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The UNESCO-UNEVOC TVET Leadership Programme was held online and across two batches in September and November 2021. The theme of this year’s programme was “Skills for the digital transformation: How TVET institutions can respond to future demands”. Each month-long session consisted of four interactive webinars that explored digital skillsets and strategies to become more resilient in responding to the digital transformation as well as planning for future TVET delivery that anticipates a quickly changing digital landscape.
The ongoing pandemic has led to a major shift towards distance learning and a focus on building digital competencies. In a joint ILO-UNESCO-World Bank Survey on TVET and skills development during the time of COVID-19, around 66% of respondents reported that training was being provided completely remotely by their institutions. This surge in the demand for digital skills has shed light on the importance of up-to-date training for TVET staff throughout their careers and the need to strengthen the capacities of TVET institutions to address the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
Against this background, the UNESCO-UNEVOC TVET Leadership Programme provided training for 62 TVET leaders and managers from 45 countries, including 28 UNEVOC Centres, on the identification and initiation of change processes to respond to the digital transformation. Participants came from a broad range of institutions, comprising of ministries, national bodies, universities/research organizations, NGOs and training providers.
In most Member States, TVET systems are undergoing important reforms and upgrades to transition to the ‘new normal’ and meet changing labour market demands. However, the potential success of these initiatives rests largely with the TVET leaders responsible for converting policy into practice. In many parts of the world, this adaptation process has to be achieved under challenging conditions, thereby making the role of leaders and managers even more important. Since 2016, UNESCO-UNEVOC has trained and supported 654 TVET leaders, managers and staff from 112 countries through the global, regional and country-level adaptation of its TVET Leadership Programme. The 2021 cohort will join an expansive network of alumni who act as change agents in their institutions and actively contribute to the global advancement of TVET.
It was necessary to have such a programme for professionals around the world to meet and discuss the challenges institutions are facing, the different platforms which are working with regards to digitalization and also to find a way forward. I was able to share my experiences and hear from other TVET professionals and this was a great experience. We could learn from each other and we were able to come up with strategies for the future.
Pauldina LajoieHead of ProgrammeSeychelles Institute of Technology, Seychelles
As a person working with qualifications and programmes on a daily basis, I could notice how well thought out and coherent the experience was. Even though I do not represent a typical TVET institution, the sessions were inspiring and thought-provoking, also because of the other participant's contributions. I only regret that the pandemic restrictions did only allow for a virtual event, but on the upside – the sessions were very well timed and possible to combine with my everyday routine.
Wojciech StęchłyQualifications System ExpertEducational Research Institute, Poland
The 2021 TLP gave us a great opportunity to obtain some of the most up-to-date trends and strategies in TVET and exchange ideas with international experts and peers. Through the group discussions, I learned about different solutions for the challenges and difficulties of rapidly changing worlds. Moreover, the group discussion allowed us to know more about each other and our institutions, which will help us to develop cooperation in future.
Qianmin LinProgramme OfficerShenzhen Polytechnic, China
The TVET Leadership Programme was an excellent opportunity for TVET leaders to explore the impact of digitalization on labour markets and to gain knowledge on how to adapt their institutions to manage the evolving digital landscape. Furthermore, the sessions, materials, and discussions were quite helpful in providing TVET institutions with concrete strategies to build institutional resilience in the digital era. I found the group discussions to be one of the most beneficial aspects of the programme.
Bewar HajiDirectorCareer Development Centre–Duhok Polytechnic University, Iraq
The UNESCO-UNEVOC TVET Leadership Programme was timely and inspiring. The topic of skills for digital transformation provided new and meaningful insights as TVET leaders grapple with challenges that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was especially interesting to note that this was not unique to my country or institution as both developed and developing countries faced similar challenges. The interaction provided an opportunity for us to ideate and to share best practices from countries that are ahead in their digitalization and TVET agendas.
Marcine Taylor-BrownDirector/PrincipalHEART/NSTA Trust, Jamaica
It was a programme with a varied selection of participants from diverse cultures and institutions and it allowed me to know their realities, their problems in the TVET sector, how they faced them, and especially their concerns about the future. Sharing opinions with TVET leaders from different countries offered me a rich global perspective to be able to learn more about the TVET ecosystem and the impact of the pandemic, identify problems, organize ideas, openly present solutions, and listen to professional opinions about my approaches.
Manuel Ortiz de ZevallosExecutive DirectorThe Latin American Council of Management Schools – CLADEA, Peru
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