Skill development

3rd ILO-Korea TVET Forum: Skills Development for an Inclusive Future for Asia and the Pacific Region

The 3rd ILO-Korea TVET Forum, co-hosted by the ILO, the Ministry of Employment and Labour of the Republic of Korea and KOREATECH, provides a platform in the continuation of support towards the region’s efforts in achieving inclusive future through enhanced skills and lifelong learning.

TVET Forum 2023, Bangkok, Thailand, 7 - 8 November 2023. © ILO

Background

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, ILO’s Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work (2019), and the ILO Global Call to Action for a Human-Centred Recovery from the COVID-19 Crisis place renewed emphasis on skills development and lifelong learning as “key enablers of human development, full, productive and freely chosen employment and decent work, productivity improvement and sustainable development.”

In Asia and the Pacific region, the ILO has been leading key tripartite policy dialogues on the theme of skills and the future of work since 2016.  The 1st ILO-Korea TVET Forum in October 2016 with the theme of Jobs, Skills and Strategies for the Future: Perspectives from Asia-Pacific kick-started the discussion on skills and the future of work, that was relatively new to the region at that time.  The 2nd ILO-Korea TVET Forum in November 2018, titled Skills and the Future of Work Strategies for Inclusive Growth in Asia and the Pacific, facilitated a sharing of the latest knowledge and experiences on effective policy options and reform initiatives including the challenges.  The 2nd Forum also included the launch of an ILO publication, which presented the front-line thinking and initiatives in the region on the subject of skills for the future with the view of informing Member States the possible course of actions as they prepare to meet future skills challenges.  

The conclusions from the 2nd TVET Forum in 2018 reflected, amongst many other things, the concern that most of the existing training systems are skewed towards entry level skills training and encourages a higher emphasis on mid-level skills development as it is crucial for people to up-skill/re-skill, in light of the transformative changes in the labour markets. The existing linear approach to training and competency frameworks should give way or be complemented with a more diverse/multi-sectoral approach training, from an angle of possessing multiple domains of capabilities.  The policy makers need to allow for lifelong learning and different variations in TVET. It was proposed that TVET institutions should focus on skills anticipation mechanisms through artificial intelligence or big data technology; quality apprenticeships system; and lifelong learning. Additionally, future skills policy should use labour market information as a means to help the workforce build skills’ depth in a fast-changing environment.

At the global level, the ILO’s Member States adopted the new international labour standard on Quality Apprenticeship (ILO Recommendation 208) at the annual International Labour Conference in June 2023.  Responding to the renewed and elevated importance of skills development and lifelong learning as key enablers of human development and freely chosen employment and decent work, productivity improvement and sustainable development, the new ILO’s strategy on Skills and Lifelong Learning 2030 was also formulated and published also in June, 2023 presenting the key steps the ILO - in collaboration with relevant development partners – will undertake in the period 2022-2030 to strengthen its global leadership in skills development and lifelong learning systems.  

Meanwhile, ILO member States, including of Asia and the Pacific, have pursued their efforts in strengthening skills policies and systems to be more responsive, inclusive, quality assured and future ready.  The pandemic has accelerated digitization all sectors of economy, including the TVET sector. It also re-highlighted and in many cases widened existing inequality, further fuelling the interest and attention on the importance of skills development in promoting inclusive growth.

Objectives

The ILO-Korea TVET Forum, 2023 will be the third bi-annual forum which has been co-hosted by the ILO, the Ministry of Employment and Labour of the Republic of Korea and KOREATECH to continue supporting the region’s efforts in achieving inclusive future through enhanced skills and lifelong learning.  The Forum serves as a platform to deliberate the implementation of the ILO’s Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work as well as ILO’s new strategy on Skills and Lifelong Learning 2030.

The purpose of the Forum is to review and analyse the variety of national responses, and progress made, in advancing reforms of skills and TVET systems and providing evidence of what has and has not worked in the effort and explaining what would assist in guiding future policy and reform endeavours in the region. The Forum intends to deepen the debates by sharing the experiences and perspectives of the tripartite representatives and TVET institutions in the region.

Date and Venue

The 3rd ILO-Korea TVET Forum, 2023 will be held at Conrad Hotel on 7-8 December in Bangkok Thailand.

Participants

The Forum will bring together representatives of governments, employers and workers’ organizations from 9 countries in ASEAN (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), the academic and experts’ communities, and relevant Korean agencies and training institutions working in the area of employment and skills development. Participants will also include TVET institutions from ASEAN countries, regional employers and workers’ organizations (ACE, ATUC), international and regional agencies (UNESCO, ADB, GIZ, SEAMEO VOCTECH), and ASEC and ATC.