Draft Concept Note on the Initiative on TVET Teaching Staff

Draft Concept Note on the Initiative on TVET Teaching Staff

Draft concept note on the initiative on TVET teaching staff

(Work-based learning and monitoring framework)

March 15, 2017

1. Background:

The international community has set an ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with 17 goals and 169 targets. Education and training are central to the Agenda, as stated by Sustainable Development Goal 4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Access to quality and relevant skills development, particularly through Technical and vocational education and training, (TVET) has received renewed policy attention in this context, as it can foster the creation of decent jobs and entrepreneurship. Skills development in a lifelong learning perspective further appears to be indispensable in the context of digitization of economies, and to accelerate the transition towards green economies and environmental sustainability.

UNESCO launched a new strategy for TVET for the period 2016–2021,[1] which corresponds to the priorities stated by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Education 2030: Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action.[2] The Strategy focuses on three key areas: fostering youth employment and entrepreneurship, promoting equity and gender equality, and facilitating the transition to green economies and sustainable societies. UNESCO will support the efforts of its Member States to enhance the relevance of their TVET systems and to equip all youth and adults with the skills required for employment, decent work, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning. The Recommendation concerning Technical and Vocational Education and Training published by UNESCO in 2016 provides practical guidance for policy design and implementation.[3]

TVET is increasingly seen as a vitally important part of education in relation to social, economic and political goals. In 2012, the world converged in Shanghai to debate current trends and future drivers of the development of TVET. This global dialogue culminated in the Shanghai Consensus; a key message of which is that professionalizing TVET staff and improving their development, living and working conditions are essential for the quality and effectiveness of TVET.[4] Hence, Teacher and Instructor Training (TIT) should help to construct a profession of opportunity for the TVET workforce, equipping teachers, instructors and trainers with what is required in order to make TVET responsive to the economic, social and political needs of the societies they serve.

UNESCO conducted several reviews on TVET TIT both as part of regional reviews and national policy reviews.[5] A variety of TIT policies and strategies are being explored in Member States, as well as considerable experience of implementation and its challenges; this provides opportunities for policy learning and planning for the future. Four issues or tensions that are important for the development of an effective TIT strategy and capacity are identified: (1) public provision/market orientation; (2) diversity/coherence; (3) knowledge base for governance; and (4) professionalization. These four areas represent opportunities and barriers, but they also relate to alternative strategies: the way forward is neither simple nor unique.

While countries have different starting points and policy-makers may be committed to different development strategies, there are nevertheless some key processes that deserve universal attention. In particular, TVET teaching staff should benefit from a strong blend of pedagogical skills, industry experience and academic knowledge and countries should adapt qualification requirements to that end.

The necessity of the development of a solid conceptual framework on TVET teachers for policy making and monitoring has been stressed at major international events. For example, the Shanghai Consensus in 2012 recommends reinforcing frameworks to improve collection of evidence on TVET teachers and its monitoring and evaluation.UNESCO Recommendation concerning TVET adopted in 2015 recommends that policies and frameworks be developed to ensure qualified and high-quality TVET staff, in reference to the ILO/UNESCO Recommendations concerning the Status of Teachers adopted in 1966.[6]In particular, the Recommendation highlights the necessity of having working experiences in enterprise for TVET teachers.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in 2015set 17 goals and 169 targets to be achieved by 2030. Among them, the following targets of SDG 4 are relevant to TVET teachers and instructors:

  • Target 4.3: By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university;
  • Target 4.4: By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship;
  • Target 4.5: By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations; and
  • Target 4.c: By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island development states.

Moreover, UNESCO conducted a study on TVET teachers and instructors in Arab regionin 2013 (Technical and Vocational Teachers and Trainers in the Arab Region: A review of policies and practices on continuous professional development).[7]A major issue identified by the Study has been the lack of industry experience of teachers which is affecting the relevance and quality of TVET.

2. Objectives:

The overall objective of this initiative is to ensure that TVET teaching staff benefit from a strong blend of pedagogical skills, industry experience and academic knowledge.

The specific objective is to support Member States in developing appropriate and context specific models for enhancing industry experience of TVET teachers with a view to improve relevance and quality of TVET.

3. Justification:

UNESCO reviews demonstrated that often there are challenges in recruiting and retaining TVET teaching staff who meet the demanding twin requirements of pedagogical skills and practical professional expertise. Different policy measures have been adopted. Some countries recruit practitioners from industry in mid-career while others allied with part-time working arrangements that allow teacher-practitioners to continue to work in their field. Few Member States developed a sustainable approach for enhancing industry experience of TVET teachers. For example in Finland, the required qualifications for TVET teachers include an appropriate university or polytechnic degree, at least three years of work experience in a field relevant to the position and teachers’ pedagogical studies.[8]

These strategies require a flexible framework of pedagogical preparation and strong leadership in professional training institutions to make the best use of a mixed teaching team. These strategies also requirethe development of: (i) funding mechanisms to mobilize practitioners or professionals from industries(who have state-of-the-art skills and expertise demanded by employers) to TVET teaching; and (ii) quality assurance mechanisms to ensure that those who teach TVET have sufficient technical and professional expertise that meets the demands of employers and self-employment needs in the labour market.

4. Scope:

The study will address the following set of questions:

  • What are the obstacles to develop TVET teachers’ industry experience? How are countries supporting these obstacles? Which public-private partnership frameworks exist to support TVET industry experience and what forms of legislation and/or institutional agreements exist? These questions can be approached both from a system- and an providers-level point-of-view,
  • How are TVET teachers industry experience programmes designed and what range of skills (including technical, transferable, pedagogical, others) are considered?
  • How different types of enterprises are involved (SMEs, large companies, public companies, etc.)? How social partners are involved?
  • Which mechanisms are effective in making TVET teachers industry experience relevant and sustainable? How is the experience and knowledge acquired valued and recognised? What are the implication on TVET teachers’ careers?
  • What mechanisms and incentives can be put in place to encourage enterprises to admit TVET teachers?

The study will address these questions in relation to a variety of issues, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Policies: Countries have developed different types of measures to enable TVET teachers acquire industry experience in sustainable manner. The study will aim to examine the different types of policies that are in place and provide a set of conclusions regarding their effectiveness and impacts.
  • Legislative frameworks: What legislative frameworks exist that facilitate TVET teachers industry experience?
  • Institutional governance and management: The study will aim to examine what implications the establishment of new types of programmes or methods of delivery, including partnerships with enterprises at system and providers levels?
  • Financial issues and funding mechanisms: TVET teachers’ industry experience may have financial implications. Different funding mechanisms may need to be established to allow for new types of programmes for example. In addition, existing mechanisms, such as training levies, or grants, may need to be adapted to allow for TVET teachers’ industry experience to happen.
  • Recognition and validation of skills acquired: The process that assesses teachers’ skills, to determine the extent to which they have achieved the required learning or competency outcomes is particularly important with respect to careers and progression. Clear and transparent assessment systems are essential.
  • Career management implications: Clear incentives for TVET teachers are required in particular implications on employability and career of TVET teachers.

5. Indicative project activities and expected outputs:

  • A report synthesizing relevant literature, research and analysis of case studies.
  • A Handbook including a set of recommendations and guidelines addressed to policy makers regarding TVET teachers’industry experience.
  • Pilot the Handbook in a set of countries

5-1. Prepare a synthesis report

The work will be carried out in the following manner:

Phase 1: Literature review and methodology

As a first step, the study will address the questions outlined above following an extensive review of available literature, including academic research, policy documents and any relevant normative instruments (both at the international and national levels) and building upon other UNESCO related work (e.g.“Technical and Vocational Teachers and Trainers in the Arab Region”), as well as work carried out by national and international organisations (e.g. ILO; CEDEFOP, ETF, OECD,. Definitions of relevant terms will be explored and an analytical and methodological framework to be used in the analysis of the case study material will be developed. This part of the work will require extensive desk research as well as consultation with the wider education and training community.

Main output: Background paper including literature review and methodology

Phase 2: An in-depth analysis of identified models of TVET teachers’ industry experience development – case studies

This phase will focus on the main questions of the study and consist of the following steps:

  • Collection of evidence on how Member States have developed TEVT teachers’ industry experience in different contexts. Evidence will be collected in depth from a range of stakeholders in a selection of Member States (between 5-10, covering different political, economic and geographical contexts);
  • Synthesis and analysis of the collected evidence following the framework developed in Phase 1; and
  • Formulation of key policy implications and recommendations.

Main output: Annotated case studies and background material

Phase 3: Development of synthesis report

In this phase of the study, a synthesis report will be produced that documents key findings and recommendations.

Main output: Synthesis report

Phase 4: Knowledge sharing and dissemination

This phase will ensure that the conclusions reached and guidelines developed in the preceding work packages are shared broadly throughout the education and training world and beyond. This will be done through a variety of means, including:

  • Establishing and maintaining a central location for documentation and information sharing;
  • Preparation of electronic demonstrations of tools and results, for example in the form of infographics; and
  • A workshop/conference in which the outcomes of the study will be presented and shared.

5-2. Development of a handbook

Activity 1: Develop a handbook on organization of work-based learning for TVET teachers

The handbook will provide the guide to help TVET policymakers to develop an informed TVET policy particularly focusing on how TVET policies can ensure the work-based learning for TVET teachers. The content of the handbook will include:

  • Descriptions of the concept, including the justification of the necessity of work-based learning for TVET teachers;
  • Steps to design the relevant policy measures to ensure work-based learning for TVET teachers; and
  • Institutional arrangements for the implementation of TVET teacher policies.

It is anticipated that the Handbook will provide the tools necessary to enable policy makers in relevant Ministries and Departments to implement policies in line with the 2015 Recommendation concerning Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) regarding TVET teachers’ industry experience.

Activity 2: Pilot the handbook

Thehandbook will be tested in pilot countries, based on the requests from the countries.

Activity 3: Organize an international workshop, focusing on the dissemination of the handbook.

5. Duration: From April2017to March2018

6. Timeframe:

Tasks / 2017 / 2018
03 / 04 / 05 / 06 / 07 / 08 / 09 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 01 / 02 / 03
Identify and contract of consultants.
Prepare detailed TORs for consultants. / x
Conduct literature review and develop methodology / x
Conduct country case studies / x / x
Draft the synthesis report / x / x
Finalize and disseminate the synthesis report / x
Draft handbook, based on the synthesis report / x / x
Finalize the handbook / x
Pilot the use of handbook / x / x / x
Organize an international workshop / x






[5] They include: (1) Review of TIT in Arab Region; (2) Review of TIT in the South African Development Community (SADC) Region; (3) Policy reviews in 7 countries: Benin, Cambodia, Chad, El Salvador, Lao PDR, Malawi, Namibia, Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis and Tanzania (Zanzibar); and (4) UNESCO-UNEVOC on-line conference TVET teachers.