An International Labour Office publication authored by Ralf Lange, Christine Hofmann and Manuela Di Cara, March 2020
TVET closures and the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic risk exacerbating inequalities and causing a “lockdown generation”. Inclusive skills development and lifelong learning opportunities are vital to prevent people from being left behind, to maintain people’s employability, and to ensure that economies and enterprises recover promptly from the crisis.
In principle, skills development systems cater to all people striving to learn relevant skills to earn a living and find their place in society. In reality, many individuals and groups in society find themselves excluded from learning opportunities, for a wide range of reasons. People in precarious, informal employment face numerous access barriers, and availability and accessibility of training centres might pose a problem for people living in remote areas or people with disabilities. Perceptions and stereotypes can influence the selection of training courses, discouraging interested persons from joining certain courses. Training environments might not be amenable to all people, causing higher drop-out rates if learning methodologies do not take account of special needs of learners or for women, if separate washrooms or lighting are not installed. After graduation, transition to employment can also be more challenging if labour market actors perpetuate discrimination. Ensuring that disadvantaged groups enjoy inclusive skills development environments will help them be more successful in transitioning to decent work
Only few national TVET policies and strategies refer to inclusion, primarily focusing on gender equality. Awareness building of policymakers is critical to expand TVET policies to all excluded individuals or groups and to move towards greater inclusion in skills development and lifelong learning for all.
This ILO guide on making TVET and skills development inclusive for all targets policymakers and representatives of workers’ and employers’ organizations engaged in skills development systems, TVET centre staff, and development practitioners providing skills policy advice. The guide aims to help skills decisionmakers and practitioners assess to what extent their TVET system is currently excluding certain individuals or groups, identifies underlying reasons, and provides practical ideas on what could be done to redress inequalities. The guide’s self-assessment tool is also available in digital format