An exploration into TVET funding, planning and delivery

The British Council was delighted to welcome a number of stakeholders from across the Skills and International Development Sectors for the launch of our latest research paper which looks at the Inclusion of refugees in TVET. This paper which explores funding, planning and delivery for refugees in TVET looks at five countries: Ethiopia, Jordan, Pakistan, South Africa and the United Kingdom and notes that this is an increasingly pressing global challenge, 

We are grateful to Ayesha Williams and Paul Grainger from UCL’s Institute of Education who authored the report and they joined us to present their findings and discuss the implications with a number of partners from across the UK and International Skills Sector.

The event started with a welcome from Chris Cooper, Principal Consultant for Skills Systems, British Council. Chris highlighted the increasing urgency of the topic and some of the challenges in improving outcomes.  He emphasised that global collaboration on these issues is important but also that each system has something to learn from other approaches.

Ayesha and Paul who authored the paper ran through some of the key findings. They noted that defining both the term refugee but also TVET is important as both are multi-faceted and open to interpretation. Paul also noted that sometimes TVET may be underdeveloped in a country and the best way of improving outcomes for refugees may be to build capacity in the wider system. It was pointed out that strong community networks are important in improving outcomes and it needs to be understood that improving TVET outcomes for refugees is not simply an education supply issue. Equally sometimes the perception of refugees and the degree to which education for them is embedded into the system is important. If host countries don’t want refugees to get jobs and stay this is a significant barrier.

Further comments were made as the discussion widened, including that:

  • Sometimes both refugees and TVET face a negative stigma. It is important to avoid a stigma multiplier effect.
  • It is essential to show clearly for the local population the benefits of engaging refugees in TVET and make sure that locals have the same access to training programmes.
  • It is easier to take good TVET to refugees than the other way around.
  • Studies have shown that it can cost more to accredit prior learning than re qualify refugees and we need to make sure we are making good decisions both personally and economically.
  • Most TVET for refugees is short-term but segmentation is important to maximise benefits. How best can the skills of refugees be harnessed to their benefit and that of the country is the most important question to which sector led development may hold some of the answer.

There was a general consensus that this issue is growing challenge. The British Council would welcome any other contributions from partners to the discussion or ideas for future collaboration. 

Please do get in touch by emailing if you are interested in supporting the new research, would like to discuss this piece or have any other projects you think would be of interest.