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close this bookPolicy Development and Implementation of Technical and Vocational Education for Economic Development in Asia and the Pacific - Conference Proceedings - UNESCO - UNEVOC Regional Conference (RMIT, 1997, 520 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentUNESCO UNEVOC Regional Conference 1996 - Steering Committee
View the documentResolutions
View the documentGuidelines for Policy Framework Development for TVE Asia Pacific Region
View the documentUNESCO UNEVOC Regional Conference 1996 - Conference Program
View the documentUNESCO UNEVOC Regional Conference 1996 - Conference Delegates
View the documentUNESCO UNEVOC Regional Conference 1996 - Conference Papers Listing
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View the documentStrategic Planning in a Technical Education Environment - A Malaysian Experience
View the documentPiloting Tafe Accredited Courses on the Internet
View the documentEmerging Directions in Training of TVET Teachers and Trainers in the Asia-Pacific Region
View the documentReasonable Adjustment and Assessment: Strategies to Implement the Principles
View the documentDilemmas in the Pacific
View the documentPublic Expenditure on Education and Training in Australia: Some Basic Data
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View the documentTechnical and Vocational Education in Australia's Aid Program
View the documentPolicy Development and Implementation to Address the TEVT Needs of Disadvantaged Groups
View the documentThe Role of Technical and Vocational Education on the National Economic Development of Cambodia and that of the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Growth Zone
View the documentFrom Central Command to Doi Moi: Transforming and Renovating the Vietnamese Technical and Vocational Education System
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View the documentPolicy Development for TVE
View the documentPlanning and Provision of Technical Education and Vocational Training in a Rapidly Changing Economy: The Case of Hong Kong
View the documentArticulation and other Factors Effecting Status - Implications for Policy Development of TVE
View the documentEssential Concepts for VET Regional Development
View the documentEmerging Directions in the Training of TVET Teachers and Trainers: The Situation in Fiji
View the documentDelivering Training to Industry Through the National Consortia Model: A Case Study
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View the documentThailand: Development of Policies for the Provision of Quality TVE Programs
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View the documentTechnical and Vocational Education: Toward Economic and Policy Development in Japan
View the documentThe Current Status of Offering Vocational Elective Subjects in Malaysian Secondary Academic Schools
View the documentPolicy Development to Promote Linkages Between Labour Market Planning and Vocational and Technical Education Research in Vietnam
View the documentUNEVOC's Focus and Approaches to Address Current Trends and Issues in TVE in Asia and the Pacific
View the documentRestructuring of Secondary Education in Bangladesh
View the documentVocational Education: The Indonesian Experience
View the documentSession: Acceptance of TVE Qualifications and Mutual Recognition on a Regional Basis
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View the documentA Plan to Improve and Coordinate Skills Training in Indonesia
View the documentImpact of Telikom Training Centre on Economic Development of Papua New Guinea.
Open this folder and view contentsEmerging Directions in the Training of Technical and Vocational Teachers and Trainers - Indonesia
View the documentThe History of the Preparation of Teachers for Vocational Education and Training at Griffith University
View the documentTechnical Education for the Hi-Tech Era

Essential Concepts for VET Regional Development

William Hall, NCVER

This is a summary of the paper presented by Dr Hall to the UNESCO UNEVOC regional conference.


Billions of dollars are spent each year on vocational education and training. Is that money being well spent? I doubt it, because vocational education is mostly locked into traditional ways of training, coupled with a straight jacket approach to curricula that is supposed to be 'standards' based. Such an approach has little to offer VET regional development.

Our system of training is mostly (either literally or metaphorically) 'bricks and mortar' based, with a heavy emphasis on the production of printed materials. This leads to inflexibility and a kind of permanency that is no longer relevant to our future needs. The attraction of the present, centrally imposed, approach is its conceptual simplicity and its ease of tight bureaucratic control.

There are four main conceptual challenges for trainers:

· industrial changes and communication changes and their impact on society
· environmental factors
· coping with the inappropriate market metaphor with its emphasis on competitiveness.

A possible way of dealing with these challenges is to plan strategically.

Industrial changes

Humankind has lived through six industrial revolutions, moving from being a hunting and pastoral society to a post-industrial information/automation/communication society. Most generations have never experienced a single revolution; we are living through one right now. Most importantly, most people alive today will live through one, and maybe two, more revolutions. This rate of change is quite unprecedented.

The truism that 'the only stable thing is change' trips off the tongue, with no great understanding of the turmoil that will be caused when two more revolutions take place in the next 20-30 years. Our training structures must accommodate such rapid and extensive changes - presently they do not. They are designed for stability: the laughable 'solution' is the 'market' approach with its emphasis on competition. However, the approach we need to deal with these present and anticipated revolutionary changes is co-operation.

What are likely to be the next revolutions? I'll make two guesses: first, new materials; second, energy transfer.


Communication changes

Alongside the industrial revolutions have been the changes in communication. I do not believe that training managers have yet grasped the implications of (for example) multi-media, the CD, and the internet.

The internet is being used as a facile notice board or cheap post-box. Amazingly, printed books are actually being placed on the internet, which is a bit like sitting in front of a television set with the news being presented in visual morse code!

Used appropriately, multi-media challenges the need for 'bricks and mortar', removes the distinction between 'on-the-job' and 'off-the-job' training, and turns trainers into information retrieval specialists.

Interestingly, some one-to-one and small group training (apprenticeships!) will still be needed. Personal interaction skills will need to be taught with greater urgency, bearing in mind that personal interactions have dropped 50 per cent in people's lives over the past 30 years.


All of this gives new meaning to technical 'literacy', including the definition of literacy itself. Electronic digital delivery demands totally different ways of collecting, classifying, storing, disseminating and using information. The training challenges are enormous.

Environmental factors

Most regional countries are caught up in one of two training cycles.



(These cycles are from an ILO/APSDIN report co-authored by Dr Hall and published by NCVER.)

Training of the right kind will help to break out of these cycles.

The market metaphor

If the definition of 'market' is restricted to 'giving clients what they need', then I have no quarrel with the term. However, it is taken to mean far more than this within the training context. Competition has become an end in itself, not just a means to an end. Anyone who challenges competition is regarded as a fool.

The (so-called, and I would claim spurious) 'market' is changing the region from low practical skill/low theoretical knowledge to high practical skill/low theoretical knowledge. We are moving from D to B in the matrix.


What we desperately need is to move from element D of the matrix to element A, not to B. (The matrix is based on an OECD paper.)

We will only succeed in using the industrial and communication revolutions to our advantage if we are in element A, and to do this we must plan strategically.

Alas, about 20 years of close contact with senior managers in industry and business, and with senior bureaucrats, has shown me that their goals are depressingly short-term and their view of training is narrow in focus. Also, their approach to management is bottom-line directed - which is the major complaint I have of the market metaphor being applied to training.

Strategic planning

Strategic planning offers a way forward - so long as we remember that as soon as we produce a printed document titled 'Strategic Plan', then we have stopped planning strategically. The elements of strategic planning will be discussed.