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When Technical Vocational Education and Training exclude individuals or groups, the education loses something. By excluding someone or excluding specific groups, the development of skills will suffer. Anyone or any group can contribute to developing different kinds of crafts, and all people and groups of people can contribute in different ways.
A Help for Decision-makers
The International Labour Organization published in 2020 a guide called “Guide on making TVET and skills development inclusive for all” . It is about making development in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET). The guide is created for policymakers and representatives of workers’ and employers’ organisations engaged in skills development systems, TVET centre staff, and development practitioners providing skills policy advice. The aims are to help skills decision-makers and practitioners assess to what extent their TVET system is currently excluding specific individuals or groups, identify underlying reasons, and provide practical ideas on what could be done to redress inequalities.
Do we Find Discrimination in TVET?
The document states that TVET systems are crucial for increasing employability, better job prospects, and potentially improving social inclusion. TVET and skills development systems strive to fulfil the demands of all people seeking to learn relevant new skills to enhance their career prospects, income or professional status.
However, for a wide range of reasons, many individuals and groups in society find themselves excluded from education and training opportunities. The document underlines that this discrimination might be based on age, national extraction, race, colour, political opinion, disability, sex, gender, ethnicity or other grounds. The situation can be even more difficult for those experiencing discrimination on multiple intersecting grounds (e.g. disability and sex, religion and age, race and disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity). The guide concludes that discrimination, particularly when starting early in life, leads to higher probabilities of unemployment, lower wages, and more precarious types of jobs.
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The Benefits of Social Inclusion in TVET
The guide showes a list of benefits of social inclusion in TVET. The list is divided into the benefits for the government, the Employes and the worker organisations.
For governments, inclusion in TVET is beneficial for the well-being of workers and for developing a more inclusive society as a whole:
- Enhance individual well-being and social cohesion
- Contribution to economic competitiveness
- Investment in inclusion pays off
- Positive impact on social security spending
Employers need the best talents:
- Access to talent
- More innovation
- Increased engagement and retention
- A win-win change
- Improved company reputation
Workers’ organisations act as a role model in exemplifying the values of equality:
- Equal opportunities for all
- Give workers a voice
- Ensure fair representation
- The benefits of inclusive unions
Ralf Lange, Christine Hofmann, Manuela Di Cara: Guide on making TVET and skills development inclusive for all, Labour Organization 2020.
Lucubrate Magazine November 2021
Illustration on the top of the article: Adobe Stock/Karl Skaar