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In view of the immense importance technical and vocational education and training (TVET) holds for social and economic development, one can simply never underestimate the significance of the collaboration between all stakeholders at all levels in this process. Learners can only be introduced into their professional community of practice during their education and training phase when given the opportunity to learn at authentic, real workplaces in close contact to their future peers. For several years workplace learning has been high on the TVET agenda in many countries worldwide, not only serving the learners but also the companies, by giving them the inestimably valuable opportunity to become acquainted with their future employees in advance of actually hiring them and in addition being able to shape both their education and training. In determining what should be learnt, in terms of developing curricula, a share of that input must come from the corporate sector, for one of the significant roles of TVET is to prepare a skilled workforce for the economy. Vocational teachers must have access to the world of work simply to be able to find out what it is that their students should learn in the here and now.
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Vocational teacher education is a relevant field of continuous development in Asia and in other world regions. Concepts, initiatives and declarations on the professional development of TVET personnel have frequently been issued by relevant stakeholders at a number of significant international meetings. Among them are the following:
Ten years ago the UNESCO International Meeting on Innovation and Excellence in TVET Teacher/Trainer Education was held in Hangzhou, China. This meeting recommended developing TVET into an internationally acknowledged scientific community in order to professionalize TVET teacher/trainer education and to integrate TVET as sustainable, reproductive and innovative scientific systems in national approaches to innovation. To implement TVET Teacher Education study programs at the Masters level were considered one of the necessary steps.
The First World Congress on Teacher Education for Technical and Vocational Education and Training held in 2008 in Bandung, Indonesia reaffirmed this request by recommending that TVET teacher/trainer education should encompass “studies in the analysis, design and evaluation of (a) vocational learning, educational and qualification processes, (b) occupational work and business processes, (c) technology as an object of work and learning processes, and (d) critical pedagogy for social change”. The Bandung declaration in addition asked for the establishment of “frameworks for promoting the continuing professional development of TVET practitioners”, a request implicitly included in the Hangzhou declaration.
Transferable skills in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET): Implications for TVET teacher policies in Indonesia
Transferable skills are an essential part of the desirable outcomes of vocational education and have therefore become the focus of the Indonesian vocational education system. The concept is expressed through different terms, such as life skill education, but is still poorly developed in Indonesia. The available educational regulations provide neither a clear definition nor specific instructional guidelines, which would enable educators to translate the concept into practice. In fact, different approaches have been taken to integrating the transferable skills concept into vocational education in Indonesia, such as structuring and restructuring of several competencies within the frequently-reformed vocational curriculum.
Rapid changes occurring in the world of work persistently challenge the actors of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to update vocational curricula maintaining its relevance to the world of work. TVET teachers are the very actors at the forefront facing the challenge. The ability of teachers to identify the current competences needed by the world of work is of the most important competencies a TVET teacher requires to enable them to make day-to-day improvements of their vocational curricula.
In line with this challenge, the research project entitled “Occupational Competence Need Analysis” attempts to pilot the application of methods to analyse the current situation in the world of work in terms of the core occupational tasks required to perform an occupation. The methods, employed in the research process were (1) occupational sector analysis, (2) expert worker workshop and (3) work process analysis.
Wind power is a dynamically developing sector in Germany, fuelled by the need to combat climate change and by the German government’s decision to shut down all nuclear power plants following the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The sector needs an appropriately educated and trained workforce, both at the skilled workers’ and the academic (engineering) levels. At the same time there is a shortage of well-educated engineers on the German labour market. Together with political initiatives for “advancement through education” and for enhancing the permeability between vocational and higher education this has encouraged the University of Applied Sciences in Bremerhaven in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology to embark on the development of a Bachelor program in wind power technology.