Frankfurt, 8 September 2018 – A group comprised of representatives of ASEAN business chambers, associations and companies who are working towards greater involvement of business and industry in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) concluded their second meeting and study visit from 2 to 8 September 2018 in Germany in preparation for the development of a region-wide TVET strategy.

The working group met with key stakeholders of the German dual training system, such as the State Ministry of Baden-Wuerttemberg for Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing; chambers of commerce and industry; industry associations; vocational training institutions; small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs); and multinational corporations (MNCs), to learn about how ASEAN can overcome the challenges of its largely school-based vocational training system and to prepare for the fourth industrial revolution. In Germany’s dual system, business and industry play important roles in skills development through apprenticeships and in-company training.

The study visit was also to provide inspiration for the Future ASEAN Agenda for TVET, which will outline specific, action-oriented recommendations for strengthening the contributions of business and industry in TVET.

“The study trip to Germany was really important for our work. Visiting different institutions was like completing a jigsaw puzzle and helped us understand the role that each stakeholder plays and how they all cooperate to create a very strong TVET system”, said Atty. Maria Amalia Tiglayao-Cayanan, who represents the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Tarlac and is also president of a post-secondary education institution.

Immediately following the institutional visits, the working group convened its second meeting to work on recommendations for strengthening business and industry cooperation in TVET in ASEAN. “This working group is passionate about supporting the development of well-structured, long term TVET initiatives to build competitive and highly skilled ASEAN human capital.”, enthused Dato’ Palaniappan Joseph on the final day of the meeting.

Key takeaway insights include possibilities of institutionalising chamber or association services related to human resources, strengthening research and knowledge sharing related to future skills needs, and promoting initiatives to improve the brand or image of TVET in the ASEAN region.

The potential of engaging business and industry in TVET has been widely recognised by ASEAN Member States as a way of strengthening the quality and labor-market orientation of training.

Recognising the urgency of promoting public-private collaboration in TVET given the lack of adequately skilled workers in the region and the pace of technological change, the ASEAN Secretariat, with support from the German government’s Regional Cooperation Program for TVET in ASEAN (RECOTVET), initiated a more focused discussion on business and industry involvement in the development of TVET in ASEAN. The process was kicked off in June 2018 with the launch of the regional working group of TVET champions from business and industry.

The regional working group is a cross-pillar collaboration between the ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community departments, and is coordinated by the Education, Youth and Sports Division and facilitated and supported by the German government’s RECOTVET. The final Future ASEAN Agenda for TVET will be will be submitted to the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Education (SOM-ED) for endorsement in 2019.

***