The member states of the ASEAN Community have experienced dynamic economic growth in recent years, including large scale investments in manufacturing in the context of global value chains. This development has in many states recently been disrupted by the economic crisis following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Progress in digitalisation and the automation of manufacturing and other sectors of the economy often referred to as Industry 4.0 – cause important changes in work processes and labour market requirements, also in the ASEAN region. In order to leverage the opportunities of technological change and to mitigate the risks, local economies require a well-trained workforce capable of performing more complex tasks with greater autonomy. In this context, lifelong learning is becoming increasingly important for employees to keep up with changing requirements.
TVET systems in ASEAN member states are currently taking different approaches to upskilling workers in line with the changing demands of the labour market. Important aspects here are policy frameworks, governance, and evidence-based planning. Furthermore, new digital solutions in the service delivery of TVET institutions promise to increase efficiency and quality. The indispensable role of vocational education and training close to the labour market as a component of sustainable growth is set out in the ASEAN Declaration on Human Resources Development for the Changing World of Work adopted in 2020. The RECOTVET programme strengthens the capacities of ASEAN member states to improve their TVET systems through participatory learning processes and exchange formats, as well as through the use of synergies with the activities of bilateral German development cooperation projects in the region.
The programme aims to improve the capacity of TVET systems of the ASEAN region to adjust to the requirements of digitalisation.
The programme focuses on strengthening regional cooperation in ASEAN member states in order to support the adjustment of TVET systems to the requirements of digitalisation and future labour markets. A number of measures are being carried out in five main fields of activity:
Policy advice. The programme supports the efforts of regional organisations and sectoral bodies such as the ASEAN Secretariat, SEAMEO Secretariat and SEAMEO VOCTECH, the ASEAN TVET Council to prepare TVET systems for the challenges of digitalisation. The focus will be providing the relevant bodies targeted specialist advice on the planned development of future proof TVET frameworks and of implementation strategies based on those frameworks.
Labour Market Information. The programme aims to strengthen partners’ capacities to use labour market information for evidence based TVET policy. Based on reflections on the status-quo and using capacity building measures, partners will be empowered in a participatory process to develop future-oriented strategies for the development of their national systems and the integration of obtained labour market information for demand-driven TVET.
Capacity development of new competences for digitalisation in vocational education and training. A range of demand-driven online courses designed to prepare the programme’s various target groups for future careers and to develop the skills geared to the requirements of digitalisation and digital competences. The programme will leverage the online training programmes with new digital competences through the regional platform (SEA-VET.NET) to a larger audience across the region. The platform will also provide courses that are particularly relevant to the initial and further training for women.
(Re-) qualification offers for women. Due to technological progress and exacerbated by the economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic – far-reaching structural changes in labour markets are observable and can still be expected. There is an acute and persistent need for the further education and training of people whose employment situation is negatively affected, i.e., whose skills are less in demand on the labour market, especially women. The project raises awareness of these challenges among partner countries, supports the identification of future solutions and provides partners with systematically prepared knowledge through dialogue formats.
Involvement of the private sector in the further development of approaches to vocational education and training. Business member organisations as well as other private partners are supported to strengthen their role in TVET by piloting innovative services. The ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) are supported in the category Skills to highlight good practices for skills development.
RESULTS SO FAR
Advanced knowledge sharing and dialogue in TVET
Improved cross-sectoral cooperation in TVET
Strengthened business & industry involvement
Encouraged more and better skills training in companies
Improved quality of TVET teachers
Positioned quality development in regional discourse
ASEAN member states, in particular Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam