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BUSINESSMED Thematic Committee Webinar - Vocational Training and Skills Development

BUSINESSMED Thematic Committee Webinar - Vocational Training and Skills Development


Education, which had been at the heart of the Middle East and North Africa region’s (MENA) history and civilizations for centuries, has a large untapped potential to contribute to human capital, well-being, and wealth. Decades of investments in education, impressive growth in enrolment rates, and gender parity at almost all levels of education, have not been able to translate into increased human capital and wealth, failing to meet the aspirations of 435 million people in the region according to the World Bank (2018).

Advances over the years are evident in the region and in most countries, but progress has been slow and many challenges are ahead. Despite a series of reforms, MENA Countries have a considerable potential and the current situation requires a renewed focus on education and vocational training (VET).

The European Commission (EC) has always believed that Vocational education and training (VET) is a key element of lifelong learning systems, which equip citizens with knowledge, skills and competences required in particular occupations and on the labour market. With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic which has seriously disrupted standard education and training activities, including VET across the Mediterranean Region, the EC has put the VET as a priority for the recovery plan.  

According to a joint survey conducted by ILO, UNESCO and World Bank, this unprecedented situation is affecting learning at all levels, including initial and continuing Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and causing disruptions in the provision of training.

A set of policies and actions referred to the European Pillar of Social Rights strengthening principle 1 “education, training and lifelong learning”, a proposal for a COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION on Vocational Education and Training (VET) for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience has been set.

The post economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis offered an opportunity to accelerate reforms in VET and strengthen its resilience, notably by digitizing learning offers and methods and agile adaptation to changing labour market needs.

BUSINESSMED is joining the call to action with the aim to address the challenges and opportunities of the VET sector and suggest a list of recommendations and scenarios to help address the VET sector challenges as set by the EC.

The Thematic Committee on “Skills Development and Vocational Training”, created in the framework of EBSOMED project, is a commission of Employers’ Organisations from the EuroMed Region, believing that today’s economy requires advanced, flexible and fungible skills and that VET can boost organizational performance, competitiveness, research and innovation which is a central aspect of successful employment and social policy.

The strategic orientations of the Employers committee aim at tackling the VET sector priorities as set out by the EC. These priorities are as follows:

  • To promote work-based learning in all its forms with special attention to apprenticeships, by involving social partners, companies, chambers and VET providers, as well as stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship
  • To further develop quality assurance mechanisms in line with the Recommendation on the establishment of a European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for Vocational Education and Training (EQAVET), and to establish continuous information and feedback loops in I-VET and C-VET systems based on learning outcomes
  • To enhance access to VET and qualifications for all through more flexible and permeable systems, notably by offering efficient and integrated guidance services and by enabling the validation of non-formal and informal learning
  • To strengthen key competences in VET curricula and provide more effective opportunities to acquire or develop those skills through I-VET and C-VET
  • To introduce systematic approaches to, and opportunities for, initial and continuous professional development for VET teachers, trainers and mentors in both school- and work-based settings

The Committee’s focus will as well address best practices on the recovery plan and ways to build further equitable, resilient and labour market-responsive TVET systems.

In this sense, BUSINESSMED, in the framework of EBSOMED, is organising a webinar on 15 December 2020 in order to:

  • present the commission’s mission and purpose of the study by giving insights into the VET sector in the target countries and challenges ahead
  • present the first results of the study and the factsheet elaborated following the research phase of the committee
  • share information and facilitate peer learning about how various TVET stakeholders (policymakers, providers, the private sector, including companies involved in work-based learning, and youth) are coping with the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on TVET provision in the Euro-Mediterranean Region
  • share Employers experiences on approaches to responding to crisis and enhancing recovery while ensuring equity in TVET during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • identify key building blocks of a resilient and labour-market relevant TVET system

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Registration is available via this link.