» Conference in China explores skills for work, innovation and sustainable development
04.07.2017 - Education Sector

Conference in China explores skills for work, innovation and sustainable development


Globally, over 73 million young women and men are unemployed and need relevant skills in order to enter the world of work and actively participate in their societies and economies.

Over the next three days, more than 500 participants from 70 countries come together at the ‘Skills on the move: global trends, local resonances’ conference taking place in Tangshan, People’s Republic of China from 4 – 6 July 2017. The event will explore how to meet the demand for skills development and overcome economic and social inequalities through Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).  

At the opening ceremony Mr Stanley Mutumba Simataa, President of the 38th session of the General Conference of UNESCO, said: ‘The world is in a period of accelerated change. Digitalisation of economies and societies promises to bring dividends, spur innovation, generate efficiencies and improve quality of services in a wide range of sustainable development areas, from agriculture to health, infrastructure, environment and education. The world of work demands not only job-specific skills, but also creative, entrepreneurial and digital skills.’ 

The conference co-organized by UNESCO, the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), takes stock of skills development in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and highlights global trends within the sector, five years after the Third International Congress in Shanghai (2012) which resulted in the Shanghai Consensus.

Building a solid vocational training base

Emphasising the need for global collaboration, Mr Jens Hofmann, Head of the Education and Science Unit at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in the People’s Republic of China, said: ‘An innovative economy cannot function without solid vocational training. Therefore, both Germany and China intend to expand their cooperation to learn from each other in order to build up an excellent vocational training system. In this regard, the German Federal Foreign Office organizes workshops between German and Chinese experts for vocational training on a regular base.’ 

The conference places special focus on TVET for youth employment and entrepreneurship; gender equality and access to lifelong learning; systems to anticipate skills demand anticipation to better match work and training; recognition of qualifications to provide mobility for learners and workers; skills for green economies and an increasingly digitized world.

Vice Minister of Education from the People’s Republic of China, Mr Yao Sun, said: ‘By putting into practice the ideas of innovation, coordination, sharing and greening, and contributing to modernization with no efforts spared, China’s vocational education sector is embracing an unprecedented golden era.’

The conference gathers representatives of international organizations; high officials from TVET ministries and TVET institutions, employers, private sector, and youth representatives; UNESCO-UNEVOC Centres; and UNESCO Chairs.

Visit UNESCO’s TVET webpage to learn more about how Member States are supported in their efforts to improve skills for work and life. 

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