World Youth Skills Day 2018

Improving the image of TVET

UNESCO-UNEVOC follows the United Nations’ stride in celebrating the World Youth Skills Day every year on 15th July, and reaffirms its commitment to enhance the prospects of the youth to access quality skills development through TVET, globally. UNESCO-UNEVOC's theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Improving the image of TVET’.

Pervasive unemployment, underemployment and longer school- to work- transitions, are some of the most significant challenges confronting the youth around the world. These challenges are not just a result of the lack of adequate professional opportunities for the youth, but also skills imbalances, i.e. shortages, surpluses and mismatch of skills acquired with those required by the world of work. Apart from policy responses to promote job creation for the youth, investing in the skills development for employability and improved capacity of the youth for life-long learning is a critical requirement for an inclusive and equitable future!

What does TVET offer for youth skills development?

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) offers a pathway to provide the youth across all social segments the opportunities to develop their competencies, while also accelerating their transition to work and further learning. Skills demands across all industries are in a state of flux due to advancing technologies, environmental challenges and their mitigation, and demographic shifts. The decreasing shelf life of existing skill sets, coupled with the quality and quantity of occupational learning avenues to skill (and reskill) the current and potential entrants to the dynamic labour markets, requires the development of responsive, higher quality and accessible TVET systems.

Why do these views and attitudes persist?

Despite a growing consensus in support of TVET’s potential to grapple with these challenges and the developmental shifts within the TVET systems worldwide, a recurring issue has been its relative unattractiveness of vis‐à‐vis the academic education for students.

The main determinants of these perceptions include persistent social stigmas attached to TVET as a second rate-learning track, and that TVET graduates may not have opportunities of mobility to higher levels of education, amongst others. While the broader capacity to allay these concerns varies according to each country i.e. differences in educational systems, differences in occupational disciplines, differences in sectoral composition of economies; yet, there are various examples around the world where TVET is yielding highly rewarding professional and learning outcomes, particularly in some OECD countries.

Skills development through TVET is critical not just for responding to labour market needs, but also as a tool for social empowerment for the youth, especially women and disadvantaged segments. With TVET branching out into tiers of skills beyond just the functional ones, it also promotes the acquisition and development of entrepreneurial and innovative skills for self-employment. Continuing integration of entrepreneurial segments in TVET and skills training for women and disadvantaged groups also contributes to their personal development and livelihood diversification, and empowers them to become active citizens. UNESCO-UNEVOC Promising Practices Database presents examples where TVET has directly empowered and enabled vulnerable youth for productive opportunities, e.g Young Africa - Mozambique, REACH - Vietnam, Laboratoria - Peru.

TVET systems around the world are also in a state of transformation to respond to the current and emerging challenges. This transformation, though varied across regions and levels of development, includes a transition of TVET from being a vehicle for functional skills development for employability to the development of broad-based and transversal skills that enable its graduates for further opportunities for learning and upskilling through the course of their life.

Join UNESCO-UNEVOC in ‘Improving the image of TVET’ this WYSD!

As part of UNESCO-UNEVOC's continuing commitment to show the true potential of TVET and enhancing its attractiveness for the youth as a viable learning avenue, we invite you to be a part of:

1. Virtual Conference on ‘Improving the image of TVET’

UNESCO-UNEVOC is organizing a Virtual Conference on the UNESCO-UNEVOC TVET Forum from 16-24 July 2018, where we invite all members of the global TVET community to share their insights and help further the global narrative on improving the image of TVET. We also invite, students and young people to weigh in with their views, highlight the challenges they face in pursuing TVET, and discuss how the TVET systems can be reformed to improve their image across the world. The virtual conference will focus on the following five topics to unpack the determinants of enhancing the image of TVET:

a. The image of TVET and its consequences

b. Factors shaping the standing of TVET

c. Perspectives of young people, their parents and families

d. Policies and practices that might enhance the image of TVET

e. Evaluating the impact of those policies and practices

As of 13 July 2018, more than 200 participants from more than 60 countries have already registered for this discussion, which will be moderated by Dr. Stephen Billett - Professor of Adult and Vocational Education at the Griffith University, Australia.

Register for the Virtual Conference here

2. UNESCO-UNEVOC SkillsInAction Photo Competition

UNESCO-UNEVOC invites you to capture amazing moments when skills are in action, showing how TVET and skills development are contributing to one of the following:

a. Encouraging youth employment and entrepreneurship

b. Promoting equity and gender equality

c. Facilitating transition to sustainable economies and societies

The photographs should focus on highlighting examples and role models, such as students, workers, and young teachers/trainers, who are engaged in any of the above thematic priorities and illustrate the gains that TVET promises. Please visit the UNESCO-UNEVOC World Youth Skills Day page for more information on how to participate! The deadline for submission is the 31st July 2018 and winners will be given attractive cash prizes.

3. Join the conversation

a. Twitter

b. Facebook

c. Instagram

UNESCO's engagements on promoting youth and skills

In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, UNESCO Strategy for TVET (2016-21) and UNESCO’s Recommendations concerning TVET are some of the key instruments stimulating global action in making TVET systems more effective in responding to current and emerging skills demands, and promoting youth employment and entrepreneurship. In all these calls, skills development for the youth is a key priority area. The UNESCO-UNEVOC Medium Term Strategy II also places youth employment as a core thematic priority, to guide our programmatic activities to the benefit of the Member States represented in the UNEVOC Network.

Learn more

1. UNESCO-UNEVOC World Youth Skills Day 2018


2. UN World Youth Skills Day Homepage

3. UN Resolution on World Youth Skills Day

page date 2018-07-13

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