14-16 November 2012, Bonn, Germany - The changing nature of the environment, pressure on natural resources and the challenges posed by climate change necessitate a transition from energy- and material-intensive growth to green, low-carbon, climate-resilient growth. The greening of the economy implies changing skills needs as new industries and occupations emerge, alongside new skills profiles in many existing occupations. These transitions have important implications for building expertise, skills and capacity of existing employees through training, as well as training delivery.
In order to build a better understanding of the role of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) within the framework of sustainable development, the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre convened the International Forum of the UNEVOC Network in transforming TVET for a Sustainable Future in Bonn, Germany, from 14-16 November 2012. The Forum brought together over 100 participants from over 80 countries and was designed to enable international partners to share ideas, good practices and lessons learned to enhance knowledge effectively, to research ways to transform TVET for a Sustainable Future, and to foster regional and global partnerships with existing networks such as the Inter-Agency Working Groups and Regional Economic Communities.
The broad theme of the International Forum was on promoting better teaching and learning for green economies and green societies through the strengthening of the UNEVOC Network. Under this theme, the discussions over the three days focused on how to strengthen the UNEVOC Network and to promote better TVET teaching and learning for greening society.
UNITAR’s contribution to the Forum was focused on supporting a panel discussion on Greening TVET and Skills Development. Other panelists included representatives from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDFOP), the European Training Foundation (ETF), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre. Panelists presented the work of their respective organizations in the area of skills development and green learning, including challenges in the implementation of programmes, as well as potential areas for cooperation and synergies with global UNEVOC centres.
Rob Visser, Adviser to UNITAR, presented the work of the Institute in strengthening individual and institutional capacities to scale up learning for a green transformation, highlighting the UN CC:Learn initiative as well as the green economy e-learning project. He also pointed out that challenges exist including on how to upscale e-learning and building partnerships with other training institutions, as well as the need to incorporate and strengthen the green economy curriculum in universities and other training institutions. At the same time, there is potential for cooperation particularly in the area of knowledge and resource sharing.
Several other messages were reinforced during the Forum, including the importance of networking and partnerships in empowering TVET teachers and trainers as agents of change for a sustainable future, as well as engaging with the private sector in training for sustainable development.
In parallel, an Inter-agency Working Group (IWG) on Greening TVET and Skills Development meeting took place on 15 November to discuss the IWG’s work plan for 2013, andwas attended by representatives from CEDEFOP, ETF, ILO, OECD, UNESCO-UNEVOC and UNITAR. The IWG brings together expertise from a wide range of international organizations working in the field of TVET, skills development and the green transformation of the economy and society.