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Managing change through transformative TVET leadership

5 December 2022

Technical and vocational education and training faces a new wave of expectations and challenges to help accelerate climate change education and the acquisition of green skills. More than ever, there is a need to adapt practices in the world of work to meet the demands of the green transition and create new values that could sustain the transition.

On 30 November, UNESCO-UNEVOC launched the sixth edition of its TVET Leadership Programme, titled ‘Re-thinking TVET systems and programmes to anticipate demand, adapt and take action for a just and green transition’. The leadership training programme seeks to address the knowledge gap on system-level change by raising awareness and developing capacities that will empower TVET professionals to effectively mainstream approaches that contribute to the green transition in their institutions.

The UNESCO-UNEVOC TVET Leadership Programme runs from November 2022 to February 2023 and each online learning block consists of modules aimed at supporting the transformation of institutions into effective spaces for learning about sustainability and climate responsibility. More than 140 TVET leaders and managers from 61 countries will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of greening concepts and trends, particularly those that are impacting the labour market and society, through self-learning modules developed for the programme. In addition, targeted assignments will support the learning process of participants in re-thinking ways to anticipate demands, adopt new strategies and develop a theory of change to apply newly gained knowledge and skills.

Since 2016, UNESCO-UNEVOC has trained and supported over 650 TVET leaders, managers and other staff from more than 95 countries through the global, regional, national and online versions of its TVET Leadership Programme. To kick off the 2022 edition, Friedrich Huebler, Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC, welcomed the TVET leaders to a global group that is enthusiastic about making a difference by ensuring that TVET is relevant, market-oriented, agile and most importantly, geared towards economic, social and ecological transformation. Mr Huebler emphasized to participants that “the success of the green transition supported by TVET largely rests on you, the TVET leaders responsible for converting policy into practice and harmonizing diverse policy agendas.”

A similar concept was reiterated by Olivier Pieume, Chief of the Technical Cooperation Unit at UNESCO-UNEVOC and Team Leader of the UNEVOC Network Secretariat, who outlined the programme’s potential to help participants gain a common experience and leverage new partnerships to work in synergy with other institutional actors in the transition towards sustainable and green TVET.

This year’s TVET Leadership Programme has been organized by UNESCO-UNEVOC in collaboration with OneWorld Europe. In the opening webinar, Belynda Petrie, CEO of OneWorld and lead facilitator of the session, pointed out that TVET has a central role to play in the development of green skills in line with green economy demands, and that a green and just transition cannot happen without the substantial involvement of institutions that demonstrate leadership, scale up their own transitions and leverage rich innovation.

During key presentations on skills for a greener future, specialists from the ILO, Olga Strietska-Ilina, Senior Skills and Employability Specialist and Lead for Skills Strategies for Future Labour Markets, and Hae Kyeung Chun, Technical Officer, stated that investment in reskilling and upskilling is crucial for the green transition. Both presenters shared data from a 2019 ILO report, estimating the potential to create a total of 100 million jobs by 2030 with the transition to energy sustainability and a circular economy.

The opening webinar wrapped up with participants brainstorming, discussing and creating a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis on mainstreaming the green transition into TVET institutions and curricula.

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