09.05.2012 - Education Sector

Wanted: skills for jobs

UNESCO/Katy Anis- Women weaving (Timor-Leste)

Job losses, youth unemployment, a changing labour market, social exclusion and poverty have put Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) firmly on the map. But now that TVET is on the agenda of governments worldwide, can it be matched with the resources and policies to ensure that it benefits all?

This and other key questions will drive discussions at a major congress which UNESCO and its partners are convening from 13-16 May 2012 in Shanghai, China, on the theme of “Transforming TVET:  Building Skills for Work and Life”.  Forty ministers and high-level officials from 118 countries will be participating, along with the Education minister and other government representatives from China.  

The key objectives of the congress are to explore ways to meet the new challenges facing TVET systems; to address the contributions of TVET to development; to identify innovative ways to facilitate the transition from school to work; to chart strategic directions for transforming TVET at all levels and to identify opportunities for international cooperation. The congress is expected to produce a framework for actions for the future of TVET.  

UNESCO is co-organizing the Congress with the International Labour Organisation; The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; The World Bank and The World Health Organization. Participants include government ministries (Education and Training, Labour, Finance and Health); the private sector; unions and employees’ organizations and youth. Regional partners include the European Training Foundation; The Asian Development Bank; The African Development Bank and The Association for the Development of Education in Africa. 

UNESCO is the only UN agency whose mandate covers the development of the whole education sector. The Organization thus promotes TVET and skills development for the world of work within a broader framework of lifelong learning.

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