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  • 03 Jan 2016 10:08 AM | IVETA (Administrator)

    IVETA, by definition and charter, is an association for VET practitioners the world over. In other words, it is international. But, is there such a thing as international VET? Or, to put it another way, is it possible that VET is an international, rather than a national or local, phenomenon?

    Depending on what measure you use, there are around 190 countries on this planet today. However, there are more than 200 VET systems meaning that in some countries workplace and vocational trainers and assessors must operate under two or more of them simultaneously. Given that the same vocational skills can be found in just about every country, the question of why there are so many systems, and why there are so many differences between these systems, is an intriguing one.

    The answer lies in the notion of contextualisation. The purpose (as opposed to the objective) of all VET systems is the achievement of economic, community and industry outcomes, not just learning outcomes. And the quality of such systems is evaluated based on measurements taken of how well this purpose is being achieved. While most are capable of meeting the immediate needs for trained and qualified staff, in the main their ability to achieve higher level economic, national and business objectives are limited in just about every case. This means that the value of VET in my countries is limited to how well it may be applied in the context of where and how it is applied. But with so many systems in the world today it is difficult to understand which, if any, is capable of achieving such a purpose on a national or global scale. Evidence from some countries shows that despite having such a system in place for nearly a quarter of a century, economic outcomes and productivity is either static or declining. But, on the other hand, there are systems being applied in some countries which are extremely effective, even though there are certain aspects of all VET systems which are the same wherever they are applied.

    What appears to limit the internationality of some systems is that they are so tightly regulated that their relevance outside of their own bureaucracy is virtually non-existent. This is even true within some countries where the VET system is ideal for urban or large industry employees but cannot be contextualised to the needs of regional and rural workers. As a result, a high degree of training may be carried out, but the skills and knowledge being imparted - and, more importantly, the competency that individuals gain - are often unrecognised outside of the immediate environment in which the training was conducted. Qualifications and credentials are not recognised between industries (and, in some cases, workplaces) or in other states and regions, competencies are not transportable across borders, and individuals must relearn skills and knowledge they already possess in order to meet new and often fast-changing regulations and standards.

    But, is this the reason why we do not have an 'international' VET system, or even a system which is ideal for all workers and industries in a country or region? The fact is that we actually do have such a system, and it has been with us ever since the first generation systems were created in the 1990s.

    When all of the peripheral aspects of most VET systems are peeled back, when the bureaucracy and regulations systems are scraped away, it is possible to see that at the heart of all VET systems there are many similarities. by defining all of the positive aspects of every VET system, and their potential to achieve both individual and organisational/industry objectives, it has been possible to create one single VET system which is appropriate to the needs of all countries. The InVETS (International VET System) has been created In order to better understand the potential of VET to be more than traditional adult and work-related training and education, and to bring some sanity to the skills and knowledge that trainers and assessors must apply if they are to meet the needs of their clients (ie, trainees and current/future employers) and the communities, industries and workplaces within which they work or seek employment. Organisations, industries, and associations such as IVETA can employ the InVETS as a benchmark against which trainers and assessors can demonstrate their competence not just against the standards demanded of their own VET system but of all others. And, at the same time, bring world best-practice in VET to the systems in which they operate.

    More importantly, recognition that their skills and knowledge are at a level commensurate with world best-practice gives trainers and assessors the confidence that the outcomes they are achieve are at a higher level than those whose  training is designed simply to meet learning outcomes.

    The InVETS is based on many years' research and over two years' development, and its global relevance has been tested with experts and practitioners the world over. It is currently taken up by VET trainers and assessors the world over.

    Phil Rutherford Ph.D

    Web: www.3gpm.com/drphilrutherford

  • 18 Dec 2015 7:11 AM | IVETA (Administrator)

    Article by Margo Couldrey General Secretary IVETA

    IVETA’s Vice-President for North America John Gaal organised and chaired IVETA’s annual conference in New Orleans on 18 and 19 November 2015. The conference program allowed for enthusiastic discussions after each presentation with conference participants attending from 11 countries.

    One of my favourite parts of the program was the tours especially visits to Café Hope and YaYa Arts.

    Café Hope was inspirational. There young people from all sorts of backgrounds learn skills in cooking, customer service, business management and growing produce.  In a fully equipped kitchen and restaurant they prepare and serve delicious food and along the way work with their instructors and each other to resolve other challenging life issues and learn a range of life and work skills.

    What I like most about this program is that it takes a ‘whole-of-person’ approach, offering what I saw as ‘wrap-around’ support for each individual that is not time-limited. All of the student’s individual needs are recognised and considered and the learning goes far beyond work, setting the young people up with the skills to live a fulfilling work and personal life. In a study I undertook for the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency in 2014 about issues in labour force participation for youth at risk, we found that holistic, long-term programs that involve individualised and wraparound services are critical, as they identify and respond to all the person’s barriers to workforce participation, both personal and work/learning related.

    We also found that there are no quick fixes. It takes perseverance and requires stability and flexibility of funding to achieve good outcomes and that while the approaches may seem costly the social and economic costs of not doing it are greater.  Café Hope is putting all this into practice and can offer a learning model for others to look at.

    I loved their garden where students, many for the first time, experience what it means to till the soil and to grow and harvest their own food. I also really appreciated seeing the students’ daily reflections posted on the walls outside the kitchen about what they feel grateful for and what their challenges of the day have been. We could all learn from that.  Here is Café Hope’s website if you want to see what they are doing. http://www.cafehope.org/

    YaYa Arts Centre in New Orleans is also an inspiration, particularly for me as I’ve always longed to develop a creative side. YaYa’s mission is:

    To empower creative young people to become successful adults. We provide educational experiences in the arts and entrepreneurship to New Orleans-area children and youth, fostering and supporting their individual ambitions.

    After school programs and classes are offered to young people in a range of art forms but the holistic learning not only includes creative skills but skills in production, marketing, business, problem solving and entrepreneurship, aiming to use the power of creativity to unleash young people’s potential. Once again we met enthusiastic instructors passionate about their art and the opportunities they have to pass on their skills and knowledge to young people. 

    Have a look at YaYa’s website http://yayainc.org/ and their impressive statistics which include:

    • 98% of students who participate in YAYA graduate high school on time.
    • 93% say they plan to attend college.
    • 83% say art makes them feel good about themselves.
    • 75% say art helps express themselves and their thoughts.

    I’ve long had a view that art, music and culture have the power to engage people (and not just young people) in learning and our visit to YaYa confirmed that view.

    I bought a little piece of glass art from the gallery at the centre and it sits on my desk as a reminder of a great visit in a wonderful city.

  • 01 Dec 2015 5:55 AM | IVETA (Administrator)

    View/download the latest issue of the IVETA Journal by clicking here.

    You must be an IVETA member to access the Journal. Members will need to log-in with  email and password. If you forgot your password, use the "forgot password" function and it will be emailed to you.


  • 29 Nov 2015 11:35 AM | IVETA (Administrator)

    Thanks to all the presenters and attendees who participate in the 2015 IVETA Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA, USA on 18-19 November!

    Click here for a link to the presentations that were shared during the Meeting.

    Conference participants heard from presenters from around the globe and participated in tours, including Cafe Hope, Mardi Gras World and YaYa Arts. Participants also heard presentations in conjunction with ACTER and participated in networking events.

    Thanks to Conference Chair John Gaal for providing the content of the meeting and IVETA President Carmel Thompson for leadership of the Executives.


  • 26 Nov 2015 7:40 AM | IVETA (Administrator)


    Nick Wyman was a featured speaker at the 2016 IVETA Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA, USA.

    If you weren't able to hear his presentation at the conference, here is a review of his book.



    Wyman, N. (2015). Job U: How to find wealth and success by developing the skills companies actually need. New York: Crown Business, U.S. $15.00/$18.00 CAN (softcover), 276 pp. (ISBN 978-0-8041-4078-2)

    Reviewed by Farid Safarmamad[1]

    Nicholas Wyman’s Job U: How to find wealth and success by developing the skills companies actually need (hereafter, Job U) discusses one of the major concerns both youths and adults have in today’s difficult economy – how to land decent employment. The author challenges the conventional perception that the best way to find a good job is by attaining a four-year college degree.  In this book he offers “a new and different way of looking at the path to a fulfilling and successful work life” (p. 1) and “hopes to debunk” the college degree-focused mindset (p. 31) by providing “practical tools and inspiration” (p. 255).  

    Mr. Wyman, a former culinary apprentice and a graduate of Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School of Government, is currently CEO of the Institute for Workplace Skills and Innovation. He is an expert in workforce development and “a hands-on leader” who designed and developed mentorship and apprenticeship programs to help people match their skills with the demands in the labor markets (Skillsresearch, para. 2). In particular, he is passionate about helping young people to make their school-to-work transition less challenging through partnership with schools, industries, educational institutions, and governments.

    Job U was published at a time when the gap between the people’s skills and the labor market’s demands is continuously becoming wider. As a result, the number of unemployed and underemployed young people is increasing. The paradox, however, is that while millions of people are struggling to find jobs, companies are complaining about lack of skilled workers. This trend, the author says, will continue in the near future, because the baby boomers will soon retire.

    Mr. Wyman argues that one of the major contributing factors to the current job-skills gap is the “college for everyone” mindset that misleads parents, school counselors, and educators. As a result, these groups see four-year college degrees as the only way to a successful future. Employers, too, subscribe to this traditional notion, and most of the time they believe that skilled workers can only come from four-year institutions. In addition, he states that the “college for everyone” notion leads to stigmatizing other viable options and pathways to successful employment, including vocational/career and technical education (CTE), apprenticeship, community colleges, and other occupational certificate programs.

    The author then discusses the value and importance of these alternative pathways in the dedicated three chapters (3-5). In these chapters, Mr. Wyman convincingly disputes the myth about college education as a single path and provides extensive quantitative and qualitative evidence to support his advocacy for the above-mentioned alternative pathways.

    Referencing to different studies, reports, and his own interviews with various stakeholders and beneficiaries and visits to CTE high schools, community colleges, and apprenticeship programs, the author claims that non-baccalaureate education provides a broader range of skills development and employment opportunities than baccalaureate. In addition, Mr. Wyman discusses the economic aspect of these alternative pathways saying that enrolling, for example, in a technical community college will result in students and families incurring less short-term financial burden and long-term loan debt.

    The author asserts that not only is apprenticeship free of charge, but it also provides students with the opportunity to earn an income while learning a skill. At the same time, apprenticeships often represent a win-win situation by guaranteeing a future job for the students and skilled workers for the companies that organize such programs. Finally, Job U presents various successful models of skill development and partnership between educational institutions, employers, and government in Australia, U.K, and the U.S. The author advises both young people and adults to seek as much information and guidance as possible before career decision-making. To combat unemployment and skills mismatch, he recommends other employers and education providers to replicate the successful practices of partnership mentioned. Indeed, as Ashford (2014) states, “[t]he most successful organizations, as we move toward 2025, will be those that seek innovative partnerships across multiple stakeholders in order to source and develop the talent they need” (p. 109). 

    Job U is an informative book for all, but it has particular relevance for secondary students, parents, school administrators, career counsellors, educators, researchers, and employers The book is inspiring, based on quantitative and qualitative research, and written in a plain English that makes it easy to understand for readers from different backgrounds. In addition, the book provides numerous online resources that are especially helpful for high school graduates who are transitioning to labor market for the first time and older adults who might be thinking of changing career. Given that the book focuses on the experiences of countries with advanced economies and technology, it will be less helpful for students from developing countries.  Job U, however, can be a helpful guide for CTE community worldwide to promote and develop similar vocational programs and partnership models by adapting the recommendations to their local needs. In sum, by writing this book Mr. Wyman has made a valuable contribution to the global effort of promoting and improving CTE image.      

     

    Farid Safarmamad (fsafarma@odu.edu) is a doctoral student in the Occupational and Technical Studies Program, Department of STEM and Professional Studies, Darden College of Education, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

  • 07 Nov 2015 8:50 AM | IVETA (Administrator)

    Are you interested in participating in an international externship for educators that reveals a time-tested strategy? Then join us next spring while we examine successful aspects of Germany’s Advanced Manufacturing sector.

    Dr. Joe Wise has offered to act as the tour guide for an Apprenticeship Tour of Germany in Spring 2016. Joe has lead this tour for several years back since the early to mid-2000s. We plan to investigate what makes the German model of apprenticeship the envy of the world when it comes to career and technical education (CTE / TVET). There will be 3 major stops: Munich (to showcase labor-management relations that makes this system tick), Nuremberg (to tour one of the most automated factories in the world: mechatronics), and Berlin (to experience Siemens train-the-trainer model). The estimated cost of this tour will be approx $5500.

    A minimum of 10 paid registrations and a maximum of 15 paid registrations are required to ensure this tour will be pursued. Deadline for registration is Jan 8, 2016.

    Please contact the following for registration info:

    Dr. John Gaal
    Director of Training & Workforce Development
    STL-KC Carpenters Regional Council
    1401 Hampton AVE
    St. Louis, MO 63139
    jgaal@carpdc.org
    314-678-1113

    Proposed Agenda:

    Sunday

    Monday

    Tuesday

    Wednesday

    Thursday

    Friday

    Saturday

    6-Mar

    7-Mar

    8-Mar

    9-Mar

    10-Mar

    11-Mar

    12-Mar

    Arrive Munich

    Meet with Chamber of Crafts

    Depart for Nuremberg

    Visit Siemens Factory

    Depart for Berlin

    Visit Siemens Academy

    Depart for USA

     

  • 24 Sep 2015 7:33 PM | IVETA (Administrator)

    - by Javier Amaro

    inSha

    TVET2015ALessons from World TVET Conference 2015 – Day one
    Vocational development is a lifelong journey and VET providers must prepare individuals for advanced occupational standards that have evolved from work-task based to work-process focused.

    It was a pleasure and an honour for me to present at the World TVET Conference 2015 in Kuching, Malaysia. Education and training professionals from around the world had the opportunity to get together for a few days and discuss the transformation and globalisation of technical and vocational education and its effect on developing living skills in the 21st century.

    Read More - click here

  • 22 Sep 2015 4:45 PM | IVETA (Administrator)

    By John Peterson

    Being part of a community of any kind can be a wonderful experience. Discovering a global community and being instantly welcomed in from the cold is on a whole different level.

    This is what I experienced last week when I attended the World Technical Global Vocation Education and Training (TVET) Conference for 2015 as a Keynote Speaker at the Borneo Convention Centre in Malaysia.   Click here to read the rest of the article.

  • 14 Sep 2015 7:57 AM | IVETA (Administrator)


    IVETA was honoured to be invited to partner with the Sarawak Skills Development Centre in holding the World TVET Conference in Kuching Malaysia from 25 to 27 August 2015. At the conclusion of what was an incredibly stimulating and exciting conference, a number of conference delegates including several of us from the IVETA Executive were privileged to have the opportunity to visit and tour the Centre of Technical Excellence Sarawak known as Centexs.

    The Centexs brand is expressed as ‘setting the gold standard for technical training in Sarawak’.

    It is a new centre. It was officially launched by the Governor of Sarawak in October 2014 and is spearheading Sarawak’s determination to build the skills needed for Sarawak’s rapidly growing industry base and economy.

    There are currently six program areas - oil and gas, construction, electrical, port, manufacturing and hospitality and 500 students annually but with a clear plan to expand the occupations covered and extend to new campuses. All the trades are industry-certified and conducted in partnership with industry to ensure that the students graduate with skills that meet industry needs and labour market demands.

    But all those are just facts. It’s visiting Centexs that makes you feel inspired.  I’ve worked in the Australian vocational education and training system for 16 years and I’m proud of our system but I learned so much from Centexs about engagement with industry for real world skills and how if TVET is seen as high status and high outcome it motivates students and staff to achieve as nothing else can. There is also a focus on entrepreneurship, equipping students with the skills and belief in the value of establishing a small business which can grow and prosper, an integrated approach we could learn from in Australia where so much of our economy is powered by small business.

    We were privileged to meet with the CEO and his management team, and teachers and students in the electrical, tailoring (part of the manufacturing program), welding and hospitality programs. Without fail we met teachers with long and current industry and business management experience and students excited about their studies and the prospects of success ahead. I was also personally impressed by the inclusion in the programs of ‘mental fitness training’, a concept I understand to be about building resilience and the capability to effectively manage the ups and downs of today’s world of life and work.

    Attendance at international conferences is always inspiring. They offer intellectual stimulation, new ways of thinking and new friendships that span the globe.  But in addition, for me, it’s always the stories of students and the outcomes they achieve that really lift me and stay with me.  I thank the staff and students of Centexs for sharing their stories and offering me the chance to learn from them.

    If you want to learn more http://cte-sarawak.my/about.php

    - by Margo Couldrey, IVETA General Secretary



  • 30 Aug 2015 1:26 AM | IVETA (Administrator)


    The IVETA International Conference (World TVET Conference 2015) held in Kuching, Sarawak from 25-27 August 2015 was a huge success. The theme was “Quantum Leap: Transformation and Globalisation of TVET – Living Skills in the 21st Century”.  It was the most successful international conference IVETA has ever held.  There were over 750 delegates from 22 different countries and the keynote and guest speakers  were of the highest calibre.  The program commenced at 8.00 am each day and often we were still going well into the night experiencing the incredible hospitality of our hosts and the local delegates.  Lots of networking took place which laid a platform for us to mix and talk about IVETA.  We already have over 60 new members from this conference with many more expected to join over the next couple of months.  Thank you so much to the Conference Organisers for all their hard work and particularly their Chairman and our Vice President for South Asia – Dato Haji Baharudin Bin Haji Abdullah. More than 700 delegates attended the World TVET Conference 2015 held in Kuching, Malaysia on 25-27 August.

     -by Carmel Thompson, IVETA President

    Click here for a few photos from the event.




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