“Clearly we can’t just focus on economic transformation as we start to emerge from the pandemic – we need to support young people, we need to invest in education, and that needs to include reskilling and longer TVET courses to prioritise the socially important jobs and the sectors that have been really critical in the last year.” Tracy Ferrier, Lead, Skills for Prosperity Hub, Palladium, UK.
- Tracy Ferrier, Lead, Skills for Prosperity Hub, Palladium, introduced the work of the Global Skills for Prosperity Programme, being delivered in 9 countries across the world, to improve education systems and equip marginalised groups with skills for the future so they can drive sustainable and inclusive growth. As the programme was set up just before the pandemic started, its biggest challenge has been reconciling it original aims with the more immediate pressing skills needs of each country. Other issues that have emerged have been whether to prioritise the needs or young people, or older adults in need of re-training to help them change jobs. She said it also raised the question "has the impact of the pandemic created a short-term increased interest in TVET, or is this merely a step-change that we have all been looking for?"
- When the pandemic struck, the government in Malawi consulted employers and training providers to identify skills mismatches to tackle the country's pressing labour market needs, said Aubrey Matemba, Director of Technical and Vocational Training Skills and Innovation, Ministry of Labour, Malawi. A key issue for TVET has been providing equitable access, particularly for women, he said. Lecturers have also been encouraged to spend time in industry to update their knowledge and ensure it is relevant to skills needs.
- David Corke, Director of Education and Skills Policy, Association of Colleges, UK, described the impact of the pandemic on the UK labour market, and the role TVET has to play in helping to rebuild job opportunities and the economy, which is the focus of a new UK government skills white paper. He said TVET has a role in stimulating demand for training as well as responding to it: "If we only respond to demand, then we will only be responding to jobs of the past, not the skills of the future".
Technical and Vocational Education and Training is, at its heart, about meeting the needs of the labour market. The Covid-19 pandemic and actions taken to mitigate its effects has drastically altered that labour market and accelerated the rise and fall of employers and job roles.
In this session we will explore the role of TVET in supporting economic transformation both as a response to Covid-19 but also other factors such as the climate emergency, technological change and changing political imperatives.
Key questions in this session will be;
- How can TVET support the prosperity and growth agendas?
- What types of initiatives are best placed to link education and economic agendas?
- What does success look like and how do we make sure education catalyses a ‘better’ world of work for all?
- Chair: Tracy Ferrier, Lead, Skills for Prosperity Hub, Palladium, UK
- David Corke - Director of Education and Skills Policy, Association of Colleges, UK
- Aubrey Matemba - Director of Technical and Vocational Training Skills and Innovation, Ministry of Labour, Malawi