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Understanding the return on investment from TVET

In the face of rapid technological progress, threats to environmental sustainability, and demographic transitions, how can we adapt our education and training systems for the changing world of work? As Member States scale up their efforts to advance progress on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, there is an urgent need to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies to meet professional and societal demands.

The strengthening of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is an important strategy to contribute to equitable, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies. The United Nations (2015) lists ensuring ‘inclusive and equitable quality education’ and promoting ‘lifelong learning opportunities for all’ as one of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 4). However, in a world of competing demands for public and private spending on education, this comes with challenges for the financing of professional skills training that not only guarantees societal benefits and economic returns, but also provides data-driven evidence of the return on investment (ROI) from TVET.

Understanding the return on investment from TVET. A practical guide

Strengthening technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is an important strategy to contribute to equitable, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies. Indeed, one of the Sustainable Development Goals focuses on ensuring ‘inclu ...

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For TVET institutions to respond to these challenges, they need to involve stakeholders that represent environmental, social and economic points of view. Addressing these challenges can also put a strain on resources; more than ever before, there is a pressing need for TVET stakeholders to convincingly communicate the return on investment from TVET. Recognizing this need, UNESCO-UNEVOC and the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER) in Australia have launched a practical guide that helps ministry officials, institutional representatives and researchers to:

  • Understand what is meant by the return on investment, and identify some of the social and economic indicators that could be used
  • Identify the main obstacles to measure the return on investment, including the availability of data
With an emphasis on providing tools that readers can put into practice, the guide outlines a seven-step process to plan a return on investment calculation for TVET.



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