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This virtual conference on New Qualifications and Competencies in TVET was moderated by Jan Peter G. de Otero. It was organized as part of the BILT Project, which is coordinated by UNESCO-UNEVOC with the support of the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training(BIBB), and sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).


Introduction

Globally, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) systems are facing unprecedented challenges, including socio-political issues and trends that are impacting the economy – such as digitalization, sustainable development, and globalization. The current COVID-19 pandemic also reinforces the urgent need for distance learning and for developing TVET qualifications and competencies that are responsive to changing labour markets. Furthermore, despite offering valuable career paths, TVET systems are continuously perceived as less attractive than other forms of education.

Ensuring that TVET systems can provide quality education and training for the current and future world of work is a fundamental concern of policymakers, TVET practitioners and the private sector. Today’s challenges reinforce the need to improve mechanisms to identify and forecast demands regarding qualifications and competencies, with the overall aim to create, reform, and modernize TVET curricula and training regulations. TVET systems must provide attractive learning pathways and lead to future-oriented careers to appeal to young people.

Discussions on how new qualifications and competencies are identified and find their way into TVET practice are an integral part of the Bridging Innovation and Learning in TVET (BILT) Project. The BILT Project promotes exchange and peer learning between European TVET stakeholders, including members of UNESCO-UNEVOC’s global platform of TVET institutions, the UNEVOC Network. Since 2019, the project has brought together TVET stakeholders to discuss how new qualifications and competencies are shaped and implemented at different levels. The discussions helped to develop an initial theoretical framework to map these new qualifications and competencies – the New Qualifications and Competencies Ecosystem.

Against this background, the virtual conference discussed the identification and implementation of new qualifications and competencies in curricula and training regulations.

Agenda

Threads were opened for discussion on specific days and remained open until the end of the virtual conference. Each thread was dedicated to a topic and related questions.

Monday, 1 June Introduction to New Qualifications and Competencies in TVET
Wednesday, 3 June Understanding the demands for New Qualifications and Competencies in TVET
Monday, 8 JuneIntegrating New Qualifications and Competencies in TVET curricula and training regulations
Wednesday, 10 June   New teaching and learning approaches and the impacts on teacher and (in-company) trainer training

Outcomes

The virtual conference covered a broad group of themes and issues, addressing the needs of participants from ministries and umbrella organisations, national TVET bodies, associations, sectorial chambers, TVET schools, companies and other TVET providers. At the end of the virtual conference, participants were able to:

  • Understand the New Qualifications and Competencies Ecosystem framework, its elements and phases (identifying, formalizing and implementing)
  • Recognize examples of new qualifications and competencies in relevant TVET sectors and occupations in the fields of greening, digitalization, and entrepreneurship, as well as in the context of migration
  • Assess different modes of integrating new qualifications and competencies in TVET curricula and training regulations (cross-cutting, sector-specific, occupation-specific, or additional)
  • Identify strategies to improve the responsiveness and flexibility of TVET curricula and training regulations, while respecting national standards
  • Describe different teaching and learning approaches, methods, practices, and technologies, as well as understand the impacts of new qualifications and competences for teacher and in-company trainer training
  • Recognize different approaches to individualize learning pathways, and the challenges and the benefits of doing so




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