14.05.2012 - UNESCOPRESS

Technical and vocational education for smart and green growth

“Building Skills for Work and Life” is the theme of the 3rd international congress on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) which opened today in Shanghai, China. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova set the tone for the three-day event in her opening address, calling for a new vision of education and training that is relevant for the labour market, responds to individual and social needs and contributes to peace and sustainable development.

 “A transformed TVET must go beyond job-specific skills to equip youth and adults with the knowledge, tools and attitudes for work and life,” the Director-General said. “A transformed TVET cannot just be for some – it must happen in multiple settings and be accessible to all women and men. Transforming TVET is necessary for smart growth. It is essential for green growth. It is the path to build new patterns of sustainable development.”

Over 800 representatives from 117 governments, including 40 Ministers, governmental and non-governmental organizations, industry leaders and entrepreneurs are attending the Congress. During the next three days they will look at how TVET systems cans be reinforced and expanded to deal with rapidly changing and uncertain labour markets and high levels of unemployment coupled with diminishing natural resources, environmental deterioration, climate change and rapid population growth. 

 “The messages from this Congress must be loud and clear,”Ms Bokova said. “TVET is essential to sustainable development. It is vital for inclusive and just societies. It holds keys to unlocking the future we want for all.”

Speaking on behalf of the host country, Ms Liu Yandong, State Counsellor of the People’s Republic of China, stressed that China attaches great importance to TVET.  Outlining the priority given to this sector, she said that some 150 million people were now receiving vocational training each year. She added that the employment rate for TVET graduates was over 95 percent.

            “We will prioritize TVET as a basic task for industrial upgrade, regional economic growth, cultural prosperity and livelihood improvement,” she said.  “China will build a world-class modern TVET system that is relevant, connective and multi-dimensional.”   

Hosted by the Government of China, it is organized by  UNESCO with support from the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), The World Health Organization and the European Training Foundation (ETF).


More information

Watch the interview on TVET with Qian Tang, Assistant Director-General for Education at:


Media Contact

In Shanghai

Dieter Schlenker: Tel: +66 89 761 4376; d.schlenker(at)unesco.org

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