The increasing use of occupational analysis and the dominance of a particular form, functional analysis, are noted. A comparative study of approaches to occupational analysis is proposed, to inform future analyses.
The increasing use of occupational analysis and the dominance of a particular form, functional analysis, are noted. A comparative study of approaches to occupational analysis is proposed, to inform future analyses.
Australian VET teachers are facing significant professional challenges to engage with pedagogical issues in teaching international students. However, there has been a lack of research on how teachers are equipped to effectively cater for international students and respond to the demands of internationalization in VET through professional development. The findings suggest the need to systemically and explicitly support substantive professional learning with regard to approaches to engaging and teaching international students.
India. Vocational Education under National Skill Qualification Framework in Jammu & Kashmir State of India: Changing Face of Education
There is huge demand for technical and vocational education and training facilities for preparing skilled human resource. In view of this demand the Govt. of India launched National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) in the state which is based on the philosophy of integration of vocational education in general education at secondary and senior secondary stages for developing employable skills in students.
A contribution of Dr. Ravinder K. Jangral firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.rmsa.jk.gov.in,
There is considerable concern regarding the prospective development of employment levels and job types in the future. The paper tries to highlight major trends shaping the world of work in developed economies with the aim of giving a realistic account of probable developments and the contributions of different driving forces, importantly focusing on the role of actors such as policy makers, firms and individuals. While it is true that the future of work poses considerable challenges to actors at different levels, there is no need to be particularly worried.
The focus of investigation was on the mechanisms, strategies, and tools deployed to enable Australian VET knowledge practices to respond to the needs of systems, training institutions, and individuals in these new contexts. This process of transfer and adaptation was explored through three case studies. On the basis of the empirical data analyzed in each model, a classification of transnational activities is proposed according to six dimensions of transfer activity – mechanism, drivers, key actors, purpose, context, and outcomes.
What difference does it make when employers work with education and training providers? How can employer engagement best be delivered?
Research for Practice: Papers
Presentations and Videos
Returns on vocational education over the life cycle: Between immediate labour market preparation and lifelong employability
An important issue in the design of secondary-level education is the balance between conveying general and occupation-specific (vocational) skills. On the one hand, vocationally oriented programmes, providing occupation-specific skills with immediate labour market relevance, have repeatedly been shown to secure safe pathways into employment. On the other hand, these programmes tend to put less emphasis on developing general knowledge, skills and competencies, including numeracy and literacy, which are foundational to lifelong learning. Hence, when the needs of the labour market change, employees who opted for a vocational track when they were at secondary school risk being less flexible in adapting to such changes later in their career.
The aim of this article is to explore the historical context of vocationalism in universities. It is based on an analysis of the history of the university from a vocational perspective. It looks for evidence of vocational engagement in the activities of universities over time, taking a long view from the birth of the Western University in the Middle Ages to the 1980s with the emergence of current issues of vocationalism in university education.
Sweden. Continuing professional development of vocational teachers: participation in a Swedish national initiative
This study concerns the continuing professional development (CPD) of vocational teachers. This study aims to explore vocational teachers’ participation in this CPD programme. The analysis is based on registry data on participation in the initiative. Our theoretical foundation is the socio-cultural theory of identity formation, with a focus on the boundary crossing between different communities of practice, and a theory of adults’ participation in education. The findings show differences in participation according to age, vocational area, and geographic location. The results indicate that participation opportunities may be influenced by, for example, institutional factors and situational factors. This implication is discussed in relation to vocational teachers’ development of a professional identity and their teaching of the vocational subject.
Sierra Leone. They got mad skills : the effects of training on youth employability and resilience to the Ebola shock
This paper discusses a randomized control trial to measure the short-term impacts of a skills intervention among urban youth in Sierra Leone at the onset of the Ebola crisis. The intervention provided (i) technical skills training, plus on-the-job training; (ii) business skills training; and (iii) a mix of (i) and (ii). All groups received stipends and literacy and numeracy training. The findings support evidence that combining cash injections and skills training can stimulate employment and entrepreneurship.
Two common hypotheses regarding the relative benefits of vocational versus general education are (1) that vocational skills enhance relative short-term earnings and (2) that general skills enhance relative long-term earnings. Empirical evidence for these hypotheses has remained limited. This study provides a first exploration of individuals’ earnings across nearly complete careers. The descriptive earnings patterns indicate support for both hypotheses.
Spain. Evolution and challenges of the Spanish VET system: from a school-based to a work-based approach
This article discusses the educational policies that move the Spanish Vocational Education and Training (VET) model from a school-based to a work-based approach, taking into account the history and cultural tradition that has shaped it throughout history.
Sub-Saharan Africa. Approaches and impact of non-academic research capacity strengthening training models in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review
Research is essential to identify and prioritize health needs and to develop appropriate strategies to improve health outcomes. In the last decade, non-academic research capacity strengthening trainings in sub-Saharan Africa, coupled with developing research infrastructure and the provision of individual mentorship support, has been used to build health worker skills. The objectives of this review are to describe different training approaches to research capacity strengthening in sub-Saharan Africa outside academic programs, assess methods used to evaluate research capacity strengthening activities, and learn about the challenges facing research capacity strengthening and the strategies/innovations required to overcome them.
A firm’s decision to engage in apprenticeship training is to a large extent determined by the cost-benefit ratio of such an investment compared to other alternatives of securing skilled workers. Empirical evidence shows that in a well-functioning apprenticeship training system, a large share of training firms can recoup their training investments by the end of the training period. As training firms often succeed in retaining the most suitable apprentices, offering apprenticeships is an attractive strategy to recruit their future skilled work force. In addition – as long as skills are standardised and nationally certified – those apprentices leaving the training firm after graduation ensure that other firms can recruit a sufficient number of skilled workers from the labour market.
We investigate unemployment due to mismatch in the US over the past three decades. Mismatch is quantitatively important for unemployment and the cyclical behavior of mismatch unemployment is very similar to that of the overall unemployment rate. Geographic mismatch is driven primarily by wage frictions. Mismatch across industries is driven by wage frictions as well as barriers to job mobility. We find virtually no role for worker mobility frictions.
Indonesia. The role of work-based learning in building employability skills of vocational education students
The incompatibility between educational outcomes with the need of workforce is predicted due to the mismatch of workforce needs with the qualifications of produced graduates. Therefore, the learning in vocational programs must be able to give the solution. Work-Based Learning (WBL) is one of the learning in vocational education proved greatly effective to build the students’ employability skills.
This paper aims to survey the theoretical and empirical literature on cross-country differences in overeducation. While technological change and globalization have entailed a skill-bias in the evolution of labour demand in the Anglo-Saxon countries, instead, in other advanced economies in Western Europe the increased educational level has not been associated with a parallel raise in the share of skilled occupations, therefore generating skills mismatch. Overeducation causes a penalty to individuals in terms of earnings and employment opportunities and a waste of resources to the society at large in terms of state investment into education that do not bear its yields. Both penalties are higher not only where the demand for skill is lower, but also where school-to-work transition systems fail to effectively address the aim of generating competences rather than only education for their graduates.
This paper analyzes the correlation between firm size and the investment in job training by employers. Using a large firm level data set across 99 developing countries, we show that a strong and positive correlation in the investment in job training and firm size is a robust statistical finding both within and across countries with very different institutions and levels of development.
Yemen. The demand for, and impact of, youth internships: evidence from a randomized experiment in Yemen
This paper evaluates a youth internship program in Yemen. We examine the demand for the program and find an oversupply of graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and a relative undersupply of graduates in marketing and business. Conditional on the types of graduates firms were looking to hire, applicants were then randomly chosen for the program. Receiving an internship resulted in an almost doubling of work experience in 2014 and a 73 % increase in income. A follow-up survey shows that internship recipients had better employment outcomes than the control group in the first 5 months after the program.
This paper explores some of the driving changes impacting learning and training from the lens of the employee and employer, and looks at new technologies. As agents of change in the job market as well as in the learning and training industries. Innovations in the field of education, either in K-12, post-secondary or professional development, are considered as possible pioneering achievements that could eventually be applied and adopted more broadly. The goal of this document is to explore possible new models of learning and training in order to assist in developing forward looking policy.
En français. Canada. Le futur de l’apprentissage et de la formation
Jordan. The impact of soft skills training on female youth employment: evidence from a randomized experiment in Jordan
Employers around the world complain that youth lack the soft skills needed for success in the workplace. In response, a number of employment programs have begun to incorporate soft skills training, but to date there has been little evidence as to the effectiveness of such programs. This paper reports on a randomized experiment in Jordan in which female community college graduates were randomly assigned to a soft skills training program. Despite this program being twice as long in length as the average program in the region, and taught by a well-regarded provider, we find soft skills training does not have any significant employment impact in three rounds of follow-up surveys.
Turkey. Do Vocational High School Graduates Have Better Employment Outcomes than General High School Graduates?
This paper estimates the causal effect of vocational high school (VHS) education on employment likelihood relative to general high school (GHS) education in Turkey using census data.
Africa. Private TVET in Africa: understanding the context and managing alternative forms creatively!
Since the 1990s, there has been a growing sense from both national policymakers and international agencies of the importance of private Technical and Vocational Education and Training and skills provision in all regions. This pri-VET sector both through traditional apprenticeship forms and more formal sector oriented approaches have become an essential feature of the contemporary landscape. It is, however, a sector that is largely undocumented and its regulation is thus based on a less than nuanced understanding of its contribution to both the education and training system in general and as a complement to public TVET provisioning. The paper will seek to identify key features of the key trends of what is known about private TVET provision in Africa with a view to understanding the complexity of provision forms and its current importance in the region.
This paper discusses how innovators in competency education develop competencies. Often this is referred to as a tuning process or reengineering process – mapping from what we want students to know and be able to do all the way backwards to the choices for curricular tasks and assessments.
The authors provide first evidence on whether the direct relationship between educational mismatch and firm productivity varies across working environments. Using detailed Belgian linked employer-employee panel data for 1999-2010, they find the existence of a significant, positive (negative) impact of over- (under-)education on firm productivity. Moreover, their results show that the effect of over-education on productivity is stronger among firms: (i) with a higher share of high-skilled jobs, (ii) belonging to high-tech/knowledge-intensive industries, and (iii) evolving in a more uncertain economic environment. Interaction effects between under-education and working environments are less clear-cut. However, economic uncertainty is systematically found to accentuate the detrimental effect of under-education on productivity.
This paper aims to provide a broad overview of the four major components of career pathways. It highlights the role of industry-based certifications and internships in the United States, examining the ethical question of whether internships are exploitative. Finally, it explains some of the advantages and disadvantages of the U.S. education and training system, and potential reforms that enhance its effectiveness at preparing young adults for the labor market.
South Africa. Exploring the Value of the Capability Approach for Vocational Education and Training Evaluation: Reflections from South Africa
In the late 1990s, South Africa faced the three-fold challenge of reforming the apartheid-divided institutional landscape of vocational education and training (VET) institutions; ensuring equitable access to skills; and reorienting its skills development system in line with the nation’s reinsertion into the global economy. A wave of institutional reforms was enacted which was followed by a large programme of evaluative research. While this body of work was both valuable and necessary, it nonetheless had several limitations. As part of efforts to overcome these, the authors suggest an alternative evaluation method that draws on insights from the ‘capability approach’. By putting the needs of people first – rather than the needs of the economy – the capability approach emphasises social justice, human rights and poverty alleviation in VET evaluation. This approach is more focused on the values and goals of individuals and institutions, while retaining the economic rationale as a key analytical tool and emphasising the continued importance of evaluation for the improvement of delivery and outcomes.
Industries in every state are struggling to find qualified applicants for jobs, while job seekers too often find they lack the skills needed to enter or move along a career pathway to a good job. Preparing a workforce that is poised to meet the needs of businesses and ultimately to make the state more economically competitive is a top priority for many governors. Therefore, many of them are exploring ways to scale—increase opportunities for—high-quality, demand-driven work based learning as a proven way to prepare their citizens for the modern workforce.
This paper provides more insight into the relevance of the assumption of human capital theory that the productivity of job-related training is driven by the improvement of workers’ skills. We analyse the extent to which training and informal learning on the job are related to employee skill development and consider the heterogeneity of this relationship with respect to workers’ skill mismatch at job entry. This complementarity between training and informal learning is related to a significant additional improvement of workers’ skills. The skill development of workers who were initially underskilled for their job seems to benefit the most from both training and informal learning, whereas the skill development of those who were initially overskilled benefits the least. Work-related learning investments in the latter group seem to be more functional in offsetting skill depreciation than in fostering skill accumulation.
Health system strengthening continues to be a moving target for developing countries with the human resource factor the most critical bottleneck towards universal health coverage. Zambia health sector is instituting an intervention that can improve retention of health workers using non-financial motivation through sustainable elearning.
This occasional paper examines two broad policy trends, the extension of the apprenticeship and traineeship system, and the opening up of the training market, as well as three specific policy case studies:
-incentive payments for employers of apprentices and trainees
The paper also examines the high-level trends in VET participation and the labour market, and in doing so, reflects on how the changing policy environment has influenced participation trends over the past 20 years. The paper concludes with some observations and reflections about the policy trends in VET, the tensions in the system created by these developments, and some thoughts about the future direction of VET policy.
Korea. Skills training by small and medium-sized enterprises: Innovative cases and the consortium approach in the Republic of Korea
This paper presents targeted government policies for promoting training in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to increase their contributions to economic development. It first discusses the role of SMEs in country development and the special challenges facing SMEs in developing human resources. It then surveys some innovative, targeted policies for promoting training by SMEs in Asia and Latin America. The paper elaborates on the objectives and achievements of a successful targeted SME training policy, the SME Training Consortiums Program in the Republic of Korea, as a best practice. This paper concludes with some cautionary remarks for developing countries seeking to adopt targeted SME training policies.
Youth unemployment has increased in many industrialized countries following the recent global recession. However, this reflects not only the cyclical shock, but also the crucial role of institutions in structuring the transition from school to work. Vocational training, in particular in a dual form combining vocational schooling and structured learning on-the-job, is often considered to be one of the most important policy solutions in combating youth unemployment. The evidence available supports this perception, but the institutional requirements of a successful training system also have to be taken into account from a policy perspective.
Promoting VET teachers’ individual and social learning activities: the empowering and purposeful role of transformational leadership, interdependence, and self-efficacy
This study explores the interaction between organizational and psychological factors that play a role in professional teacher learning. More specifically, how teachers’ engagement in learning activities (e.g. keeping up to data, self-reflection, and experimenting, respectively, asking for feedback and information sharing) is influenced by the organizational factors transformational leadership and perceived interdependence, and the psychological factor self-efficacy.
In general, two configurations for the facilitation of teacher learning were found: one that empowers individual teachers to acquire new knowledge, and another that helps teachers to focus on shared goals and binds them to social learning. Teachers’ engagement in learning activities, and consequently VET colleges’ change capacities, is optimally facilitated by empowerment and purpose.
Brazil. Investing in technical & vocational education and training : does it yield large economic returns in Brazil ?
Technical education and training has been dramatically expanding in Brazil recently. However, there remains no evidence on the cost effectiveness of this alternative track to a more general education. This paper quantifies the wage returns of completing technical and vocational education and training compared with the returns of completing the general education track, for individuals with similar observable characteristics.
A key challenge for developing countries is to generate more and better employment opportunities, ensuring that all parts of the population are reached. This paper discusses what this means in practice, particularly in the context of economic structural transformation. Looking at the quality, quantity and access to jobs in developing countries, the paper highlights the extent of progress in sectoral labour demand and supply, particularly in relation to structural change.
Bangladesh, India, China. Lifelong Learning in a Learning Society: Are Community Learning Centres the Vehicle?
This paper provides a historical perspective on the evolving concepts of lifelong learning and the learning society and makes the case for the community learning centre as a potential institutional vehicle for the promotion of adult and lifelong learning. It highlights the pertinence of lifelong learning/learning society in the post-2015 Development Agenda discourse. Arguments in favour of the community learning centre as a vehicle for lifelong learning/learning society are illustrated using the example of Bangladesh and drawing on parallels and contrasts with China and India. Finally, lessons derived from a recent review of the Asia-Pacific region are evaluated with respect to the development of strategic actions intended to offer adult and lifelong learning within and through community learning centres.
Vocational training versus a traditional university education. This chapter seeks to answer the question of whether ‘tertiary technical education’ has contributed to increasing economic and social opportunity for young people in Latin America, using three case studies from Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.
This policy debate is based on a study, which looked at skill development in 25 different countries and investigated education-to-employment initiatives. The authors claim that the most successful efforts are those where different stakeholders interact intensively and frequently. Employers need to get involved in education, and educators should play a bigger role in employment.
Training funds are used to incentivize training in developing countries, but the funds are based on payroll taxes that lower the return to training. In the absence of training funds, larger, high-wage and more capital intensive firms are the most likely to offer training unless they are liquidity constrained. If firms are not liquidity constrained, the fund could lower training investments. Using an administrative dataset on the Mauritius training fund, we find that the firms most likely to train pay more in taxes than they gain in subsidies. The smallest firms receive more benefits than they pay in taxes.
Germany. Coaching, Counseling, Case-Working: Do They Help the Older Unemployed Out of Benefit Receipt and Back into the Labor Market?
Job search assistance and intensified counseling have been found to be effective for labor market integration by a large number of studies, but the evidence for older and hard-to-place unemployed individuals more specifically is mixed. To identify the treatment effects, we exploit regional variation in program participation. Based on survey evidence, we argue that participation of regions is not endogenous in the vast majority of cases. We use a combination of different evaluation estimators to check the sensitivity of the results to selection, substitution and local labor market effects. We find large positive effects of the program in the range of five to ten percentage points on integration into unsubsidized employment. However, there are also substantial lock-in effects, such that program participants have a higher probability of remaining on public welfare benefit receipt for up to one year after commencing the program.
This paper aims to set out the challenges confronting G20 economies and to develop a proposal for a set of concrete actionable measures to improve the employability of each economy’s workforce, making skills more transferable and workplaces more adaptable.
Objective: To explore the vocational education and training systems in four countries – the UK, US, India and South Africa – and to understand the economic benefits of investing in skills.
Ghana. Adoption of competency based education in TVET Institutions in Ghana: A case study of Mechanical Engineering Department, Accra Polytechnic
This paper proposes the adoption a Competency Based Education (CBE) Approach to re-strengthen the practical skills, the linkage with industry and finally improve work accessibility to Polytechnic’s graduates in Ghana. Analysis shows that the CBE approach enhances job accessibility better than the normal programmes and at the same time equips trainees with considerable skills required in industry. However, the limited number of students enrolled on the CBE program, the lack of awareness and proper readiness for CBE approach, have contributed to limit the effective implementation of the CBE system in Ghana.
Nigeria. Repositioning technical and vocational education toward eradicating unemployment in Nigeria
The problem of unemployment in Nigeria, especially among the youths has been variously expressed to be alarming if not endemic. As a result of this, various recommendations had been proffered toward ameliorating the menace unfortunately to no avail. Hence, the essence of this research work is to examine the repositioning of Technical and Vocational Education (TVE) as a panacea to unemployment in Nigeria. Result of findings showed that the original intention of Vocational and Technical Education had been distorted, hence the need for a sincere repositioning in the area of adequate funding, infrastructural development, human capital development, educational policy restructuring toward skill acquisition, research development, and the need to reposition the regulatory body (NBTE) among others.
We investigate the labour market determinants and outcomes of adult participation in formal education (lifelong learning) in Australia, a country with high levels of adult education. Employing longitudinal data and fixed effects methods allows identification of effects on outcomes free of ability bias. Different trends in outcomes across groups are also allowed for. The impacts of adult education differ by gender and level of study, with small or zero labour market returns in many cases. Wage rates only increase for males undertaking university studies. For men, vocational education and training (VET) lead to higher job satisfaction and fewer weekly hours. For women, VET is linked to higher levels of satisfaction with employment opportunities and higher employment probabilities.