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Advancing TVET for Youth Employability and Sustainable Development

Promising Practices in TVET and Entrepreneurship Education in the Arab States
19–21 November 2013, Beirut, Lebanon 

Arab States

The Final Report has been compiled by Dr Sulieman Sulieman, Ms Lisa Freiburg, and Dr Qasem Newashi, SRD Jordan (consultant).

In response to the call of the Third Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Congress to collect and disseminate evidence-based policies and practices, the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for TVET, Bonn, and UNESCO Regional Bureau, Beirut, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Lebanon (General Directorate for Vocational and Technical Education, GDVTE, and Center for Educational Research and Development, CERD), organized a three-day Regional Expert Meeting (Beirut, 19–21 November 2013) as a platform for networking and dialogue involving regional UNEVOC centres, TVET institutions, and other relevant stakeholders.

The goal of the Expert Meeting was to facilitate panels of experts for discussion and exchange of experiences by mapping contemporary issues and showcasing skills development strategies, evidence-based approaches, and innovative practices in the areas of youth, employment, and skills for business entrepreneurship; entrepreneurship education (EPE) and the use of information and communication technology (ICT); and regional/international cooperation and coordination on TVET merging issues and priorities (in other words, greening TVET).

The Regional Expert Meeting in Beirut was the last of a series of forums held in 2013. Kicking off in San José, Costa Rica, and soon followed by Abuja, Nigeria; Seoul, Republic of Korea; and Moscow, Russian Federation, the regional meetings facilitated high-level panels of experts discussing contemporary issues and highlighting skills development strategies, approaches, and innovative practices focusing on greening TVET and youth employment. These themes were identified in close consultation with the cluster coordinators of the network in earlier meetings in 2013.

Based on the invitations sent to the National Commissions for UNESCO in the Arab region, thirty- two officials and experts participated in the Expert Meeting, including representatives from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Germany, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and Nigeria. Among the participants were representatives from UNEVOC centres, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), regional and international organizations, and the private sector.

In the three-day meeting, participants presented promising practices in TVET and shared their experiences by highlighting success stories on the introduction of entrepreneurship education (EPE)
and ICT in TVET. The promising practices presented
by UNEVOC centres in the Arab States underlined
the extent of educational reform in many of the countries, and revealed a number of recent initiatives dedicated to building linkages with the private sector, the training of teachers/trainers, and curriculum development for entrepreneurship and life skills.

In addition to national perspectives, UNEVOC Centre representatives from Nigeria, Germany, and the Republic of Korea gave presentations on regional activities in their respective regions focused on greening TVET and youth unemployment. Representatives from regional and international organizations, including the African Development Bank (AfDB)/London School of Economics (LSE), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia ESCWA), and INJAZ, concentrated their presentations on policies and practices to tackle youth unemployment through TVET and entrepreneurship education.

The meeting highlighted the common challenges that are faced by many countries in the Arab States: increasing youth unemployment levels, poor linkages between education and training and industry, and a shortage of entrepreneurial youth who are sufficiently equipped to create their own jobs. Despite these issues, the focus was on sharing success stories and promising initiatives that could benefit others in the region. Working group sessions provided participants with the opportunity to engage in in-depth discussions and identify areas for collaboration in the region. The meeting demonstrated the willingness of different institutions to work closely together in tackling common issues in TVET. It emphasized the interest of participants in working together on the development of an ICT-based platform to facilitate the sharing of experiences specifically on EPE.


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