- Funding – TVET in the ASEAN region suffers from a lack of investment and funding, despite the data demonstrating a good return on investment in terms of salaries and economic growth relating to skills training. There is a need to better demonstrate return on investment to individuals, governments, and employers. Budgets are becoming more difficult to secure, questions remain over how to do more with less resources, ensuring sustainability.
- Adaptability – How TVET stays relevant with economic issues and tackling climate change is important. Building capacity to respond to economic shocks requires working closer with stakeholders and utilise resources; being open and allow stakeholders to be involved in business process. Agility and flexibility are needed to overhaul some traditional practices and be open to new ways of teaching and learning, reskilling trainers and building capacity.
- Lifelong Learning – There is a need to integrate lifelong learning into policy, using a collaborative approach to achieve this with industry and education/ skills providers working together.
- International collaboration – There is a need for forums to share best practice between the UK and ASEAN member countries. What methods are there to build on that and commit to furthering the dialogue around skills sharing? Open communication about successes and failures across governments and regions is essential for candid and fruitful dialogue on what works.
- ASEAN regional partnerships – Partnerships are central to effective skills development. TVET stakeholders need the ability to learn from each other. The key to this is to keep sharing strategies and knowledge as sectors develop. The ASEAN TVET Council is a good example of the way forward for fostering dialogue and communication.
- Digitalisation – Digitalisation will frame the next generation of TVET learning. Digitalisation and blended learning environments can make learning accessible to everyone, but the digital divide is important to consider so that inequality and access is paramount in planning skills development.
- TVET and skills development systems are different to higher education though can form a part of higher education, they do not exist in vacuum, and must be dynamic. TVET and higher education systems would benefit not from competing, but from being integrated as a system to meet the needs of industry and country skills needs.
- Regional policies – Centralised strategies for boosting skills are vital, but governments alone cannot deliver effective programmes, there is a need to work with key players in the system and ensure contribution at all levels, including from provincial to national.
- Perceptions and promotion of TVET – It is important to consider how different educational options are being promoted to children and the value forms associated with them. If children are only being encouraged to go into higher education, what does that say about the value of TVET? Recognising the value of alumni and using those people as champions for your institutions, government policy etc. (if you can see it, you can be it).
- Practical focus – Focus on practical skills training, moving away from theoretical knowledge. Endorse importance of frameworks and standards to measure performance and progress. By acting as a super connector between institutions and employers and industry, supporting with curriculum innovation, and developing tutor-building capacity and sustainability, educational bodies can integrate skills pathways with the workforce.
- Speed of change – ASEAN workforce needs and skills developments are progressing at a fast pace. There are opportunities to share challenge between ASEAN and UK and other TVET systems.
Evidence-led strategies for skills development are crucial for the changing world of work and jobs in the future. Linking skills investment into economic development may enhance the centrality of resourcing TVET education in the future and encourage governments to invest in funding skills training.
Morgan Sim, Olivia Watts and Maisie White
Wilton Park | Published November 2023
Wilton Park partnered with the Department for International Trade and Pearson Education to deliver this dialogue. The Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have since merged to form the Department for Business and Trade (DBT).
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