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May 13, 2015 - economy. Conference delegates agreed that more needs to be ... led by UNESCO as a response to the call of

Editorial Delivering on the Shanghai promises


ver the next four days, the city of Incheon in the Republic of Korea will play host to some of the sharpest minds David Atchoarena © UNESCO and the most powerful deciders in the world of education in a gathering unparalleled since the 2000 World Education Forum in Dakar. These experts are coming together to discuss an inspiring new agenda for education. UNESCO is convening this historic event together with six other agencies of the United Nations. The proposed agenda includes two TVET-related targets – one more sign of how the follow-up to the Shanghai Consensus is gaining momentum. After extensive consultation, the draft text of the Revised Recommendation on TVET is now complete and will be examined by the 38th UNESCO General Conference in November 2015. As is the case with the new Sustainable Development Goal on education, it has a broader reach and incorporates new elements to better reflect the reality of TVET today. It pays more attention to non-formal and informal ways of acquiring skills and to facilitating access to lifelong learning for adults as well as initial training for youth.


employability and green skills to the forefront at its global forum Skills for Work and Life Post-2015 in October 2014. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued engagement with UNESCO since Shanghai and, for those of you who will be in Incheon, I wish you every success in the deliberations on the targets for the new Sustainable Development Goal on education over the coming days. David Atchoarena, Director of Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems, UNESCO

Global forum takes message from Shanghai to Bonn


f TVET is to reach its full potential for transforming the lives of individuals and promoting healthy economies and societies, the challenges of youth employability and skills and how to green TVET must be addressed in an integrated fashion rather than via separate silos. This was one of the main conclusions of UNESCO-UNEVOC’s global forum Skills for Work and Life Post-2015, a gathering of over 200 people from 65 Member States held in Bonn, Germany in October 2014. In plenaries and parallel working sessions during the three-day event, participants presented promising practices, showing how schools, institutions and whole regions are harnessing TVET to address youth unemployment and help green the

The recommendation looks at skills as an instrument that belongs to different policy domains – not just education but also employment, health and regional development. This wider definition brings with it the need for much deeper cooperation between different ministries and different sectors of the economy when it comes to making policy. This is not the only area where UNESCO and its partners have been making progress in the follow-up to Shanghai, as this newsletter clearly shows. The TVET Inter-Agency Working Group, which brings together six of the world’s most significant development partners working on TVET, is moving ahead on areas of common interest such as work-based learning. UNESCO-UNEVOC brought the related issues of youth Global Forum Skills for Work and Life Post-2015 © UNESCO-UNEVOC/Misato Aonami

main idea is that WRLs can provide a common language and approach to the use of learning outcomes across borders in a lifelong learning perspective by producing guidelines which give conceptual and terminological clarity. The meeting took the process of developing WRLs further by making the scope and definitions more precise.

Study tour at the Global Forum © UNESCO-UNEVOC/Alix Wurdak

economy. Conference delegates agreed that more needs to be done to document and share these developments. They also stressed the need to take a holistic view of what skills are for. Skills are not only necessary for employability, productivity and competitiveness, but also for social cohesion, building communities and addressing environmental issues, they said. This is why TVET policy must be based on a coherent vision which promotes skills for both work and life. Shyamal Majumdar, Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC, gave the conference delegates a call for action. “For the past years, we have worked closely with our global network to come up with a shared vision for TVET, prioritizing youth and sustainable development,” he said. “Now, it is time to translate this vision into concrete interventions and actions for the advancement of TVET worldwide.” The need to transform TVET, as defined at Shanghai and about to be taken a step further at the World Education Conference in the Republic of Korea, means the goals of TVET must also change. It needs to promote lifelong learning, inclusiveness, global citizenship and sustainability and avoid too narrow a focus on simply preparing people to work in specific occupations. And finally, we need to be able to better predict what skills will be needed in future. This means generating more efficient labour-market intelligence through strong partnerships between employers, workers and training providers. It also calls for stronger capacities and tools for anticipating change and a renewed focus on entrepreneurial skills and helping trainees learn how to learn.

Regional stakeholders come together for world reference levels


xperts took the process of defining a set of World Reference Levels (WRLs) several steps further at a meeting in Paris, France last month. This ongoing work, led by UNESCO as a response to the call of the Shanghai Consensus, is exploring how a universal set of levels could facilitate the comparison and recognition of qualifications from one country to the next and how these could be underpinned by international guidelines on quality assurance. At the Paris meeting, the experts discussed UNESCO’s initiative on how to define WRLs based on learning outcomes. The

Work began on setting up a group of the regional stakeholders, that is, the organizations behind the regional qualifications frameworks that are slowly being developed in different parts of the world. These include the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Caribbean Community, the Commonwealth of Learning, the European Commission, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Pacific Community, and the Southern African Development Community. “We are connecting together the organizations working on regional qualification frameworks and that is important progress,” said Borhene Chakroun, Chief of UNESCO’s Section in charge of TVET. Finally, the decision was made to add a monitoring function to the WRLs through the periodic production of a global inventory of regional and national qualification frameworks. “This will tell us where we are making progress and also highlight the challenges and how countries are tackling them,” said Chakroun. This new function will be bolted onto the existing inventory produced by an inter-agency group including UNESCO, CEDEFOP and the ETF, which charts NQF developments around the world and already includes chapters on almost 90 countries and presentations of seven regional qualifications frameworks.

Work-Based Learning focuses minds at meeting of agencies


ork-Based Learning or WBL is a key element for successful TVET as it is one of the best ways of ensuring training is always relevant. For this reason, the six development agencies of the Inter-Agency Group on TVET decided to devote their latest meeting in Paris in February 2015 entirely to this subject. The OECD used the occasion to present its proposal for a Framework of Policy Levers for Quality WBL. With modules on areas including certifying and recognizing WBL, career guidance or strengthening the transition from school to work, it is looking at what governments and employers can do to advance WBL. “It recognizes that WBL is typically offered by private-sector employers, so governments can’t just decide how it is done,” said Simon Field, Project Leader on VET and Adult Learning at the OECD. Representatives of the other agencies agreed on the relevance of the six modules and promised to share material and to look for policy areas suitable for co-operation. Statistics and indicators is another area where action is needed. At the meeting UNESCO presented its stocktake of the work done so far on WBL indicators, a subject which is also very relevant for the Post-2015 agenda on education, and pledged to continue supporting countries in their efforts to develop them. Participants reported on their own work on this subject, including the OECD’s World Indicators of Skills for Employment database (soon to be launched) and the ILO’s online platform

on skills for employment. Areas for future co-operation – on definitions of WBL and creating an advocacy tool and a policy framework building on the OECD modules – were agreed.

Central to the efforts to create the new will be reflections on the old.

Simon Field praised the usefulness of the IAG meetings. “It’s a big step forward and this is very much to the credit of UNESCO which has been so instrumental in pushing this forward,” he said, “without this sort of meeting there is a danger that international agencies will duplicate or at the very least fail to complement each other’s activities.”

UNESCO is currently conducting a review of how well its 2010-2015 Strategy for TVET has served its purpose and to what extent it has achieved its goals. These aims or strategic core areas were defined as providing upstream policy advice for transforming TVET policies and systems and related capacity building, improving monitoring and clarifying the concept of skills development and finally acting as clearing house and informing the global debate on TVET.

UNESCO sets a course on TVET for the next five years

With input from external experts, this evaluation is currently underway with a first report due to be ready in June 2015.


UNESCO-UNEVOC rewards TVET achievers

s UNESCO prepares to draft its new strategy for TVET for 2016 – 2021, the lessons from the Third International TVET Congress are staying firmly in the frame. The Shanghai Consensus will be taken as a central point of reference providing guidance and a direction for the ongoing work on how to transform TVET policies and systems. Other key influences will be the results of the regional consultations on the Post-2015 education agenda and UNESCO’s own Revised Recommendation on TVET. The findings of the national Education for All reviews and the Education for All Global Monitoring Report, published just last month in April 2015, will provide UNESCO with some lessons on to what extent EFA Goal 3 on youth and adult learning has been achieved. Consultation with key partners will be another significant part of the preparatory work. UNESCO will be taking the time to consult with representatives of Member States at the World Education Forum and with development partners through the TVET Interagency Group. Finally UNESCO-UNEVOC’s virtual platform will be used to launch the debate once the first draft has been prepared by the UNESCO Secretariat.


he personal and professional journeys of Alia Wedderburn from Jamaica, Asma Ahmad Sheikh from Pakistan and Steven Jeffrey from Australia are living proof of how TVET can transform people’s lives. The three young people are also winners of the new UNESCO-UNEVOC award Skills in Action. Since she took the TVET path at fourteen, first prize-winner Alia Wedderburn has spent fifteen years working, learning and training others in the beauty services industry in Jamaica and abroad. While running her own business, she has used her skills to come up with new products for the beauty sector, including mineral eye shadows, a make-up brush cleaner and, most recently, a make-up serum. Currently studying a graduate programme on Leadership in TVET and Workforce Development, Alia is also a TVET instructor who has hosted TVET competitions for beauticians and coached secondary school students at innovation camps. “Embracing technical and vocational skills in a cultural system which regards academics as the only pathway to success is no easy feat,” she says but her aim is to “promote the validity of a career in TVET by being a positive example to the impressionable minds in my community.” Alia received her prize at the Second International Conference on TVET in the Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica in May 2015. In second place comes Asma Ahmad Sheikh, a young woman from Thatta in rural Pakistan who overcame family opposition and cultural barriers to train as a seamstress. When not busy running her own business, she runs a community business centre and has helped dozens of local women and men to access training and become entrepreneurs. Carpentry apprentice Steven Jeffrey from Australia took third prize with his account of how much he learnt through work placements in Kampot, Cambodia, building an arts centre for a school, and in Pal, India, laying the foundations for teachers’ housing at a local school. Launched in September 2014, the Skills in Action competition aims to recognise individuals who act as ambassadors for TVET in their countries and, who by so doing, inspire others to see TVET as a promising option.

Alia Wedderburn in Action © UNESCO-UNEVOC/Alia Wedderburn

from around the world will demonstrate their skills in real-life simulations of the workplace. UNESCO, together with other international and regional organizations including the OECD and the European Commission, will organize a special session on Skills for Sustainable Development Post-2015. Asia-Pacific Conference on Education and Training (ACET) ‘Making Skills Development Work for the Future’ 3-5 August 2015, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Organized by UNESCO and the Malaysian Government to keep up the momentum of the Shanghai Consensus, this event will act as a platform for driving TVET transformation in the region.

42nd WorldSkills Competition in Leipzig, Germany in 2013 © UNESCO-UNEVOC/Alix Wurdak

Recent and upcoming events 2nd International Conference on TVET in the Caribbean “STEM Education in TVET: Imperative to National and Regional Development” 13-15 May 2015, Montego Bay, Jamaica TVET is high on the political agenda in Caribbean countries. This conference is establishing a platform for reforming education systems. UNESCO-UNEVOC is using this occasion to hold a one-day meeting for UNEVOC Centres in the region. World Education Forum 19-22 May 2015, Incheon, Republic of Korea UNESCO and six co-convenors will bring people together to build a powerful new education agenda for the next fifteen years, including a special session on skills for work. eLearning Africa, 10th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education & Training 20-22 May 2015, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia UNESCO-UNEVOC will be running workshops on the role of ICT in TVET at this event which brings professionals, practitioners and policymakers together to discuss technology and learning in Africa. 43rd WorldSkills Competition 11-16 August 2015, São Paulo, Brazil UNESCO-UNEVOC will be present at the first edition of WorldSkills to be held in South America, where competitors

Shanghai Update Issue No. 3, May 2015 ISSN 2308-5487

UNESCO 38th General Conference 3-18 November 2015, Paris, France The general conference takes place every two years and sets the policies and main lines of work of UNESCO as well as deciding the programmes and the budget. At this year’s conference the draft text of the Revised Recommendation concerning Technical and Vocational Education and Training will be on the agenda.

Recently published Unleashing the potential: Transforming Technical and Vocational Education and Training Transferable skills in TVET: Policy implications Gender, Jobs and Education: Prospects and Realities in the Asia-Pacific UNEVOC Network Manual of Operating Procedures (available in six languages) Global Inventory of Regional and National Qualifications Frameworks. Volume 1: Thematic Chapters Joint publication with CEDEFOP and ETF

Upcoming publications Levelling and recognizing learning outcomes: The use of level descriptors in the twenty-first century Using New Technologies and Blended Learning Models for Technical and Vocational Education and Training. Joint publication with the Commonwealth of Learning (forthcoming 2015)

Published by

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization

Third International Congress on Technical and Vocational Education and Training Shanghai, People’s Republic of China, 14-16 May 2012

International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training

UNESCO Section for Youth, Literacy and Skills Development 7, place de Fontenoy 75352 Paris 07 SP, France Tel.: +33 (0)1 45 68 10 00 Fax: +33 (0)1 45 67 16 90 [email protected]

UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training UN Campus Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1 53113 Bonn, Germany Tel. +49 228 815 0100 Fax +49 228 815 0199 [email protected]