Regional Cooperation for the Development of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (RECOTVET III) hosted the “Virtual Kick-Off Workshop: Enhancing Professional Skills and Digital Competences for Technical and Vocational Education and Training Personnel (TVET Personnel)” on 8 July 2021. The online workshop was the first in a series aimed at developing learning offers for TVET professionals and multipliers in ASEAN countries on digital competence acquisition and the demands of digitalisation.
The objectives of the Virtual Kick-Off Workshop were to further develop the regional in-service training modules in “Fit for Industry 4.0” developed during the previous phase of the RECOTVET programme and to explore the most demanded competencies and skills in the digital age. More than 60 participants from TVET training institutions, universities, and regional and international organisations in ASEAN co-developed regional in-service training modules and shared their experiences on the current digital requirements of TVET personnel at the national level. RECOTVET also welcomed partners and TVET specialists from Germany and SEAMEO VOCTECH to discuss their experiences on TVET personnel’s competencies in the field of digitalisation of work and professions in Germany and the ASEAN region.
Dr. Paryono, Deputy Director for Professional Affairs and Research Manager from the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Vocational and Technical Education and Training (SEAMEO VOCTECH), gave an overview of the status on digital competencies, requirements and trends in ASEAN. He underlined the importance of digital competencies for TVET teachers, particularly 21st century and/or future abilities, in order to instil these skills in students. TVET teachers should upskill in response to Industry 4.0, in addition to their basic digital competences and mastering online teaching delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to rapidly changing technology and industry.
Mr. Michael Härtel of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) highlighted German experience on Learning for the Digital World, emphasising the need for further training for TVET teachers and trainers in order to create crucial digital transformation competence. He emphasised that in-company trainers in Germany face issues in understanding how to use digital media as well as a lack of knowledge in basic media pedagogies. He also explained how the European Framework for Educators’ Digital Competence (DigCompEdu), which is widely embraced across the European Union, plays an important role in capturing basic digital capabilities that could potentially equip TVET teachers and trainers.
Prof. Dr. Georg Spöttl of the University of Bremen spoke about the creation of digital content and the development of e-learning in Germany, as well as recommendations for the ASEAN region. He emphasised that digitalisation is transforming industry 4.0 and changing skilled jobs. To prepare TVET students for change, TVET professionals must not only use digital tools and creative pedagogic approaches to shape the teaching and learning process, but they must also build a culture of using digital media in the TVET centre. As a result, TVET centre management should create a digital environment and infrastructure that encourages collaboration amongst teachers.
The RECOTVET programme presented the workshop series’ objectives, as well as the timeline of learning offers development. The key contributions of participants are the willingness to support the development process of training modules, utilising the training modules in their local context and the translation of courses into ASEAN languages. The participants also engaged in a lively discussion about the most important competencies and abilities that must be developed at the national level for effective delivery of training in the digital era.
Last but not least, the workshop’s outcomes will be analysed by TVET experts in order to undertake a needs assessment and gap analysis and crystallise regional TVET staff gaps and needs. The findings will be explored in greater depth at the next technical workshop in September 2021, which will help to identify topics and content for the development of regional training modules. The further development of existing online training modules is expected to launch in early 2022 and plans to incorporate relevant digital skills and e-pedagogy for TVET professionals, blended learning, digitised potential content, more interactive e-learning, time saving, and accessibility from anywhere at any time. The implementation plan of the regional training modules will be rolled out by the national counterparts in the future.