Category Archives: Vocational Education and Training

Investing in Indonesia’s youth and female entrepreneurs to fix training mismatch

By | Jobs, TVET International, Vocational Education and Training, Youth | No Comments

With over 250 million people, Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation.  And the youth population makes up around half of the total population – below the age of 30.  This equates to a 21.6% youth unemployment rate – an alarming statistic.Indonesia pic

With key industries including agriculture, mining, manufacturing, construction, transport, community services and restaurants and hotels, Indonesia could benefit from investing in upskiling it’s youth in these trades as well as encouraging more women into entrepreneurship. Read More

VET FEE-HELP scrapped, entitlements dumped & VET workforce tested

By | Funding, Reform, Training Pacakges, Vocational Education and Training | 6 Comments

For some 2015 was an Annus horribilis in VET, for others they just got on with it, and if you are a VET leader then you most likely redirected your energy, strategy and thinking.

This blog post outlines possible futures for VET in Australia covering changes, what may be dumped or scrapped, with 2016 a year of reckoning and regeneration.

Firstly let’s talk about two “R’s” – regulation and responsibility. Read More

Educating and training Africa’s large youth population through TVET – the master key

By | TVET International, Vocational Education and Training, Youth | No Comments

Recent statistics reveal 40% of Africans are under the age of 15, compared to the world average of 25%… which lays down the challenge to ensure the continent’s youth population get the skills required to bring about economic advantage and employment.

According to a recent article, a balance is needed between higher education and vocational training in Africa to face the task of upskilling an enormous youth population.youth-of-south-africa-happy-faces-725x475

Governments and international institutions are paying increasing attention to Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET).  It is one of eight priority areas in the African Union’s Second Decade of Education (2006-2015).

The demand is enormous, with three out of five unemployed in sub-Saharan Africa being young people, surviving mostly in the informal economy. Read More

Tackling skills shortages in Fiji through TVET

By | TVET International, Vocational Education and Training | No Comments

Fiji is one of the most developed of the Pacific island economies – with its $1.64 billion GDP, generated by a workforce of just 335,000.  In 2012, Fiji’s economy rose by 2.5%, followed by a 2.7% growth in 2013, with agriculture, manufacturing and financial intermediation sectors the key forces behind this growth.

Sugar, textile exports, timber and still mineral water were traditional drivers of the Fiji economy up until recently, with the tourism industry now leading the way.  The country’s gross earnings from tourism in 2011 totalled $1.051 billion, more than the combined revenues of the country’s top five exports – fish, water, garments, timber and gold.Suva

Tourism and the Fiji economy

According to the Economic Impact, travel and tourism contributed to 13.8% of the total GDP and is forecast to rise by 5.1% pa during 2014-2024, to 18.7% of total GDP in 2024.

In 2013 Fiji’s tourism industry supported 43,000 jobs – 12.4% of total employment.  This figure is also expected to rise by 3.3% pa to 63,000 jobs (17.1% of total employment) by 2024.

Some big numbers…

But it’s not all surf, sunshine and sand.  Fiji is suffering a skills shortage. Read More

High youth unemployment in Uganda – TVET and workforce development is addressing this challenge

By | TVET International, Vocational Education and Training | No Comments

Youth unemployment remains a serious challenge in Uganda.

A fast-growing labour force (4.7% per year), inadequate investment and supply of jobs, and a lack of skills are key issues preventing youth employment.

Uganda ag workforceWith the potential to add 10 million workers into the market by 2020, Uganda is implementing programs aimed at creating employment specifically for youth. Industry focussed workforce development strategies could enhance these programs and employment outcomes.

Agriculture employing up to 66% of labour force

Agriculture is the main sector of employment in Uganda – providing jobs to 66% of the entire workforce, compared to 28% in the services and industrial sectors.

But despite the massive youth employment in agriculture, less than 5% are paid to do this work.  The majority are engaged as family workers or informal employment accounts, with no wages. Read More

Australian VET sector gets smashed by Senate Committee report

By | Funding, Reform, Vocational Education and Training | One Comment

Like many of you, I sat down with a cup of tea to read the Education and Employment References Committee report and as soon as I start I think, “such a weird beginning to The Senate: Education and Employment References Committee report with the following on the front page,

Getting our money’s worth: the operation, regulation and funding of private vocational education and training (VET) providers in Australia.

I feel it’s going down a really odd negative track but maybe it gets better from here?  But as the report describes entrenched allegations akin to hearing court evidence from a nasty case I think not,

1.9 The committee has been provided and has heard harrowing and concerning evidence of misconduct by private VET providers. The private VET sector has been subject to a range of allegations in the public arena not limited to that of exploitative conduct, shoddy training and massive profits at the public expense.senate

1.10 It is an irony that in the name of social justice an exploitative scheme to enrich individuals has been allowed to flourish at the expense of the most vulnerable who end up with a debt, but no qualification, or a worthless qualification. Read More

Philippines: TVET restructuring to support booming outsourcing industry

By | TVET International, Vocational Education and Training | No Comments

The Philippines’ booming outsourcing industry now employs a million people, after growing almost tenfold in just over a decade – with expected earnings of $18 billion in 2015.

The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector is driving the country’s economy.  The industry accounted for 5.6% of Philippine’s GDP, which is expected to grow to 7.8% by 2016 and ongoing workforce development can help support this rapid growth.


Companies around the world are looking to the Philippines for BPO functions, for its low cost and English-speaking workforce, along with a supportive government.  Payroll tax, benefits administration, time & labor management, IT support and administration, is all provided at a fraction of the price in the majority of western markets.  And there’s no sign of slowing down.

The country is expanding into other outsourcing sectors including software development and IT outsourcing, animation and game development as well as healthcare information management (HIM) outsourcing. Read More

Brunei: Overcoming local unemployment by transforming TVET

By | TVET International, Vocational Education and Training | No Comments

Foreign workers make up the majority of Brunei’s workforce – 70% of the country’s 150,000 population.  Working in Brunei is attractive, as there is no income tax to pay and the cost of living is much lower than in many western countries.  As a result, local unemployment has reached 10%.

Brunei workforceThere is a shortage of skilled labour in the country – so local organisations have to look abroad for workers with specialist skills.  The government is seeking to limit the number of foreign workers in the country, through investing in up skilling their own.

A closer look at Brunei

Brunei’s small, wealthy economy is a mixture of foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation, and welfare measures.  Oil and natural gas production account for about 90% of its GDP – ranking Brunei one of the highest in Asia and the fifth richest nation (out of 182).

Brunei is standing out for its commitment to its own workforce. Read More

The World TVET Conference 2015 – innovation through partnerships & collaboration

By | TVET International, Vocational Education and Training | One Comment

Last month, I spoke in Sarawak, Malaysia at the World TVET Conference, presenting on “Innovation through Partnerships and Collaboration in TVET” facilitated by IVETA.  This key note presentation focused on innovative partnerships and collaboration through Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) addressing business and industry needs as well as regional development that underpins economic development.IMG_6918

An amazing experience, meeting so many people from around the world all passionate about Vocational Education and Training and people skills development, was truly heart-warming.  It was an absolute privilege to be looked after by the team at PPKS, especially Dahlia who greeted me at Kuching airport and Baha who headed the organising committee from Sarawak.

The night before the conference there was an event for speakers, committee members and VIP’s where we were given beads as gifts and understood that there were 1000 people registered from 28 countries. Read More