ILO highlights the need for TVET’s transformation to address skills gap, future of work and human-centred agenda in Timor-Leste

The ILO participates in the panel discussion addressing the challenges faced by and new directions needed by Timor-Leste’s technical vocational education and training (TVET) at the 2nd Timor-Leste International Skills Conference.

News | Dili, Timor-Leste | 19 August 2022
Michiko Miyamoto, ILO’s Country Director for Timor-Leste (far left) presented the ILO's perspectives on skills development and future of work.
Michiko Miyamoto, ILO’s Country Director for Timor-Leste, highlighted the important linkage between future of work and Timor-Leste’s innovative Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) during her participation at the 2nd Timor-Leste International Skills conference. Held for two days from 15-16 August, the Conference raised a theme of TVET in Transition: Increasing the Quality and Inclusiveness of Timor-Leste’s TVET for National Development.

Today, globally, 207 million people are unable to find employment opportunities. At the same time, 69 percent of employers are struggling to find skilled workers they need; while more than 1 out 5 youth are out of employment, education or training. This gap among “jobs”, “skills” and “aspiration” is one of the root causes of the vicious cycle of low productivity, lack of decent work opportunities and unsustainable development path."

Michiko Miyamoto, ILO’s Country Director for Timor-Leste
Attended by more than 500 participants, Michiko discussed the skills gap that has created barriers for both employers and workers, particularly youth, in fulfilling skills needed in new, emerging employment during the conference session on challenges and new directions for TVET in Timor-Leste. She also raised a key question related to the ongoing social and economic transformation: “What will be the jobs of the future and what skills will they require?”.

“Today, globally, 207 million people are unable to find employment opportunities. At the same time, 69 percent of employers are struggling to find skilled workers they need; while more than 1 out 5 youth are out of employment, education or training. This gap among “jobs”, “skills” and “aspiration” is one of the root causes of the vicious cycle of low productivity, lack of decent work opportunities and unsustainable development path,” explained Michiko.

She also shared the impact of the pandemic to learning and training systems. Despite the benefits gained by students and teachers from transitioning to online and distance learning, the digital divide has widened the inequalities in society causing enormous learning losses for students. “These challenges came on top of the pre-existing mega-trends, such as technological advancement, climate change and demographic shifts, all of which have profound implications for changes in skills demand. Therefore, this is clearly a moment when we need new solutions for skills and lifelong learning,” she added.

The theme of today’s conference, promotion of quality and inclusive TVET, is clearly a priority for the ILO and its members."

The ILO has placed a great emphasis on the importance of investing in people’s capability through its human-centred agenda for the future of work. The ILO’s member States have also adopted a resolution in support of the development of a new International Labour Standard on Quality Apprenticeships last June during the 110th session of the International Labour Conference (ILO). To date, the ILO supports 61 countries on skills and lifelong learning, focusing on skills policies and systems, skills strategies for future labour market, skills for social inclusion and work-based learning.

“Furthermore, this coming up November, there will be a discussion on a draft ILO Strategy on Skills and Lifelong Learning for its possible adoption. Thus, the theme of today’s conference, promotion of quality and inclusive TVET, is clearly a priority for the ILO and its members,” she concluded.

Other speakers in this panel included the representatives from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), ASEAN Future Workforce Council and Integrated TVET Expert at the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO). They discussed issues related to TVET’s entrepreneurship training programme, the involvement of industry to ensure job matching as well as skills supply and demand, the coordination between education and training institutions with industries and skilled migrant workers as job opportunities.

During the Conference, Michiko also officially handed over ILO’s contribution of 10 tablets to the Labour Market Information of Department of the Secretariat State for Vocational and Employment (SEFOPE) to support Enterprise and Skill Survey 2022 and other data collections to improve evidence-based approach for policy development.

To view the overall ILO’s presentation titled “ILO Actions on Skills and Lifelong Learning”, click here.