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Technical and Vocational Education and Training

What is Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)?

TVET encompasses education, training and skills development relating to a wide range of occupational fields, production, services and livelihoods. TVET is not limited to children and youth but includes professional development, upskilling and reskilling of adults. The inclusion of refugee youth in formal, nationally accredited skills training and diploma courses can provide young people with safe learning spaces, contribute to social cohesion and foster greater self-reliance.

UNHCR’s education strategy, Refugee Education 2030, underscores the importance of enabling learners to use their education towards sustainable futures. Improved access to TVET opportunities plays a fundamental role in the process of supporting refugees to gain market-relevant skills and strengthen their capacity to lead independent and fulfilling lives.

At the Global Refugee Forum in 2019, 26 pledges, including from 10 States, focused on expanding and enhancing refugee access to TVET. Interventions to improve the skills and employability of refugees and their host communities facilitate the transition from education to the world of decent work, allowing refugees and displaced people to provide for their families' needs while making use of their skills and talents to contribute to their host communities.

What is our approach?

To foster scale-up of evidence-based strategies for inclusion of refugees in TVET, UNHCR, and with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) and Finn Church Aid are carrying out a joint study to identify field-tested models that can inform scale up or new initiatives to expand inclusion of refugees in nationally accredited TVET programmes. The study covers TVET programmes in Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan and is expected to be released in April 2021.

Based on experience delivering technical and vocational training TVET programmes and facilitating access to national TVET institutions, UNHCR and partners promote:

  • Market-based initiatives and programmes targeting refugee and host community students.
  • Expanding innovative options that were created or enhanced during the COVID-19 response, such as online and blended TVET opportunities and digital work.
  • Sustainable inclusion of refugees in existing national TVET programmes with the engagement of line ministries and aligned to national development plans.
  • Advocacy to ensure national policy and regulatory frameworks include refugees and forcibly displaced people in TVET services, including the transition to work following completion.
  • Combine occupational profiles with core skill courses to prepare trainees for their integration into a specific vocation.
  • Include content on forced displacement, peacebuilding and social cohesion in the TVET curriculum.

TVET is a core pillar of UNHCR’s 15by30 roadmap—the objective to achieve 15% enrolment of young refugee women and men in higher education by the year 2030. Expanded access to nationally accredited technical and vocational programmes will pave the way for more refugees to earn a technical or professional qualification, prepare themselves for a sustainable future and allow them to contribute to the communities and countries that host them.

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