Business Sector Involvement

The numerous challenges related to achieving ambitious TVET reform and development goals cannot (any longer) be successfully tackled by the state alone. Therefore, the active involvement of other TVET stakeholders, particularly the business community, is vital and is receiving growing attention.

Cooperation with the business community – comprising individuals, public and private companies and their representative bodies – includes several fields and has multiple positive effects. Due to the importance of Occupational Standards as an outcome (quality) specification for TVET delivery from the employers’ perspective, Occupational Standard development is a field where involvement of the business sectors in a leading role is mandatory. Another important field of cooperation is TVET provision based on cooperative modes of delivery. In such modes, parts of an agreed TVET programme, typically training of practical skills, are completed in a company. Ideally, this is organised in form of work placements and work process integrated learning. The benefits of such an approach range e.g. from increased demand-orientation and increased cost efficiency (because investment in workshops in TVET institutes and related operational costs can be reduced) to familiarising learners with the real world of work and bringing them and potential employers in touch with each other. Other fields of cooperation include e.g. the involvement of the business sector in development of TVET teaching staff.

The key issue with regard to a working results-oriented collaboration is how to get the business community to engage actively in TVET. Approaches that have proved successful in this regard focus on equal partnership and persuasion based on mutual interests and benefits. This includes involving the business sectors appropriately in TVET policy and strategy development as well.

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