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About Us

The UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre: Who We Are | What We Do | Working With Us | Get in Touch

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The UNEVOC Network: Learn About the Network | UNEVOC Network Directory
For Members: UNEVOC Centre Dashboard

Skills for Work and Life

Thematic Areas: Inclusion and Youth | Digital Transformation | Private Sector Engagement | SDGs and Greening TVET
Our Key Programmes & Projects: BILT: Bridging Innovation and Learning in TVET | Building TVET resilience | TVET Leadership Programme | WYSD: World Youth Skills Day
Past Activities: COVID-19 response | i-hubs project | TVET Global Forums | Virtual Conferences | YEM Knowledge Portal

Knowledge Resources

Our Services & Resources: Publications | TVET Forum | TVET Country Profiles | TVETipedia Glossary | Innovative and Promising Practices | Entrepreneurial Learning Guide
Events: Major TVET Events | UNEVOC Network News

The Impact of Migration on TVET

There are currently 70.8 million forcibly displaced people worldwide – the highest number ever recorded, of which 25.9 million are refugees (UNHCR 2019).

The human phenomena of migration and displacement strongly impact the availability of education, learning and employment outcomes in all UN Member States. Often the most vulnerable groups in society, such as young migrants and refugees, are disproportionately affected by administrative, linguistic and practical barriers to training and apprenticeship access; in 2017, people born outside the EU were found to be twice as likely to suffer poverty and social exclusion compared to native residents (Eurostat 2019).

Fostering Social and Labour Market Integration Through TVET

UNESCO-UNEVOC recognizes that TVET is best suited to strengthen migrants and refugees’ sense of belonging and can significantly facilitate social and labour market integration by providing them with skills development, re-skilling opportunities and local work experience. It can also help to identify the labour market’s needs and better match employers with suitable employees. The synergies that arise in the context of migration and TVET can lead to a more inclusive society as well as significant economic growth.

TVET is indispensable for building inclusive education systems and societies; due to its focus on skills enhancement, training in real world settings and lifelong learning, TVET can play a pivotal role in promoting labour insertion, social mobility, and consequently reducing inequalities. Successful school-to-work transition and labour market access leading to decent work and economic growth are expected outcomes for successful TVET systems but also important drivers for the social and professional integration of migrants and refugees.

Ensuring Accessible TVET for Migrants and Refugees

UNESCO-UNEVOC actively works to increase the participation rate of youth and adults in formal and non-formal education and training - Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.4, by removing obstacles to education and promoting accessible, quality TVET for everybody. However, achieving SDG 4.4 requires close international cooperation and coordination.

In an effort to address the current integration challenges and evolving skills demands that migrants are facing, UNESCO-UNEVOC has implemented the Bridging Innovation and Learning in TVET (BILT) project. UNESCO-UNEVOC also calls on Member States to facilitate better integration into TVET systems for migrants and refugees of all ages by:

  • Creating new curricula that adapt to multilingual needs;
  • Investing in language support;
  • Updating teachers’ training methods;
  • Promoting the recognition of prior learning and qualifications;
  • Facilitating the acquisition of local work experience for migrants; and
  • Better preparing host societies to manage diversity in the classrooms.
There is also the necessity to develop an international framework for the recognition of foreign qualifications and prior learning, and to support teachers and trainers engaged in multilingual classes. A more inclusive TVET curriculum would avoid deskilling and facilitate easier labour market entry for migrants. Additionally, strengthening TVET Systems in sending, transit and receiving countries can help to address the root causes of migration, for instance, those linked to youth unemployment.

BILT: Bridging Innovation and Learning in TVET

Early support is a main driver for integration, however, approaches to migrants’ inclusion vary across countries and regions. In an effort to address the current integration challenges and evolving skills demands that migrants are facing, UNESCO-UNEVOC has implemented the BILT project. By improving access to useful and practical information for TVET stakeholders, broadening their knowledge through peer learning and promoting cooperation, BILT aims to offer an important platform for exchange on recognition of prior qualifications and career guidance, social integration, and labour and skills mobility among members of the UNEVOC Network. These exchanges form the basis for cross-regional dialogue around the challenges and opportunities presented by migration, and enable institutions to be better equipped to manage migration in the context of TVET.

Publications and Resources

Human migration and TVET

Discussion paper
In the context of increased international migration, the importance of education and training and a global governance of migration is widely acknowledged in academic and international development debates. This discussion paper looks at the relati ...

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Promising Practices

Sri Lanka National Skills Passport Project

Submitted by Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission, Sri Lanka
The National Skills Passport is a digital portfolio of a worker’s skills and qualifications, references and informally acquired knowledge, all conveniently located on a smart identification card. Migrant labourers and workers returning from abroad ...

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Skills Centre for Migrants

Submitted by Omnia, Finland
Omnia’s Skills Centre for Migrants was developed by a multi-professional team representing various TVET stakeholders, including relevant government authorities, employment offices, and Espoo’s local municipality, to address a gap in services for ...

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Submitted by Cometa, Italy
Migrant minors and young adults risk unemployment and social exclusion due to their low skilled profiles or difficulties in recognizing their prior learning and achievements. The MiniMaster initiative at Cometa Formazione aims to reduce the risk of s ...

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Recognition in Germany

UNESCO-UNEVOC Promising Practice
The German Federal Government launched the “Recognition in Germany” portal to improve labour market access for people from migrant backgrounds. The multilingual portal provides users with information about the procedures for recognition of profes ...

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