In the Skills Global Spotlight blog you will find a collection of our thoughts and those of our partners from around the world on the key TVET issues.

How can we unlock the potential of TVET to support development in growing economies? 

By John Mountford, British Council TVET Consultant, UK

The disruptive impact of youth unemployment represents a significant threat to global economic prosperity and social cohesion. It is well documented that social disenfranchisement resulting from unemployment (and underemployment) can potentially lead to social unrest associated with crime, often perilous migration and extremism. Equally, national, local and individuals’ economic prosperity is closely linked to functioning labour markets that support employers in accessing appropriately skilled school leavers and graduates (TVET and HE), and individuals in finding employment that reflects their skills and ambitions. 

These global challenges are certainly relevant to the context of Sudan, as it looks to manage its demographic transformation towards a youth and urban based society. Sudan has many of the characteristics of a developing nation with a young median age (19), large parts of the population living below the poverty line, with regional and gender-based disparities in employment opportunities. including noticeably for women and the under 25s. These challenges have been further exacerbated by severe economic recession, governmental fragility and growing social unrest. Read more.

Processes and practices of governing in colleges of further education in the UK

By Cate Watson, University of Stirling, UK

Over the past three and half years a team of researchers from the Universities of Stirling, Cardiff and Birmingham has been investigating the work of governing boards in colleges of further education i.e. providers of technical, vocational education and training, across the UK in a major project funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council. 

In the UK, the role of each college governing board is to provide strategic leadership of the college. The aim of our research was to examine how governing boards in further education colleges across the UK contribute to achieving the strategic aims of colleges in meeting the needs of learners, employers and labour markets. Read more.

Skills development - Supporting employability in Tertiary Education

By Dr Andrea Laczik, Head of Research, Edge Foundation, UK

Skills development in general and employability skills in particular have become buzzwords these days. Universities, colleges and training providers are often measured by their graduates’ work-readiness and how quickly they can add value to their business once employed. However, while employability is important and supports social inclusion by helping graduates into the labour market, we should think beyond employability skills and consider what other skills learners and students need for a fulfilling and independent life.

Edge’s recent research report offers an interesting example of a new approach that focuses on developing work-ready graduates. The model that the National Software Academy (NSA) in Newport, South Wales has developed supports skills development and enhances student experiences. Read more.

Internationalism in TVET

by Linda Sykes, International Coordinator, DN Colleges Group

DN Colleges Group recently won a national award for our international work. We couldn’t be prouder, this is a pinnacle for us of four years of hard but rewarding work with partners around the world. To tell you about us, DN Colleges Group is a merger of two colleges in the North of England – Doncaster College and North Lindsey College, Scunthorpe, making us one of the largest college groups of further and higher education in the UK. I began coordinating the international provision at Doncaster College in September 2016 (the merger came two years later) joined shortly afterwards by a new director whose remit included International. Read more.

No Prosperity without Inclusion

by Dr Rossi Vogler, Senior Consultant, British Council, UK

Since the launch of the SDGs the term ‘inclusion’ has become a buzzword on the international development agenda, and ensuring no one is left behind has put inclusive education and labour systems at a new level of attention for policy makers, bi- and multilateral donors and civil society. The agenda has gained even more momentum at this time as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have widened the gap between the advantaged and the disadvantaged, with those who need the most support experiencing the biggest education and work losses. Read more.

Unlocking Regional Capacity for Employment and TVET 

By Chris Cooper, Principal Consultant, British Council, UK

It may seem a little obscure to be writing about the importance of regional action in relation to employment and training at his time, but a global pandemic which, for now at least, can only be halted through the actions of individuals and their local communities illustrates how global, national, regional, local and individual actions are inter-connected. Read more.

Insight from the TVET community

A short history of employer engagement

England has a long history of employer engagement in Education and this paper from Prof Prue Huddleston at Education and Employers talks through the many initiatives over the last 150 years. There are many useful lessons here for policy makers grappling with the issue of employer engagement and by being able to look back in time it helps us to see more clearly the effect of certain decisions. Read more.