» Updated international consensus on skills for work and life
02.08.2017 - Education Sector

Updated international consensus on skills for work and life

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A statement document from the recent conference in the People’s Republic of China on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is updating the Shanghai Consensus by reviewing major trends and policy developments in TVET since the Third International Congress on TVET in 2012.

More than 500 participants from 65 countries came together on 4 – 6 July 2017 at the conference in Tangshan, People’s Republic of China with the aim to discuss how to meet the current and future demand for skills development, and overcome economic and social inequalities through TVET in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

The conference resulted in an outcome statement: “From Shanghai to Tangshan. Shanghai Consensus updated: working together to achieve the Education 2030 agenda”, which updates the strategic directions in the Shanghai Consensus, and acknowledges the new developments and challenges that are linked to the emergence of green and digitized economies and societies.

The conference statement both emphasizes the importance of collaboration across the international community to achieve TVET-related targets within the Education 2030 Framework for Action and other Sustainable Development Goals, and encourages governments and other TVET stakeholders in UNESCO’s Member States to take into account the updated strategic directions.

In essence, the four main key areas for which Member States should consider strategies

and actions in the “Updated Skills Agenda” are the following:

  • Anticipate and identify skills needs by using labor market intelligence, partnerships and assessment techniques;
  • Ensure inclusive, quality and relevant skills development opportunities for all and promote gender equality;
  • Make skills and qualifications more transparent and better recognized to meet the changing skills needs, and develop common principles for the quality assurance of skills certifications within and across countries;
  • Contribute to a better use of skills in the world of work and support entrepreneurship and the personal development and career opportunities for TVET learners.

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

The conference was a follow-up to the Third International Congress in Shanghai five years earlier, which inspired the current UNESCO Strategy for TVET (2016-2021).

The Strategy supports TVET systems of Member States to promote youth employment and entrepreneurship; equity and gender equality; and the transition to green economies and sustainable societies.

Read more about the conference and what has been done in the field of TVET since the Third International Congress in Shanghai. Visit UNESCO’s TVET webpage to learn more. 

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