From 2-8 September 2018, 17 representatives of ASEAN chambers, associations and companies working towards the greater involvement of business and industry in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the ASEAN region travelled to Germany to study the roles and contributions of private stakeholders in the country’s dual training system. The group was welcomed by several institutions including the State Ministry of Baden Württemberg for Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing, chambers of commerce and industry, industry associations, vocational training institutions, small- and medium-enterprises and multinational corporations.
ASEAN Member States (AMS) recognise the potential of engaging business and industry in TVET as a way of strengthening the quality and labour-market orientation of training. Recognising the lack of adequately skilled work forces in the region and the constant technological advancements, the ASEAN Secretariat with the support from GIZ’s Regional Cooperation Programme to Improve the Quality and Labour Market Orientation of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (RECOTVET) programme, initiated a regional learning process among AMS, with the objective of identifying challenges and solutions to strengthen business and industry cooperation in TVET.
The process kicked off in June 2018 with the launch of a regional working group of TVET champions from business and industry. The working group was assigned to develop a Future ASEAN Agenda for TVET, a region-wide TVET strategy that outlines specific action-oriented recommendations for strengthening the contributions of business and industry to TVET.
In Germany, the group studied the country’s dual training system in which business and industry play important roles, in order to learn how ASEAN can tackle the challenges of its largely school-based vocational training system and better prepare for the 4th industrial revolution.
“The study trip to Germany was really important for our work. Visiting different institutions was like working on a jigsaw puzzle: Every visit added another piece of the puzzle, helping us understand the role each stakeholder plays and how they all cooperate to create a very strong TVET system,”explained 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 regional working group held its second meeting to work on recommendations for strengthening business and industry cooperation in TVET in the ASEAN region. “One of the biggest strengths of this group is that we are so passionate about this topic: We all want to support the development of well-structured long term TVET initiatives that build competitive and highly skilled ASEAN human capital. Rarely do you see people working so hard. This is something I really cherish in this group,” enthused Dato’ Palaniappan Joseph, a Council Member of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers, on the final day of the meeting.
The regional working group is a cross-pillar collaboration between the ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community under the leadership of the Division for Education, Youth and Sport at the ASEAN Secretariat and facilitated and supported by the German Government's RECOTVET programme, implemented by GIZ.