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International Encounters on Vocational Training: Anticipating the Future

San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain

May 30 - June 1, 2018

Tknika, a UNEVOC Centre in the Basque Country, Spain, organized an international conference titled ‘International Encounters on Vocational Training – Anticipating the Future’. Participants from more than 40 countries around the world, including UNESCO-UNEVOC and 8 UNEVOC Centres discussed current and emerging challenges posed by the ongoing digital transformation of industry and businesses, and responding to them through increased collaboration and knowledge exchange.

The conference focused on four main topics that included the development of TVET systems in alignment with the transitions related to Industry 4.0, the future of applied innovation and research in TVET, promoting synergies and collaborations in knowledge exchange between international networks on VET, and the Basque Technical and Professional Education and Training Plan.

The opening session of the conference included addresses from Mr Iñigo Urkullu, President of the Government of the Basque Country, Dr. Cristina Uriarte, Minister of Education of the Basque Government, and Ms. Arantxa Tapia, Minister of Employment and Economic Development of the Basque Government. The session also included the presentation of the 5th Basque Plan for Professional and Technical Education by the Deputy Minister of Professional and Technical Education for the Basque Government, Mr. Jorge Arévalo.

As part of the conference, representatives from six global and regional networks of TVET and professional training stakeholders discussed in a panel discussion the avenues of promoting mutual learnings and collaboration with and through the respective networks. In addition to the UNEVOC Network, the participating networks included:

1. World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP)

2. European Forum for Vocational Education (EFVET)

3. The Transatlantic Technology and Training Alliance (TA3)

4. European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE)

5. CHAIN 5

Mr. Jens Liebe, Senior Programme Expert at the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre represented the centre at this panel.

Shyamal Majumdar, Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC(C) UNESCO-UNEVOC/Jens Liebe

Mr. Shyamal Majumdar, Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre also delivered a keynote speech addressing Industry 4.0 in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. He extoled the need to adapt teaching and learning respond to the dynamic demands from the world of work. He stressed upon the need to reorient training such that it is more challenge based, idea based and innovation oriented, and yields the right kind of skill-sets that enables the learners on a path of productive employment and lifelong learning.

UNEVOC Network Engagement at the Conference

UNEVOC Network presence at the Conference included representatives of the following UNEVOC Centres:

1. Innove, Estonia

2. GIZ Magdeburg, Germany

3. Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland

4. Rift Valley Technical Training Institute, Kenya

5. Yaba College of Technology,Nigeria

6. College of the North Atlantic (CNA-Q), Qatar

7. Seychelles Institute of Technology, Seychelles

8. Tknika, Basque Country, Spain

UNESCO-UNEVOC and Tknika also organized sessions for the UNEVOC Network on the sidelines of the Conference. On May 30, UNEVOC Centres shared updates on their respective activities and were also apprised of the UNESCO-UNEVOC Medium Term Strategy II (MTS-II) to enable them to find further opportunities of deepening their engagement and mutual collaboration.

On May 31, UNESCO-UNEVOC organized a session on Industry 4.0. Following a short introduction by Mr. Shyamal Majumdar – Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC, UNEVOC Centres gave short presentations on good practices, cases, and the challenges they face in the context of Industry 4.0. This was followed by a visit of Tknika’s Industry 4.0 demonstration in different labs (robotics and automation, 3-D printing, Virtual and Augmented Reality labs).

Demonstration of VR Augmented Learning (at) Tknika (C) UNESCO-UNEVOC/Jens Liebe

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