Blueprint to guide for the development of TVET
For the long term strategic vision that will guide and influence reforms and development in the Technical and Vocational Educational and Training (TVET) over the next 15 years (20162030), ministry of labour and human resources has started drafting of its blueprint.
The work on the development of the TVET blueprint has commenced in May this year and the document will be presented to Cabinet in April next year.
“As we face increasing youth unemployment, the TVET has become even more relevant and vital”, said Lyonpo Dorji Choden, the minister for works and human settlement at the inauguration of the National Consultation Workshop- “Initial Directions on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Blueprint” in Le Meridien, Thimphu last Thursday The objective of the workshop is to seek high-level stakeholder’s views and incorporate the views into strategic thinking for the TVET Blueprint. The Department of Human Resources under the ministry of labour and human resources with technical assistance from Asian Development Bank is drafting the Bhutan Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Blueprint. The two day workshop will comprise plenary sessions and group discussions with thematic presentations and topical discussions on emerging issues/concerns related to TVET. Different sessions will culminate into a synthesis of policy and implementation directions for drafting the TVET Blueprint.
“The skilled work forces are the foundation to nation building. We need them in masses- plumbers, electricians, carpenters, masons, machine operators, painters, tailors, chefs, etc”. She added.
The minister added that, the skills training, especially constructions related to plumbing and electrical are relevant and there is a great demand in the labour market. “I think it is not about mismatch but of mastering the skills, quality and workmanship is a huge problem now”.
Lyonpo cited an example that Lyonpo have just got her toilet repaired by a group of our own national plumbers from the TVET. Lyonpo said that the quality, workmanship, approach to work and work management are all very poor. “There is a great need to improve on their training including equipping them with right tools and instruments”.
“The Blueprint will give the MoLHR and our key partners in the government, non-government agencies, industries, youth, jobseekers and the society at large, there is much needed impetus to redefine TVET and make it more relevant to the needs of the economy by improving the quality of TVET and achieving efficiency in training delivery”, said the Labour Secretary Pema Wangda.
He added that, currently, the TVET sector is confronted with issues like low economic relevance and low social status, so that our young jobseekers would rather remain unemployed than take up technical and vocational training leading to the paradoxical situation of rising youth unemployment on one hand and increasing import of skilled foreign workers on the other.
While everybody agrees that we need to build a critical mass of skill workforce to execute the development activities in the country, we have not been able to give the required attention and allocate resources to TVET that it deserves, because technical and vocational education and training is an expensive affair, said the secretary.
He further added that, there is a need to address these existing and emerging issues if the TVET needs to contribute effectively to the economic and social progress. “The ministry is of the view that a good TVET Blueprint or a Roadmap will be able to articulate a long-term strategic vision that will guide and influence reforms and development in TVET over the next 15 years”.
Major reforms of TVET started in early 2000, and where the achievement made by the program included to encourage private participation in TVET delivery through the establishment regulation; development of Bhutan vocational qualification framework (BVQF) in alignment with the Bhutan Qualification framework. Beside that it also includes that the development of quality assurance system (registration and accreditation); development of national occupational skills standard (NOSS), and implementation of competency based training (CBT).
The entire skilled work force will be recognized through the national certificates with different levels and they are expected to be highly competitive and at par with the international standards.
Meanwhile, the ministry is receiving technical and financial support on the development of the TVET blueprint support from the government of Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR/ADB project).