TVET Innovation: Roles and Importance


The technical vocational education and training (TVET) conference that was held in Abu Dhabi on February 6, 2018, marked a major milestone in advancing youth empowerment in this country. The job market is changing rapidly due to advanced technologies and demands. The concept of green jobs is emerging as the global society seeks to find ways of achieving sustainable development. Marope, Holmes, and Chakroun (2015) note that employers are currently looking for people with the capacity to think creatively based on the environmental forces that they encounter in their workplace. It is unfortunate that a significant portion of the local college students in the United Arab Emirates and the entire GCC region have high expectations of getting lucrative jobs upon their graduation without understanding and acquiring the unique skills that are needed. Some of them, upon graduation, are met with the realities of life and challenges that youths face when they lack the creativity that many employers desire. Natarajan (2016) observes that most employers complain that there is a knowledge gap between what graduates know and what is expected from them in the workplace. Facing these problems in such conferences is critical because it highlights primary issues so that solutions can be developed. In this report, the researcher seeks to suggest how this event can be managed in a better way in the future.

Discussion

Local stakeholders, especially the government and education experts in the United Arab Emirates, have identified the knowledge gap and steps have been taken to address the issue in institutions of higher learning. Technical and vocational education and training are increasingly becoming essential in this country as stakeholders try to enhance the skills and competencies of youths within the country. The last event made a significant impact in creating awareness about the importance of TVET, its relevance in society, and how stakeholders should be involved. It is important to conduct a SWOT analysis of the last report to identify areas of improvement needed to make it more successful in the future.

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TVET SWOT Analysis

The TVET innovation week forum conducted on February 6, 2018, was a sign that local stakeholders are now focused on empowering youth. It is necessary to look at the event’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats so that the researcher can propose a way of improving future events.

Strengths

The main strength of this event was that it was attended to and strongly supported by the top government officials in the country. The director-general of ACTVET, the Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, and the director-general of Leaders Forum were some of the government’s top officials who attended the forum. It was an indication that the government is fully committed to supporting it materially. The fact that some people were able to attend the forum on the online platform was a sign that organizers have come to appreciate the relevance of the Internet in facilitating such functions.

Weaknesses

It is imperative to note that some weaknesses reduced the forum’s level of success. One of the main weaknesses was the low attendance. Only 36% of the expected participants registered and subsequently attended the forum. 64% did not turn up for the event. It means that in terms of performance, the forum registered serious underperformance that should be addressed in the future. It is also important to note that organizers did not invite any of the top local and international entrepreneurs who could motivate youths towards job creation after graduation instead of waiting for employment.

Opportunities

The forum presented a perfect opportunity for stakeholders to identify and discuss weaknesses that affect the training of college students within the country. The presence of top government officials in the country, educationists, and college students means that it was a forum that represented all the relevant groups of people affected by the issue. It presented a rare opportunity for these individuals to interact and discuss the ways in which local youths can be empowered as a way of reducing reliance on foreign experts in the local workforce, especially in the technical field. Educationists were offered the opportunity to interact with policy-makers.

Threats

The forum faced some threats which are worth discussing. One of the greatest threats that may affect its ability to realize the desired success is empty promises. It is common for government officials to make numerous promises to please attendants without the intention of fulfilling them. Sometimes these officials may make promises and commitments before making necessary inter-departmental consultations. It is also possible for the management of the technical and vocational training centers to overstate the capacity of these institutions, creating unrealistic expectations among stakeholders.

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How to Manage the Event in a Better Way

The TVET event that was held in Abu Dhabi marked a significant step towards improving the quality of education in vocational centers in the country. However, it is worth noting that the performance registered was below the expectations, especially in terms of attendance. It was a sign that many people were not convinced about its significance, hence they did not find a good reason to attend. The SWOT analysis conducted above has identified issues that should be addressed when planning a similar function. It is expected that several such events will be organized as government and private entities work closely to ensure that the skills and competencies of local youths are improved. In this section, the focus will be on how to improve the event to achieve a greater level of success compared to what was achieved during the last forum.

Invitations

One of the areas of weakness of the last event was its low attendance level. It is the first area of improvement that must be addressed. The invitation must be defined by the relevance of the identified stakeholders. Organizers will need to invite the stakeholders who are directly affected by the issues that will be discussed. They should include relevant government officials, parents, opinion makers, and youths. It will be important to reach out to them, explain the importance of the event, the role they are expected to play, the significance of their attendance, and the benefits that they or the society will gain. The invitation should be as personal as possible. The organizers may also need to popularize the event in social and mass media to ensure that the targeted individuals are constantly reminded of the function. They should also be informed of entertainment plans only to assure them that it is not just a boring event but one where everyone is expected to enjoy. Local, regional, or international entrepreneurs should be invited to give keynote speeches as a way of attracting more people. It may also be necessary to invite popular entertainers (singers or comedians) as a strategy to improve the rate of attendance.

Managing the Event

Scheduling should be carefully planned to guarantee that the event is a success. It will be important to ensure that the activities of every day of the event are organized in a manner that meets the purpose of the forum. Some form of entertainment should signify the early part of the event when visitors are being received. When all the guests have arrived, the function should be started by a welcoming speech from the director, who will introduce the topic and explain the importance of the event. After that, the morning part should involve discussing core issues and addressing the most critical aspects of the function. Entertainers may come between breaks to ensure that everyone remains motivated. Immediately after a lunch break, it may be crucial for one of the invited entrepreneurs to give a brief speech about his or her journey of success, and the challenges met along the way. The speech should be purposefully designed to increase the level of attention of the attendees. It is meant to motivate them and remind them that they too can succeed if they follow the right path. In this speech, the entrepreneur should explain the importance of vocational education and training and the challenges they face as employers when it comes to finding competent job seekers who can undertake various tasks in the right manner.

After that, the discussion session can be introduced where challenges can be discussed and solutions proposed. All members will be encouraged to share their views on how to make TVET more successful in the country as a way of empowering youth. The keynote address should then come from the guest of honor (a successful entrepreneur who can be a role model for the upcoming generation) who will reemphasize the importance of TVET and the need for society to give it proper support. This speech will be a motivation towards ensuring that the proposals and solutions developed in the event are implemented to achieve the expected outcome. Guests will be entertained before they leave. It will be important to ensure that all the attendees understand their role in ensuring that TVET is a success.

Proposed Title for the Event

It may be necessary to adjust the title of the forum to ensure that it attracts more participants. People often judge the importance and relevance of a function based on its title. The following proposed title will be used in this event:

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TVET Youth Empowerment: Promoting Skills, Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

The topic should capture the important activities of the event in a compelling manner.

Conclusion

Technical vocational education and training is an important resource for the country because it empowers youth by drawing their attention to special skills that local employers look for. It reduces the need for public and private sector entities to rely on foreign expertise to meet local labor needs. The training offered at these vocational centers helps in ensuring that local youths have what they need to achieve career success in their respective fields. Institutions need the support of all possible stakeholders, including private sector players, to realize the desired level of success.

References

Marope, M., Holmes, P., & Chakroun, B. (2015). Unleashing the potential: Transforming technical and vocational education and training. Paris, France: UNESCO Publishing.

Natarajan, V. (2016). 50 years of technical education in Singapore: How to build a world class TVET system. London, UK: World Scientific.

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