Thematic Areas: Inclusion and Youth | Innovation and Future of TVET | Private Sector Engagement | SDGs and Greening TVET
Our Key Programmes & Projects: BILT: Bridging Innovation and Learning in TVET | Building TVET resilience | TVET Leadership Programme | WYSD: World Youth Skills Day
Past Activities: COVID-19 response | i-hubs project | TVET Global Forums | Virtual Conferences | YEM Knowledge Portal
Our Services & Resources: Publications | TVET Forum | TVET Country Profiles | TVETipedia Glossary | Innovative and Promising Practices | Entrepreneurial Learning Guide
Events: Major TVET Events | UNEVOC Network News
To mark 20 years of promoting quality TVET that is accessible to all, we invite you to scroll through various highlights from our history, view video messages from key partners and tour the virtual exhibition of skills in action.
The origins of UNESCO-UNEVOC can be traced back to UNESCO’s First International Congress on the Development of Technical and Vocational Education held in 1987 in Berlin, Germany. The congress recommended setting up an international centre for research and development in technical and vocational education. In 1993, the Director-General of UNESCO established the UNESCO-UNEVOC Implementation Unit in Berlin with the support of the Government of Germany. In subsequent years, UNESCO Member States passed a resolution to transform the Implementation Unit into an International Centre. This led to the signing of a host country agreement with Germany in 2000 and the official inauguration of UNESCO-UNEVOC at the UN Bonn Campus in 2002.
At the heart of UNESCO-UNEVOC’s programmes, projects and activities is Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. UNESCO-UNEVOC’s work also contributes to the achievement of the SDGs focused on poverty reduction (SDG 1), gender equality (SDG 5), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9), climate action (SDG 13), and global partnerships (SDG 17).
During his speech to mark the 20th anniversary, Friedrich Huebler, Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC, thanked the City of Bonn for its hospitality and expressed appreciation for the generous support of the Federal Government of Germany, particularly through the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Mr Huebler reassured TVET institutions that “they can count on the support of UNESCO-UNEVOC in the next phase of their journey.”
In the coming years, the expectations placed on TVET to drive socio-economic change and ensure sustainable transitions will be even greater. UNESCO-UNEVOC, in collaboration with its partners and the UNEVOC Network, stands ready to shape responsive TVET systems that equip youth and adults with the relevant skills for the future.
Peter Thiele, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Birte Ifang, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Jeanette Burmester, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Hubert Ertl, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB)
Roman Luckscheiter, German Commission for UNESCO
Marie-Josée Fortin, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan)
LIU Yufeng, Central Institute for Vocational & Technical Education (CIVTE), China
Salem Al-Naemi, University of Doha for Science and Technology (UDST), Qatar
Jefferson Manhães de Azevedo, National Council for the Federal Network of Vocational, Scientific and Technological Education Institutions (CONIF), Brazil
Ahmed Samy, Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), United Arab Emirates
James Keevy, JET Education Services, South Africa
Jang-soo Ryu, Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET), Republic of Korea
Joachim James Calleja, Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST)
Rikar Lamadrid, Basque Centre of Research and Applied Innovation in VET (TKNIKA), Spain
Ifeoma Akeredolu, Yaba College of Technology, Nigeria
Carlos Díaz, Duoc UC, Chile
UNESCO-UNEVOC's Skills in Action photo competition was launched in 2012 to portray a positive image of TVET and showcase the many faces of work. This virtual exhibition shares winning entries from the competition over the past 10 years.
8 April 2002 – The General Conference of UNESCO adopted a resolution in 1999 authorizing the Director-General to establish a UNESCO International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training. A Host Country Agreement was signed on 12 July 2000 and the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre was established on 8 April 2002 in Bonn, Germany.
April 2002 to December 2003 – During its first two years in Bonn, UNESCO-UNEVOC distributed more than 23,000 copies of printed materials worldwide. Distribution mainly took place via conventional mail. Today, our digital library contains more than 3,000 publications that can be easily downloaded with the click of a button.
25-28 October 2004 – The UNESCO International Experts Meeting on Learning for Work, Citizenship and Sustainability was organized by UNESCO-UNEVOC together with UNESCO’s Division of Secondary, Technical and Vocational Education and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The participants formulated the Bonn Declaration, which defined the role and contribution of TVET to sustainable development.
11 July 2006 – UNESCO-UNEVOC moved to its office on the UN Campus, Bonn in 2006. The International Centre is located on the 25th floor of the renowned “Langer Eugen”, the former offices of the German Members of Parliament. The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel officially inaugurated the new UN Campus.
28 May 2007 – The 1st African UNESCO-UNEVOC TVET Summit on the theme of “Access to and Inclusion in TVET in Africa Through New ICT-Based Solutions” was organized as a special event within the annual Pan-African eLearning Africa conference. The Summit was held in Nairobi and brought together TVET experts, policymakers, researchers and practitioners to share experiences, discuss strategies and implement mechanisms to promote and effectively integrate ICTs in TVET.
13-16 April 2008 – The UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre and the Iloilo Science and Technology University (formerly West Visayas College of Science and Technology) jointly organized a sub-regional seminar on curriculum innovations and best practices in TVET. During the event, a park in honour of UNESCO-UNEVOC was unveiled on the premises. Trees for UNESCO-UNEVOC and for each of the participating UNEVOC Centres were planted.
19 March 2009 – UNESCO-UNEVOC launched TVETipedia to provide reliable and up-to-date information about TVET. The glossary in its current form includes definitions and sources related to the most commonly used terms in the field of Technical and Vocational Education and Training. In 2021, TVETipedia was accessed by about 7,800 users every month.
5-15 December 2011 – “Women and TVET” was the 1st online conference held on UNESCO-UNEVOC’s e-Forum, now the TVET Forum. The moderator-led discussion was a pilot activity in the International Centre’s efforts to upgrade the e-Forum and encourage wider debate and understanding, including the sharing of ongoing practices and the exchange of new ideas in the field of strategy and policy development.
May 2012 – Launched in May 2012, UNESCO-UNEVOC’s World TVET Database aimed to provide concise, reliable and up-to-date information on TVET systems. In recent years, the interactive database has been renamed TVET Country Profiles and upgraded to offer expansive TVET data on more than 190 countries and territories.
2013 – UNESCO-UNEVOC established an online database to identify and share promising practices for the benefit of the global TVET community, including policymakers and practitioners. What started out as a handful of practices has evolved into the Innovative and Promising Practices database. The database currently contains more than 65 practices from all 5 regions of the UNEVOC Network that can be searched by keyword, theme or region.
14-16 October 2014 – Youth employability and green skills were at the core of UNESCO-UNEVOC’s 1st Global Forum on Skills for work and life post-2015. Over 200 delegates from 65 UNESCO Member States, including 67 participants from 62 UNEVOC Centres, convened in Bonn to discuss the role of TVET in addressing major global challenges on the post-2015 development agenda. In subsequent years, UNESCO-UNEVOC organized two more Global Forums in Bonn – Managing skills in a time of disruption (2018) and Advancing innovation and learning in TVET (2019)
2015 – This year marked the publication of the Network Manual of Operating Procedures and the roll-out of the UNEVOC Network portal. While the manual outlined the general rules of engagement in the UNEVOC Network, as well as its procedures and structures, the portal facilitated knowledge sharing and collaboration among UNEVOC Centres. Both of these resources have since been updated (see Handbook for the UNEVOC Network) in order to foster new opportunities for cooperation and mutual assistance.
15 July 2015 – UNESCO-UNEVOC celebrated the inaugural World Youth Skills Day with a youth-led panel discussion and skills exhibition at the UN Campus in Bonn. Every year since then, UNESCO-UNEVOC has joined WYSD celebrations to recognize the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship. The International Centre continues to be one of the key actors in the global WYSD campaign.
17-28 October 2016 – The 1st UNESCO-UNEVOC TVET Leadership Programme was held in Bonn in 2016. Consistent with the recommendations of the Shanghai Consensus and the UNESCO Strategy for TVET (2016-2021), the programme was designed to empower TVET leaders with the skills, vision and knowledge for change. Since 2016, UNESCO-UNEVOC has trained and supported more than 650 TVET leaders, managers and staff from over 100 countries through global, regional and country-level adaptations of the programme.
July 2017 – The Greening TVET guide was designed to help TVET leaders and practitioners improve their understanding and implementation of education for sustainable development (ESD) by using a whole-institution approach and step-by-step process to green their institutions. UNESCO-UNEVOC’s 1st practical guide and most comprehensive publication on greening TVET reflects its commitment to support TVET institutions on their journey towards sustainability.
November 2018 – In the face of emerging challenges, UNESCO-UNEVOC sought to promote systematic ways for TVET institutions to drive innovation. The Skills for Innovation Hubs (i-hubs) project was launched to develop a framework for TVET institutions to assess their potential and develop the transversal and technical skills needed for innovation. The i-hubs project was implemented in collaboration with 10 pilot institutions from Africa, Asia and the Pacific and Europe, and culminated with the publication of Innovating TVET: A framework for institutions.
December 2019 – A main challenge for TVET is keeping pace with rapid changes in skills demands and work practices, while remaining attractive to learners and relevant to employers. The Bridging Innovation and Learning in TVET (BILT) project was launched to support TVET stakeholders to address current challenges in TVET systems, which arise due to technological, social, environmental and workplace changes. BILT leverages the existing mechanism of the UNEVOC Network to offer opportunities for collaboration and peer learning between Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe.
December 2020 – The guide on Entrepreneurial Learning helps TVET institutions to focus on what really drives entrepreneurial learning by providing the tools to assess the needs of the target group and the framework to explore the added value of an entrepreneurial learning ecosystem. The Entrepreneurial Learning Institution Canvas (ELIC) enables TVET institutions to develop their own concepts and apply innovative approaches and models. UNESCO-UNEVOC’s 1st interactive online guide was released in English, French and Spanish to accompany the publication.
January-June 2021 – UNESCO-UNEVOC’s COVID-19 project aimed to enhance responsiveness and agility at a time of sudden change, where future prospects for employment and training remained uncertain. The project supported TVET institutions in managing their pandemic responses to quickly address the skilling and upskilling needs of people impacted by job losses, build the digital capacities of TVET staff to shift to remote teaching, and facilitate peer learning to build resilience for the post-pandemic era.
8 April 2022
Thank you for your support over the past twenty years!
Quality TVET for all contributing to
sustainable development, globally