coordinate the national TVE effort, create an effective partnership with the private sector and promote TVE for the benefit of all stakeholders.

5.8 All TVE partners will be required to increase constantly their knowledge and expertise in many areas affecting TVE systems. Effective mechanisms must therefore be established to share experience and expertise through ongoing research of particular relevance for key policy issues. Other approaches may include jointly shared data banks, multi-media technologies and regional and international cooperation.

5.9 There is significant scope for countries to share their experience with the design and operation of national TVE policies and strategies, and appropriate public and private roles and partnerships. In this regard there is a need for mutual and cooperative assistance between developing and developed countries and those countries with emerging market economies.