With the ever-evolving landscape of industry and technological advancements, the demand for a skilled workforce has become paramount. However, in many countries, especially in the global South, TVET plays a minor role in this regard: Large parts of the employees in industry often lack vocational qualifications, so that skills development takes place primarily on-the-job – while public TVET in particular is considered to be of little relevance. Against this backdrop, this Special Issue looks in particular at how TVET is linked to very different industries (e.g. garments, electronics) in different countries. In conclusion, the authors contribute to highlighting best practice examples from their respective countries by also highlighting the relevance of TVET research and the role of teachers and trainers for ensuring that TVET can contribute to overall economic and social development.
TVET@Asia Issue 22: Skills for Industry: The Role of Vocational Skills Development in the Context of Industrial Transformation
This study examines skills shortages as well as growth and transformation in the manufacturing industry in Lao PDR and explores training preferences of employers in the sector. The research draws on a survey of 144 formal sector companies, focusing on the Garment, and Food & Beverage industries. The results reveal that both industries have undergone significant growth and transformation. The Food & Beverage sector has witnessed remarkable expansion, while the Garment industry has demonstrated resilience and adaptability. Although some skills shortages exist, particularly in the Food & Beverage industry, the study finds surprisingly few challenges in filling positions despite rapid economic growth. Manufacturing companies prioritize hands-on skills and experience over formal education when hiring.
Enhancing Industry Experience of TVET Teachers: An Analysis of the Case of Lao PDR with a Focus on Teachers Catering to the Garments, Food Processing and Electronics Industries
It is generally recognized that TVET teachers are better suited to impart relevant professional competencies if they themselves have extensive experience in the world of work (e.g., in industry or the trades). In many parts of the world, however, this is not the case, not least because many teachers go straight into teaching after an academic education. For this reason, policy makers have tried to integrate the acquisition of professional experience into the training of TVET teachers. The following article discusses this topic using the example of Lao PDR, in particular through an assessment of current levels of industry experience of TVET teachers in Lao PDR. The study used mixed methods: a quantitative survey (n = 74) and qualitative semi-structured interviews (n = 9). The article finds that the main reason for lack of industry experience amongst TVET teachers is poor cooperation between training providers and industrial enterprises. The article proposes ways to improve cooperation, so that teachers gain more experience in industry as part of their professional development.
On 11th February 2013 the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) declared by decree (cp. MoES 2013) the standards developed by the Faculty of Engineering as binding for the education of vocational teachers at bachelor level in Lao PDR. Which development preceded the enacting of this important decree?
All stakeholders involved in vocational education agree that the quality of vocational training in Lao PDR matches neither the requirements of the Lao labour market, nor the requirements of a future ASEAN market. At the same time, there is agreement about the fact that the quality of the training depends most crucially on the teachers’ competency. As a direct consequence the Ministry of Education and Sports appointed the Faculty of Engineering, more specifically the relevant Vocational Teacher Education Department (VTED), to develop standards for vocational teachers.