Achievement at a glance
The second Conference on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the Caribbean (Jamaica, May 2015), strengthened this partnership. National Training Authorities, Ministries of Education, regional organisations, development partners and UNESCO-UNEVOC Centres participated. Saint Lucia’s draft National TVET Policy was informed by a TVET Policy Review conducted with UNESCO technical support. The Saint Lucia National Youth Council contributed to this process. Suriname also benefitted from technical assistance. A regional consultation on TVET in Latin America and the Caribbean was held in Santiago, Chile, 5-6 May 2016, and included experts from the University of the West Indies and CANTA.
Challenges faced in implementation
It was decided not to hold the proposed policy workshop on TVET policy review and development in the Eastern Caribbean at this stage. Instead, peer learning discussions on TVET policy review and development were incorporated within a wider meeting of the Caribbean UNEVOC Network that took place at the Second Caribbean Conference on TVET in Jamaica in May 2015. One of the challenges is that youth and students are often regarded as recipients or beneficiaries rather than partners in TVET policy dialogue and formulation. Generating awareness of this SIDS partnership by labour market stakeholders, including youth organisations, remains a challenge. Engaging youth in policy dialogue is at an early stage.
The University of the West Indies School of Education in Jamaica is a key partner for TVET in the region. Through its postgraduate teaching and research programmes it is raising awareness of the potential of TVET in the region and is strengthening the knowledge and evidence base. The University of the West Indies School of Education is actively planning the Third Caribbean Conference on TVET (2017) and a virtual meeting of the convening partners will be held shortly. There is significant potential for closer dialogue and cooperation in the policy areas of TVET and youth, including deeper engagement with development partners including donors. Work-based learning initiatives can also be supported to facilitate youth transitions in the region. UNESCO’s 2015 Recommendation concerning Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and the new UNESCO Strategy for TVET (2016-2021) provide impetus for this work.
CARICOM Member States, especially youth and other labour market stakeholders
The policy development work conducted by Saint Kitts and Nevis, by Saint Lucia, and by Suriname has generated awareness in CARICOM Member States of the importance of evidence-based TVET policies that are responsive to demands and formulated in consultation with relevant authorities and labour market stakeholders including youth. The TVET Policy Reviews given particular attention to the analysis of contexts and the need for inclusive economic growth, social equity and gender equality and sustainability. The TVET Policy Reviews in Saint Kitts and Nevis (2014), and Saint Lucia (2016), recommend broadening perspectives towards TVET and its repositioning as an orienting principle for education within a lifelong learning framework. Through networking and peer learning this partnership has helped to develop capacities to formulate TVET policies that improve school to work transitions.