We offer a range of opportunities over the year, from calls to get involved in our work, to the chance to read the latest reports and gain insights from our partners around the world. Find our latest opportunities and updates below. 

DN Colleges Group win British Council International Award 

DN Colleges Group has won the British Council AoC Beacon Award for its work in offering bitesize international placements across the entire college curriculum to ensure equality of opportunity.

Applications from students with disadvantaged backgrounds and those with additional needs are actively encouraged. The strength of the project is the vast network of partners the college works with to reciprocate work placements and provide meaningful opportunities. 

Now in its 26th year, the AoC Beacon Awards showcase best practice and innovation in colleges. It is designed to promote the interdependence of colleges, businesses and professional and voluntary organisations. The awards also highlight excellence and helps share best practice across the sector. 

Stevie Spring CBE, Chairman of the British Council, said ‘We at the British Council know the vital role vocational education plays in addressing global and domestic challenges, and we believe that connecting students and staff to the wider world is an essential foundation for sustained and meaningful careers. All of the colleges in this year’s award inspired us with their innovation and commitment to their students, as well as their sheer determination to remain connected during this very difficult time. DN Colleges demonstrated how international connections are not only transforming the lives of their students and staff, but building pathways to new funding and impact for the colleges and community as a whole.’

Mark White, Interim Chair of AoC’s Charitable Trust said: “The AoC Beacon Awards showcase exactly why colleges are so important to every community and why people value them. This award recognises international collaboration and exchange, importantly helping to shape an international mind-set in learners. The work of the winning college and their partnerships overseas show how vital colleges are to maintaining our reputation and connections.”

Overview of Project

  • The college offers bitesize international placements across the entire college curriculum to ensure equality of opportunity and encourages applications from students with disadvantaged backgrounds and those with additional needs.
  • The strength of the project is the vast network of partners the college works with to reciprocate work placement opportunities. 
  • This enhances the college’s collaboration with international employers and ensures all student visits are to a directly related employer who can complement their vocational skills development. 

Read more

Dakchyata signs ‘Establishing an Employer led Labour Market Secretariat’ Project in Nepal

The British Council through the EU funded Dakchyata: TVET Practical Partnership project and the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry signed a grant contract under “Establishing an Employer led Labour Market Secretariat” (ELMS) strand of Dakchyata project on 23 November 2020. 

The ELMS aims to improve the Technical and Vocational Education and Training system and the management of demand and supply of labour market in the country by developing Occupational Standards for agriculture, construction and tourism sectors focusing on  Labour Market intelligence and by developing Labour Market Information System to address the problems faced by employers due to lack of reliable statistics and information regarding the labour market.

Shahida MacDougall, Country Director of the British Council Nepal operation during the launch of the project stated that  the project would be an important example of collaboration between Nepal’s leading business organisation Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Confederation of Nepalese Industries, Federation Of Contractors' Associations Of Nepal, Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries and Hotel Association Nepal.

Read more about the project.

Dakchyata’s Learning Hub

Dakchyata is a skills development programme funded by the European Union and managed by the British Council in Nepal bringing together government, employers, and the technical and vocational training professionals, across the agriculture, construction and tourism industries to develop a more responsive TVET system and create greater opportunities for public investment to go further.

A Learning Hub has been created under Dakchyata programme to provide access to policy and learning documentation related to the private-public partnerships for TVET education. Find the Learning Hub here.

To learn more about the project watch Dakchyata’s new video.

Read the latest news from the project in Dakchyata’s newsletter

Developing Skills Programming Through a Gender Lens

Read our latest report which provides an overview of the research conducted and recommendations relevant to the British Council and other organisations seeking to mainstream gender equality in their programme work. Case studies relating to the British Council’s work and other organisations’ work, along with tools to support integrating gender considerations are included. Read the report here.

We also organised a webinar to showcase the report  and share the experiences of West Lothian College, both in Scotland and working with Colleges in South Africa, and the FCDO funded Sudokkho project in Bangladesh. Watch the recording of the webinar here.

"Trainer effectiveness in the India skills ecosystem" Research 

The British Council in partnership with Alliance of Skills Training Providers and National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) developed this research project to study effectiveness of trainers with private sector training providers delivering skill training public-funded by the NSDC. The research seeks to understand the available support and practices to make trainers effective, particularly through skills and professional development initiatives. It further suggests recommendations and relevant examples from various international skills systems that could address gaps in relation to the findings. This is of importance to sector experts involved at various levels in the planning and implementation of skills training. The objectives of the study include:

  • understanding systemic factors that affect motivation of trainers and their satisfaction with enabling and emolument factors that influence the teaching and learning process
  • pedagogical aspects (viz. trainers’ views on importance of domain and platform skills, perception on Training of Trainers programmes, handling differential pace of students’ learning) and evaluation processes of trainers’ performance
  • need for further training and professional development opportunities available to trainers to improve quality of training.

Read the research here.

World Youth Skills Day

“World Youth Skills Day (15 July) is important because rising youth unemployment is seen as one of the most significant problems facing economies and societies in today’s world.  Some 73 million young people are currently unemployed, with 40 million joining the labour market each year. To tackle the problem, at least 475 million new jobs need to be created over the next decade.” (United Nations)

A key mechanism of addressing this challenge is to ensure that young people have the skills to access and create the employment needed to sustain economies and societies.  High quality and accessible Technical and Vocational Education and Training is widely seen as the key mechanism to enable this

As a cultural relations organisation it is vital for us to engage with our partners on the issues that matter to them and we have been working across the world to improve the quality, relevance and accessibility of TVET.  Follow the links below to read the experiences of our colleagues from Nepal and South Africa, Pippin Searle and Rumbidzai Mapani:

New research piece launched: Systemic TVET reforms: Impact on employment outcomes

The British Council commissioned The Research Base to carry out an assessment of the relative effectiveness of systemic TVET programmes on employment outcomes in ODA countries. Where previous research on TVET programmes has focused on the effectiveness of single-point training programmes, this project has sought to address a gap in the literature by exploring the evidence available for the outcomes associated with reforms of TVET systems. It aims to inform debate among stakeholders at local, national and regional levels on how systemic TVET programmes can be most successfully conducted, monitored and evaluated in order to facilitate stronger employment outcomes.

The research shows that investing in TVET does have a positive impact on employment as well as wider benefits but that there is work to do to deepen and expand the evidence base.

We would welcome further views and please do get in touch with us at skills@britishcouncil.org if you would like to speak further about this or our other work.

Read the research here.

“Developing and Delivering TVET through the private sector” Skills seminar

In February 2020 the British Council together with the Association of Employment and Learning Providers hosted a three-day policy dialogue in Manchester entitled “Developing and Delivering TVET through the private sector”. This event brought together over 30 senior policy makers from around the world to showcase the UK’s approach to independent training provision and share common challenges and insights in this space. The event introduced delegates to the main components of the UK vocational education and training system and explored such key issues as employer engagement, quality assurance, apprenticeships and inclusion. 

The programme was designed to link skills policy and practice and included visits to Code Nation, Siemens and Trafford College as well as contributions from a range of independent training providers including Develop and Twin Training.  The delegates also had the opportunity to hear from some of the UK leading experts in the skills sector, including from representatives of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, Ofsted and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Find out more about the seminar here. Download the Press release (PDF) here.

I-WORK in Action: Ghana - Improving Work Opportunities 

A two-day National Workshop was organised in Ghana on 23 and 24 January under I-WORK  project. The aim of the workshop was to highlight the work done in developing ‘Draft National Apprenticeship Policy’ for Ghana and to share some good practices learned through international partnerships with some selected commonwealth countries. Find out more.

VET Toolbox South Asia Seminar Supports Stronger Private Sector Engagement in Skills Development

In Nepal, on 11-13 December 2019 the British Council hosted an EU VET Toolbox seminar on Private Sector Engagement in Skills Development in South Asia. Bringing together 60 employers, policy makers, representatives from sector skills organisations, education leaders and EU representatives from Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as well as Europe and Africa, the seminar focused on exploring shared challenges and practical solutions to engaging employers in skills development. Read more

The world loves our colleges

At the British Council it’s our job to promote a friendly knowledge and understanding between the UK and the rest of the world. In the 110 countries in which we work our staff are consistently asked about the role of UK Colleges as the growing youth population and rapidly changing nature of work means that Technical and Vocational Education and Training assumes ever more importance for citizens and their governments - everywhere.

The British Council is always inspired and encouraged by meeting college students from across the UK who say that an international experience has transformed their skills and confidence. For example, one said “my visit overseas has helped me to look at the world with different eyes. After the trip, I have found that I feel more confident, and I have a stronger willingness to finish my studies and to get a job”.

Read more


Independent Training Providers (ITPs) are an integral part of the TVET landscape. They play an increasingly important role in delivering government policy priorities in the development of TVET systems, however their role is often under-researched and their significance overlooked. Our first research in the series, conducted in partnership with AELP, puts the ITP sector in the spotlight. 

The research begins by outlining the distinctive characteristics of the ITPs in the UK which enable them to respond to government priorities. Examples of the successes and challenges that UK ITPs face are presented through mini case studies. Further on, the research examines the role of the ITPs in six countries – Botswana, South Africa, Uganda, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka and the different models they operate within.

Find the research here.

Inclusion of Refugees in TVET Self – assessment Tool

British Council is pleased to share a new self - assessment tool designed to provide a practical and easy-to-navigate instrument for carrying out an analysis of the status of TVET in respect of refugees’ inclusion. 

The tool is aimed at government officials, practitioners, researchers, international development agencies and organisations active in the field of refugees, education and skills and is designed to help users develop a better understanding of the factors affecting refugee inclusion in TVET. 

We hope that the tool will generate discussion on potential approaches to addressing the issues identified during the assessment and includes suggestions for enhancing refugee inclusion in TVET based on users’ scores. 

Find below the self-assessment toolkit:

We are very interested in learning more about the inclusion of refugees in TVET in your country and would encourage you to submit your completed forms to skills@britishcouncil.org.

VET Toolbox newsletter

The EU funded VET Toolbox project has published the first edition of its newsletter.

The VET Toolbox is a European partnership between British Council, GIZ, Enabel, LuxDev and AFD promoting demand-driven vocational education and training. 

To find out more, subscribe to the VET Toolbox newsletter and stay updated every six months on the latest news from this innovative European partnership. The VET Toolbox newsletter updates you on the latest figures, but also provides stories, videos and tools.

Subscribe to the VET Toolbox newsletter and stay updated on the latest news from the VET Toolbox!


Vocational Education Exchange is British Council’s online magazine for teachers and leaders in vocational education and skills. 

The magazine provides a dedicated platform for practitioners and skills leaders from the UK and overseas to share experience and good practices through top tips, classroom materials, news, videos and articles. It helps to build capacity amongst vocational education and training professionals in the UK and the region, allowing them to increase their international engagement and raise their profile.

Access the VEE magazine here.

‘Building Quality TVET Provision Globally’ case studies

The British Council organises an annual international skills partnership seminar Bringing the Learning Home which is designed to showcase established international partnerships and other organisations from around the world interested in addressing the skills challenge through international collaboration.. 

In lieu of this, we have produced a collection of ISP case studies featuring recent, awarding winning projects. The purpose of this document is to celebrate and recognise the hard work of all ISP project as well as to show case the impact of these projects to organisations, individuals and most importantly to international skills development.

Read here ‘Building Quality TVET Provision Globally’ case studies.

vettoolbox.eu: a brand new website for relevant skills for all!

Five European development agencies jointly launched vettoolbox.eu, an exciting new project aimed at providing partner countries with know-how, tools and advice in order to support VET systems to become more demand-led and more inclusive, with more effective private sector engagement. 

Co-funded by the European Commission and the German Government, the VET Toolbox is a partnership between EnabelGIZ, the British Council, LuxDev and ADF France.

Read more here.

AoC Beacon Awards - Stage 1 Beacon Standard

Congratulations to those colleges who have met the 2018/19 AoC Beacon Standard.  This year’s AoC Beacon Awards programme provides assessors the opportunity to recommend those applications that should be commended for their practice in each of the award categories, having demonstrated a high level of innovation, impact and being sustainable.

A full list of those colleges that have met the AoC Beacon Standard 2018/19 is available here.

TVET Inclusion

In their ambition to create a fair society and a strong economy, governments around the world are investing in skills development that not only meets the changing needs of business and increases productivity, but also enables people from all backgrounds to fulfil their potential. Sustainable growth can only be achieved if education and market systems are inclusive for all groups in society. 

Inclusion is a current priority for the UK government and globally supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In the UK and in many of the countries in which we work there is an increasing interest in the role of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in addressing the inclusion agenda.  Our work therefore aims to ensure that skills development better meets the needs of individuals and the economy through high quality, relevant, respected and innovative provision.

After exploring the governance of TVET last year, our research now focusses on how TVET supports inclusion. First in the series is ‘The Inclusion of refugees in technical and vocational education and training; an exploration of funding, planning and delivery’.  This research provides an analysis of the situation of refugees and their inclusion in TVET across five countries – Ethiopia, Jordan, Pakistan, South Africa and the UK,  in terms of  availability, accessibility, acceptability,  and adaptability. It provides examples of good practice and makes recommendations to relevant actors involved in TVET for refugees. 

Read more here.

Internationalisation in TVET: a series of Further Education case studies from across the UK

These 12 case studies showcase the impact of internationalisation activities within the UK technical vocational education and training sector, and have been compiled as the result of a recommendation in the British Council’s 2017 report Changing Lives: Internationalising the skills sector

Internationalisation activities can include a whole host of academic and strategic initiatives carried out by further education colleges, from developing partnerships with colleges in other countries and offering overseas placements to students and staff, to recruiting international students. But what links these activities, and what these case studies aim to demonstrate, is the positive impact internationalisation can have on students, teachers, learning environments and local communities.

Read the case studies here.

Global Skills Spotlight – Promoting effective skills frameworks for disabled peoples’ economic empowerment

The British Council was delighted to welcome partners from around the world across the Skills and International Development Sectors for a discussion in to co-inside with the Global Disability Summit which took place in London on 24 July 2018.  The British Council hosted Skills, Disability and Inclusion Roundtable focussed on improving employment outcomes for disabled people through Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) and through the wider enabling environment for tailor-made support for disabled people to access and thrive in enterprise or employment. This event featured presentations from four global perspectives. We heard findings from British Council’s research into the disability and TVET landscape, including research conducted with STEP in Pakistan and Goss Consultancy in the United Kingdom. We shared success stories from the work of Sightsavers in Uganda and were inspired by Ryan Gersava, a young disabled serial social entrepreneur who is using digital and tech to transform employment opportunities for disabled people in Philippines.

Read more about the event.

Global Skills Spotlight - TVET Governance: The role of Institutional Leaders

The British Council were delighted to welcome a number of stakeholders from across the Skills and International Development Sectors for the launch of our final research paper in the Governance series ‘TVET Governance: The role of Institutional Leaders’. The survey which forms part of the report looks specifically at four countries England, India, Kazakhstan and Vietnam. TVET governance and how Institutional Leaders view it in different contexts is a really key global issue and we were delighted to welcome a number of partners to discuss this and the research.

The event started with a welcome from Chris Cooper, Global Skills Lead, British Council.  Chris highlighted the importance of the topic and the relevance to UK organisations working both domestically and internationally.  He emphasised that looking at other systems helps us understand our own better and that international collaboration is vital in addressing significant global and local challenges.

Read more about the event.