Working with partners, we share research and reports to support policy reform and system transformation. Access some of our latest publications below.  

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 if you would like to speak further about this or our other work.

Read the research here.

Developing Skills Programming Through a Gender Lens

Gender issues impact on all the contexts in which the British Council works in TVET. Fewer women participate in the labour market than men, they are more likely to be unemployed, have higher risk of vulnerable employment and are less represented in higher paid and senior roles. These issues are both reflected in, and impacted by, gender biases in TVET systems. These affect the education and training activities of women, men, girls and boys and shape their choices and future opportunities. The British Council has committed through the development of an enhanced ‘Results Evidence Framework’ to gather a strong narrative of our impact based on good evidence. This commitment provided an opportunity to review our current programmes and assess the extent to which they are addressing gender inequalities and outcomes for women and girls. During 2018 and 2019 we commissioned a review to identify good practice and learning points from our current programme activity and to help us identify practical frameworks and tools to ensure our work is not reinforcing gender inequalities. This document 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.

NEW Series: Skills for Economic and Social Development  

From the global SDGs to national industrial strategies, governments around the world have recognised the importance of skills as driver of socio-economic development. As skills policies have increasingly been driven by economic considerations our new series explores the role TVET plays in supporting productivity, business growth and social mobility. 

NEW Research: Unrealised potential: The Role of the Independent Training Providers in Meeting Skills Needs 

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.

This research aims to prompt national policy makers to consider whether they are making the best use of ITPs by highlighting their distinct characteristics that make them suitable and effective in delivering government skills objectives. It also aims to raise awareness among ITPs about the work undertaken by counterpart organisations in other countries and to encourage international collaboration.

Find the Executive Summary, the Research Paper and an Infographic below:

Inclusion of Refugees in TVET Self – assessment Tool

In 2018 the British Council published the research ‘Inclusion of Refugees in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET): an exploration into funding, planning and delivery’ which compared the maturity of the TVET systems in terms of refugees’ inclusion across a number of study countries. An assessment tool was developed to capture the relevant information in a systematic way and to enable the comprehensive analysis: 

Based on the research the British Council has produced an online version of the 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 in any given country and to trace progress in this area over time in a specific country or across different countries. This tool contains fields to describe a country's overall refugee context alongside a series of check-box questions to assess how suitable the country's TVET provision is for refugees, based on the availability of services, their accessibility for refugees, acceptability to refugees and adaptability to refugee circumstances.

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. It is hoped 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. 

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

TVET Inclusion series

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 with two new pieces of research:


Our first report in the series 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 the research here.


Effective technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is central to providing people facing disability-related barriers the life chances to sustain and to ensure they can participate to the fullest extent possible. The benefits of effective skills development for disabled people include improved income, health and well-being for individuals and have broader social and economic impact.

Our second report in the Inclusion series explores a range of TVET models that ensure good learning outcomes associated with meaningful employment for disabled people. It includes case studies from policy and practice that illustrate successful UK approaches, provides analysis and makes recommendations to the relevant stakeholders. 

The British Council is fully committed to Eliminating Stigma and Discrimination and to Inclusive Education by creating more inclusive education systems. In July 2018 the Council signed FCDO ‘Charter for Change’ at the Global Disability Summit in London.

Find the research here.


This piece provides an important voice for institutional leaders to reflect on what they see as critical issues and opportunities related to TVET Governance. We know that they are the key agents of change and those that make policy happen and this report throws up some profound questions for policy makers.

Read the research here.

Following on from International Reflections on TVET governance‘The role of TVET governance at subnational levels’ looks at devolution of powers over skills development in six countries, England, Indonesia, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan and Serbia.  The paper provides an important insight into the varied factors in policy making and implementation and analyses the impact of different models of devolved governance.

‘Changing lives: Internationalising the Skills Sector’ is specifically focussed on the UK and looks at “the potential effectiveness of internationalisation as a mechanism to address current challenges faced by the skills sector in the UK”.


The Governments of India and the UK have made Skill Development a priority in their respective countries and it is a key part of their bi-lateral relationship. The current Government in India has made significant changes to the governance of Skills in India, in what is already a complex landscape. Therefore, this report is a useful introduction for UK Skills providers to help navigate India’s skill sector. It provides a snapshot of the skills system and highlights the skills structures and includes the historic background, new policies and programmes, ministries involved and UK organisations working in this sector in India.

Read the full report: Overview of India's evolving Skills development Landscape 


For our own purposes the British Council recently completed a survey of our education teams across the world to understand how different governments organise themselves for skills development. We were interested in the huge variety of approaches reported back, and we thought we should dig a little deeper. The result is this short discussion paper which looks at structures in six countries, along with some reflections and questions for the future. 

This is a very timely report for the English skills sector. In the cabinet reshuffle on the 15 July 2016, instigated by the new UK Prime Minister Theresa May, skills and further education responsibility moved to the Department for Education. What can England learn from other systems who follow this approach? This report highlights the challenges and opportunities that face different ministerial departments in shaping skills policy. Additionally we consider whether which ministry holds responsibility for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is an intrinsic part of the success or failure of systems or are other factors such as the centralisation of authority more influential?

Read the full discussion paper: Which ministry should lead Skills development? International reflections on TVET governance.


Over the past decades, Ukraine has seen a disconnect between its education system and the labour market. Among the main reasons are: orientation of vocational and higher education curricula towards the demand and preferences of school graduates rather than economic trends and forecasts; absence of career counselling; and low level of cooperation between businesses and universities.

This brief provides an overview of skills landscape in Ukraine and outlines current skills development challenges and initiatives seeking to address them.

Read the report: Skills development in Ukraine.


Human resource development against a backdrop of raising youth unemployment is a challenge facing governments and educators throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Creating conditions for employers to own and drive the skills agenda is essential to the development of effective solutions.

The Enhancing Employer Engagement in the Design and Development of Effective Skills Solutions workshop, held in Amman in September 2015, brought together 26 professionals from six countries across the Middle East and North Africa. The aim was to share knowledge and experiences and discuss good practice partnership models that enhance skills investment against the backdrop of the global race to develop and deploy the talent needed in an innovation-driven economy. 

Delegates left the workshop with straightforward strategies and tools to support them in driving forward change.  The workshop report sets out the conclusions and suggestions for next steps.  

Read the workshop report: Enhancing Employer Engagement in the Design and Development of Effective Skills Solutions
See the workshop programme and presentation slides


Realising the importance of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the region, the Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC), the Ministry of Education Thailand in partnership with the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) Secretariat, and the British Council, organised the High Officials Meeting on SEA-TVET: Working Together Towards Harmonisation and Internationalisation. The meeting took place in Chiang Mai, Thailand in August 2015. 

The objectives of the meeting were to strengthen the network of TVET national policymakers and practitioners in Southeast Asia to coordinate efforts for ASEAN integration, and to prioritise TVET areas of development and strategies, especially with respect to harmonisation and internationalisation. 

As a result of the meeting, the Chiang Mai agreement was signed – a commitment to collaborate with SEA-TVET organisations in pursuing the strategic plan to promote competent and recognised vocational manpower. 

Read the full report: SEA-TVET: Working Together Towards Harmonisation and Internationalisation. More information can also be found on the SEA-TVET website.

If you are interested in supporting future research, would like to discuss our existing reports or have any ideas or projects you think would be of interest, please get in touch by emailing