Technical and vocational education and training (TVET), such as apprenticeships and workplace education, provides skills and knowledge to individuals to improve their employment opportunities. TVET has been recognized as crucial for sustainable development, social equity, and inclusion, but recent research by the British Council has identified that TVET often fails to be universally accessible to all refugees.
Inclusion of refugees in life-long learning opportunities addresses social and economic demands, through promoting equity as well as improving employment. This can be seen as tapping into a large yet underutilized resource potential – although refugees have the right to study, work, and set up businesses, refugees are six times more likely to be unemployed than non-refugees.
Following its research, the British Council has developed an assessment tool to be used as an instrument to analyze the status of TVET with regards to refugee inclusion, and to monitor progress in this area over time, to be used within a certain country or across various countries.
The tool contains various fields to describe a country’s overall refugee context, as well as check-box questions to examine the suitability of TVET provisions for refugees, based on four themes:
- The availability of services
- The accessibility for refugees
- The acceptability to refugees
- The adaptability to refugee circumstances
In the series of check-box questions for each of these four sections, the user identifies which of three statements best describes the current TVET provisions and/or refugees in the country in question, which are scored 0, 1, or 2 depending on how effectively specified policies and processes are implemented to support refugees. Total scores of each section are described in a “Results” tab. Possible areas of improvement identified by users (through a score of 0 or 1) are flagged in the “Suggestions” tab, which provides examples and initial ideas for improving these aspects of TVET provision.
This framework for analyzing the openness of a country’s TVET system to refugees can assist anyone in the field of refugees, education, and skills, including government officials, practitioners, researchers, NGOs, and international development agencies. It can improve understanding of high-level factors influencing the effectiveness of TVET provisions for refugees, and provides initial information on how to improve.
The use of this tool to identify issues with and improvements for TVET provisions has the potential to improve the inclusion and integration of refugees into society, improving both the individual lives of those aided by TVET systems, and society at large.
For further details and access to the tool please see: https://www.britishcouncil.org/education/skills-employability/opportunities-updates.
For prior research on the inclusion of refugees in TVET please see: https://www.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/inclusion_of_refugees_in_tvet_report.pdf.
Written by our Research and Project Intern Rebecca Rogers