In 2018 the European Union has launched the VET Toolbox aimed at strengthening Vocational Education and Training (VET) systems in developing countries. The VET Toolbox supports labour market analysis and offers practical advice on strengthening the links between VET and the private sector, making VET more effective and relevant, including for those most in need. DECP has expertise in the field of skills development in a broad sense, but in general, the needs of partner organisations in emerging countries are focussing on bridging the skills gap between vocational education and labour market needs. DECP works together with VET Toolbox in order to find additional support to conduct projects in partner countries. Current opportunities are there for supporting Ivory Coast. Studies are done to get extra support from VET Toolbox with some other countries DECP is cooperating with.
On 23-24 May 2019 the VET Toolbox hosted a hackathon in Brussels. This is a two-day out-of-the-box event bringing together (un)usual suspects to tackle challenges on inclusion and public-private collaboration in vocational education and training.
One of the challenges was:
‘How can we increase the inclusiveness of the labour market in order to guarantee VET learners (from vulnerable groups) equal access, equal opportunities and respond to their needs?’
DECP’s special advisor participated in a team with participants from Nigeria, Belgium, Greece and Burundi representing the private sector. The set of solutions they presented to a professional panel included in a nutshell:
1. Increased interaction and commitment between economic sectors and TVET schools
2. Involving ICT management in curricula
3. School management involves teachers
4. Trade unions involved in an early stage
5. Inspire students and employers
6. Parents involved
7. Government involved after achieving some good practices
8. International network developed
Of course this particular case and other cases worked out by 8 teams, contain much more details. But bottom-line, the VET Toolbox Hackathon was a success because the participants were able to inspire each other and propose concrete solutions for challenges that appear to be beyond culture and continents. Meanwhile next steps for further cooperation between VET Toolbox and DECP to strengthen employers’ organisations in partner countries in the field of skills development were discussed with the management.
The complete group of participants representing more than 20 nationalities
Sharing and learning can be fun as well!