JAKARTA, 22 June 2018 – The ASEAN Secretariat cooperated with the government of Germany through GIZ to convene the two-day 7th Regional Cooperation Programme for Technical and Vocational Education and Training in ASEAN (RECOTVET) in Jakarta.
 
A total of 70 representatives from the education, labour and private sectors from all 10 ASEAN Member States, Germany, Switzerland and SEAMEO participated in the event themed “Business and Industry Cooperation in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET): Towards a Better Practice for ASEAN.”
 
ASEAN’s Deputy Secretary-General for Economic Community Aladdin Rillo reaffirmed at the opening of the policy dialogue that industry and private sectors were at the frontlines of weathering the changes in economies and knew best the needed skills in the prevailing workforce.
 
He also stated that fostering the conversation between industry and the private sector was even more important as digitisation has quickened the pace of change in economies and their needs.
 
The German Ambassador to Indonesia, ASEAN and Timor-Leste, Michael Freiherr von Ungern-Sternberg, explained that Germany’s well-trained labour force was a crucial element of the country’s economic success.
 
The ambassador highlighted the characteristics of Germany’s dual training system which public and private stakeholders jointly organise, manage and finance. He recommended that ASEAN work with stakeholders who were devoted and who would make sure that graduates have the right kind of skills.
 
In the dialogue, participating business and industry owners and managers shared effective and convincing strategies to advance and institutionalise business and industry cooperation in TVET in support of ASEAN governments based on research as well as real-life practices. 
 
Representatives from both the government and private sector also affirmed strong willingness to institutionalise a mechanism to meaningfully engage the business and industry in the development and implementation of a future TVET agenda for ASEAN that would focus on market-driven TVET, including future skills in ASEAN, replicating existing effective company-based internships in ASEAN, and leveraging the advanced know-how of the industry in coping with the Industrial Revolution 4.0.
 
Participants resolved that practical actions should be initiated to systematically involve the private sector in improving the quality of TVET and producing graduates with skills that were relevant to the market demands.  Recommendations include the need for regular dialogues, greater advocacy and communication, knowledge sharing, and forming a working group comprising of business and industry sector representatives that will develop and propose a TVET agenda for ASEAN from the perspective of the industry sector.
 
On the second day of the policy dialogue, 17 business and industry owners and managers from the 10 ASEAN Member States participated in a kick-off meeting of the Regional Working Group on TVET.  They agreed to work on a future ASEAN agenda for TVET between September 2018 to September 2019 which would include a focus on perspective for labour-market oriented TVET reforms in the region, contain concrete recommendations to converge public and private sectors towards mutually beneficial cooperation, anchor on broader TVET strategy for ASEAN, and include topics that are of concern to all ASEAN Member States. RECOTVET, in cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat, will support the working group in the development of the agenda.
 
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