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From the Desk of the CEO – April 2019 Newsletter Address

General elections were held in Indonesia on 17 April with over 190 million eligible voters. After quick count results, current President Joko Widodo appeared set to win a second term over his challenger, former general Prabowo Subianto. Official results should be notified next month but that might be delayed in the likely case that Mr. Prabowo decides to lodge an appeal to the Constitutional Court.

Mr. Widodo has placed the reform of education and training as a priority of his campaign to improve the quality and competitiveness of his country’s human resources. Over the past five years, the Widodo Government has focused on an ambitious plan to expand energy supply, transport and shipping and logistics and to rapidly increase the supply of international standard tourism resources. The program requires millions of skilled people that are not currently available in Indonesia.

Over the last two years, Sustainable Skills has developed a strong position in Indonesia. Our organisation has worked closely with several Indonesian ministries including the Ministry of Research Technology and Higher Education, Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Education and Culture and the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs to help develop TVET reform plans.

As part of the national TVET reform, Indonesia is establishing a new national TVET Centre of Excellence to address the fundamental mismatch between training outcomes and industry needs. Our organisation is helping the Indonesian Government to explore how the Centre can influence the broader national TVET system and develop the skills needed to support students in finding the ‘right training’ at the ‘right time’ for the ‘right job’.

The Centre will be established at Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI) based at Bandung and Universitas Negeri Padang (UNP). This month, I met with UNP Rektor and team in Jakarta and we reached an important milestone in this process as the Rektor accepted Sustainable Skills proposal to support the establishment of the TVET Centre of Excellence. UNP has integrated our proposal into their submission to Bappenas and the Ministry of Research Technology and Higher Education.

During my trip to Indonesia this month, I visited the Ministry of Manpower’s training centre BBPLK Serang to learn how the country is delivering renewable energy training. Australia could play an important role by supporting Indonesia in the development and execution of a training strategy to effectively build local skills in the renewable energy sector.

I also have the pleasure of moderating a session on education at the Island Tourism Forum, being held in Mataram Lombok on the 29-30 April and organised by the Australian Consulate Bali. In a bid to strengthen the tourist industry in Lombok, the forum aims to bring together government, academics, businesses, NGOs and communities to share experiences, encourage partnerships and explore investment and commercial possibilities related to the province.

Sustainable Skills has nearly twenty years’ experience shaping and maintaining effective TVET systems and frameworks in Australia and around the world. Our TVET experts have helped a number of countries to improve their TVET system. I am pleased to share a table of all the projects we have managed over the past years and we are confident that new opportunities will become available soon.

ProjectCountryDescriptionValue (USD)Duration
‘Head of School’ Skill Development ProgramFijiDesign a scalable model able to develop the skills and abilities of current and future school heads to provide excellent leadership and management for all schools295,000November 2018 - May 2019
Due Diligence and Technical Evaluations UgandaDesign a model of due diligence and capacity assessment to address prevailing skills imbalances and shortages in Uganda297,000July 2017 - July 2019
Vocational Education and
Training Qualifications Benchmarking and
Development Project
Vietnam, PhilippinesCapacity building of counterpart public sector organisations
(PSO) to develop vocational education and training programs
linked to industry needs
140,0002015-2016
(18 months)
Twinning Activity with TVETA - Construction SectorZambiaBuild TEVETA’s capacity to develop industry-led occupational
standards and assessment toolkits
600,0002014-2016
(18 months)
Twinning Activity with PIREP
(Vocational Education reform program) -
Construction sector
MozambiqueBuild PIREP’s capacity to develop industry-led occupational
standards
250,0002015-2016
(12 months)
Design of a Pan-Africa Skills CouncilAfrican UnionDesign options for a pan-African skills council including a
potential skills development fund
30,0002014
(2 months)
Southern African
Regional Capacity Building
Workshops
Mozambique, Tanzania, ZambiaFacilitation of a series of workshops focused on TVET systems,
and promoting collaboration between African governments on
TVET policies
35,0002016
African
Government Study Tour to Australia
20 African CountriesTVET Advisory services for three skills
development study tours to Australia
Total value
2,000,000
2013-2014
Vocational Training Program - Construction sector Uganda,
Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania,
Namibia,
South Africa,
Zambia
Set baseline for evaluation of a vocational training program in
line with industry needs
40,0002013
(6 months)
Human Resources MappingEast TimorSupport the East Timor Human Capital Development Fund in
identifying skills limitations and make reccomendations for a
workforce planning framework
70,0002015-2016
(9 months)
Training Package - Resources and Infrastructure Sectors AustraliaDevelopment and continuous improvement of the occupational
standards in consultation with industry
2,250,000 per
annum
2012-2016
National Workforce Development Fund AustraliaManagement of an industry-government training fund. Assistance to companies in identifying appropriate training outcomes for fundingFund value:
55,000,000
2011-2014
(3 years)
Regional Integrated Training Project Agriculture and Mining sectorsAustraliaSchool-based training program to enable pathways into
productive economic sectors in rural communities
150,000
Cross-Industry training program - Agriculture, Construction, Fisheries, MiningAustraliaTraining program to build sustainable
workforces that could work across industries in line with seasonal
and economic fluctuations
1,300,0002012-2015
(3 years)

 

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Message from the Chair – March 2019

An Australian who has led one of our largest and most successful international companies very recently described our environment as a “walled garden”. It was not a compliment on Australia’s horticultural skills. In fact it describes a crippling characteristic.

For a couple of decades the global markets and industrial integration have been the drivers of change. Opportunities have abounded, creating and recreating enterprises in the mature economies and transforming nations as diverse as China, India and Indonesia. In the education sector Australia has had a flood of foreign students into its universities and colleges. Yet it is quite hard to find a sign of any integration of Australian enterprise, including those in education.

The experience with Sustainable Skills in working with a variety of national authorities, many of them near neighbours, has defined a tangible and relatively simple means of delivering what sales folk call a win-win. Both Australians and the citizens of neighbours have the opportunity for considerable benefit if we can work to build a higher standard of vocational training across the region.  Australia has good standards and a lot of knowledge in what works and Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar and possibly India demonstrate both the potential and desire to take advantage of Australian expertise.

My own learning from the experience in recent years with Sustainable Skills is that “walled garden” thinking is holding back what is a golden opportunity. Our leaders in vocational training are very often driven solely by a single dimension of the potential of their resources. That is, they want to fill the channel of students to their Australian facilities. In effect, there is no distinction between domestic and foreign students. Yet the scale of demand is massively greater than that.

If we take Indonesia as an example, the national priority is in building infrastructure. The Widodo Government has been wholly focused for at least three years on an ambitious plan to expand energy supply, transport and shipping and logistics and to rapidly increase the supply of international standard tourism resources. Very early in that process the Government discovered that the supply of skilled people was nowhere near the scale required and now the upgrade of Indonesian vocational education and training is a personal priority of the President.

The opportunity for Australia is to help Indonesia to create an Indonesian vocational education system. Sustainable Skills has found – in Indonesia and quite a few other countries – that the fundamentals of the Australian approach are both well suited and pragmatic solutions to what is often a complex problem. The flexibility of a modular competency-based system has many practical attractions and accommodates the need for people to acquire skills incrementally. The strong industry involvement in competency design and assessment is hugely important in assuring an effective outcome for workers in training and in building commitment and engagement in labour markets where skills standards have been patchy.  In short, it is quite possible that a strategic effort to build capacity in the region would create a higher standard of skills across our neighbourhood, sharply improving economic and social progress and establishing a strong and healthy basis for social and economic exchange. In commercial terms, Australian TVET would create a natural client base through pathways that allow foreign students to acquire specialised skills.

While many Australian institutions have invested heavily in international programs there is very little evidence of anything that is much more than extensions of Australian activity. That is, in our experience, where the greater value and opportunity is located. While many have been entranced by the opportunities that emerged in Japan and China over the past 50 years, somehow Australians have overlooked our nearest neighbour – a country that is expected to rank fourth globally in the size of its economy by 2050.

It’s way past time that Australian leaders knocked down any walls and let the roses run free for a while. There are risks, but the prospective rewards are almost immeasurable.

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From the Desk of the CEO – February 2019 Newsletter Address

We have kick-started the third year of activity at Sustainable Skills and we are excited about all the business opportunities currently in the pipeline.

Our teams of Sustainable Skills TVET experts are doing a fantastic job working on two crucial projects: the Head of School Skill Development Program in Fiji  and the Due Diligence and Technical Evaluations Program in Uganda.

We are now focussing our efforts on a number of potential projects  in countries, such as Indonesia and Vietnam, which are looking at the Australian TVET model as their preferred choice to set up effective national vocational education systems.

In August 2018 in Hanoi, during the Vietnam Renewable Energy Week, I met with Nguy Thi Khanhmain, Executive Director of Vietnam’s Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID), a Vietnamese not-for-profit organisation promoting sustainable development for the citizens of Vietnam and the larger Mekong region that is based on green and innovative technologies and methods and improved governance of the environment and natural resources.

Ms Khan is one of the founders of GreenID as well as an environmental activist, who has been working for the socially just development of Vietnam and Southeast Asia for almost 20 years. She has recently been awarded the 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize – the world’s largest award for grassroots environmental activists – for her work to push Vietnam’s energy transition. She started working with indigenous communities in the mountains area of Vietnam, focussing mainly on local development and women’s empowerment before diving into energy development and advocating for a more participatory approach around hydropower development in the Mekong region.

GreenID works to achieve fundamental change in the approach to sustainable development by promoting the transition to a sustainable energy system, good environmental governance and inclusive decision processes.

In the last few years, GreenID has carried out many in-depth analysis of Vietnam’s energy system in various aspects aimed at the sustainable development of the energy industry. The aspects analyzed include the development of coal and the effects of this type of energy on the environment, air and human health.

Focussing on the potential of saving and using energy efficiency by households, industry, and power plants, GreenID has introduced some initiative about renewable energy, both domestic and international, to apply in Vietnam’s situation. At the community level, GreenID is implementing decentralized renewable energy solutions that take advantage of available local energy resources to replace harmful energy resources such as coal and oil. In the context of Vietnam’s import of coal for future power generation, green solutions not only reduce health impacts, but also reduce dependence on imported energy and even create opportunities for employment and a new growth model for the Vietnamese economy.

In this scenario, we are exploring how Sustainable Skills can assist GreenID in the development and execution of a training strategy to effectively build local skills in the renewable energy sector.

This month, we’ve launched an amazing opportunity to help you starting your next course by offering 20% off all resource kits, learning and assessment resources, and foundation skills assessment kits suitable to train and assess workers in the Resources and Civil Construction industries.

Don’t miss out on this chance, the offer ends on 4 March at 11:59pm.

 

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From the Desk of the CEO – December 2018 Newsletter Address

Welcome to the last newsletter of the year 2018 before we break for  two weeks Christmas holiday. I would like to take this opportunity to retrace the last two years of activity, since the SkillsDMC Board determined to remodel SkillsDMC into Sustainable Skills, a not-for-profit international consultancy that develops, supports and assists effective technical and vocational education and training (TVET) systems worldwide.

Our first year of activity was focussed on exploring and developing new business opportunities across different areas, building a team of highly qualified TVET consultants, and recruiting board directors able to reflect the new scope of our business across a broad range of industrial sectors worldwide. In 2017, a significant milestone was achieved as we have been officially awarded a two-year consultancy contract sponsored by the World Bank to address skills imbalances and shortages in Uganda. The client of the contract is the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) and this is the first non Australian government contract in the history of Sustainable Skills/SkillsDMC.

Thanks to these strong foundations, the second year of activity saw us concentrating our resources on regions where Sustainable Skills expertise and background can effectively assist to build TVET systems able to meet the nation’s needs, like Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

Sustainable Skills has developed a strong position in Indonesia where an important reform of the vocational education system to support the needs of a rapidly emerging economy by improving the quality and competitiveness of his country’s human resources is a priority on the government agenda. As part of the national TVET reform, Indonesia is establishing a new national TVET Centre of Excellence to address the fundamental mismatch between training outcomes and industry needs. The Centre is in the design phase of determining how it can influence better outcomes. Sustainable Skills is helping the Indonesian Government to explore how the Centre can influence the broader national TVET system and develop the skills needed to support students in finding the ‘right training’ at the ‘right time’ for the ‘right job’.

The Centre will be established at Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI) based at Bandung and Universitas Negeri Padang (UNP). UPI, in December, sent a delegation to Australia to learn how an industry engaged TVET system works. I’m pictured with the delegation and Bob Paton, one of our TVET experts. I also visited UNP in December at the request of the Ministry of Research Technology and Higher Education.

 

 

Another important achievement was accomplished In November, when we signed a contract with Coffey International Development to deliver a ‘Head of School’ Skills Development Program for the Fijian Government, Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts (MEHA). Funded by the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the program aims to develop the skills and abilities of current and future school heads to provide excellent leadership and management for all schools, with the vision of developing leadership in schools which is dynamic and works effectively in a complex, changing environment.

I would like to thank all the Sustainable Skills team for the commitment to the organisation, our local and international consultants, our Board for their support and trust, and all our stakeholders and partners who followed and supported us over the course of this year.

Sustainable Skills will shut down operations over the Christmas and New Year period. Our last day of work will be Friday 21st December and returning to work on Monday 7th January. The Sustainable Skills team wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2019.

 

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From the Desk of the CEO – November 2018 Newsletter Address

We are pleased to announce that following a successful tender process, this month Sustainable Skills signed a contract with Coffey International Development to deliver a ‘Head of School’ Skills Development Program for the Fijian Government, Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts (MEHA). The program is funded by the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through the Fiji Program Support Facility (FPSF) managed by Coffey.

Established to administer the education, health and scholarship programs in Fiji, the FPSF aid program supports the integration of crosscutting themes into programs, such as gender equality, civil society engagement, disability inclusiveness, child protection, and disaster risk reduction.

A review of selection processes for head of school positions in the Fijian Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts (MEHA) had highlighted the need for a learning and development program covering the changing and higher level skills and abilities needed to lead and manage schools in to the future. As part of succession planning in the MEHA, the program will ensure that a pool of talent is developed, who can then successfully undertake the role of school head.

The vision is to develop leadership in schools which is dynamic and works effectively in a complex, changing environment, with the purpose of developing the skills and abilities of current and future school heads to provide excellent leadership and management for all schools.

The Sustainable Skills team in charge of delivering the project comprises Mike Prime, Team Leader, Cate van der Vossen, Assessment and Adult Education Specialist, and Maria Doyle, Online Learning Specialist. The three experts have been deployed to Suva, Fiji to kick-off the project which will be delivered over approximately six and a half months from November 2018 to May 2019.  The team will spend part of their time on site in Fiji consulting with stakeholders and part of their time working remotely from other locations.

The Project Team will use Moodle technology to create an online learning environment with ten modules that will be accessible to all interested learners. Moodle is an open-source learning platform designed to provide educators, administrators and learners with a single robust, secure and integrated system to create personalised learning environments.

The successful tender was managed and submitted by Lee Jackson, Director of International Development for Sustainable Skills. Our organisation has nearly twenty years’ experience shaping and maintaining TVET systems and frameworks in Australia and around the world, as well as assisting Governments with the implementation of successful TVET system based on Australia best practice. Sustainable Skills has the ability to mobilise highly skilled and well-suited local and international consultants able to take key principles of the Australian VET system, understand the local culture and develop solutions. We are excited to deliver this important project that will enhance the future leadership of schools, and contribute to the quality of education offered to school students in Fiji.

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From the Desk of the CEO – October 2018 Newsletter Address

It’s been 2 years since the SkillsDMC Board determined to remodel SkillsDMC into Sustainable Skills a not for profit international consultancy that develops, supports and assists effective technical and vocational education and training (TVET) systems worldwide.

During the past two years we have been developing projects and exploring opportunities in several countries. Our focus has been in Indonesia, whilst also exploring opportunities in Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. Our approach has been to work with Governments, take key principles of the Australian VET system, understand the local culture and develop solutions.

Since entering the Indonesian market two years ago we found a country with a strong desire to improve its VET system that has a high degree of alignment with industry demand and a practical design that supports the needs of low-income communities.

President Joko Widodo adopted a strategy in 2016 that placed political priority on a highly ambitious infrastructure program that would establish reliable industrial scale electricity across the archipelago, creating reliable transport networks and promoting a series of large-scale tourism destinations. Skills are a major constraint on Indonesia’s ability to grow the economy and bring people out of poverty.

This creates a huge opportunity for Indonesia to build skills. These jobs require world standard competencies and a training system that will deliver world standard skills, otherwise more foreigners will be required.

Working with the Indonesian Government we are developing TVET capacity building projects to seize this opportunity including a new national TVET Centre of Excellence which will develop Indonesia’s TVET system the Indonesian way, the establishment of an Australian led Indonesian managed training centre and a capacity building project to build the skills needed to establish 35 GW of energy across the archipelago. The Indonesian Government estimates the construction and operating of this system will create 1 million jobs.

This creates a huge opportunity for Indonesia to build skills and bring more people out of poverty.
Australia has an opportunity, in Indonesia, to not only attract foreign students but to also develop offshore opportunities and extend the value of our education capabilities and expertise.

This requires the development of new solutions. Indonesia needs direct help to not only reform the VET system but also to develop the soft skills needed to implement reform.

Opportunities are not straight forward, and no one would advocate a rush of investments in Australian-styled institutions in environments with very different economic and social drivers, not to mention much lower incomes. But the risks can be managed and the scale requirements beyond the initial capacity-building are manageable.

Sustainable Skills has developed several very interesting opportunities that we will continue to explore and develop. Each requires a local focus and strong guidance from experienced Australian specialists. This will take time, but we are confident that strong results will emerge from the application of that Australian expertise.

Watch Sustainable Skills video presentation

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From the Desk of the CEO – September 2018 Newsletter Address

Sustainable Skills CEO, Nigel Carpenter, delivering a speech at the 5th UPI International Conference on TVET in Bandung, Indonesia – September 2018.

On 11-12 September, I travelled to Bandung to attend the 5th Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI) International Conference on TVET. Focused on “Globalization, challenges, and disruptions in TVET”, the conference aimed to discuss key challenges and adaptation strategy to changes on technical and vocational education practices in the region and beyond. I was invited to deliver a speech on how Indonesia can develop a new Centre of Excellence which will improve their national TVET system the Indonesian way.

The Ministry of Research Technology and Higher Education (MORTHE) is embarking on a technical, vocational education and training reform plan with a view to establishing a new national Centre of Excellence at UPI.

UPI, supported by the Ministry of Research Technology and Higher Education and the Asian Development Bank intends building a new TVET Centre of Excellence and wants to apply the learnings from countries such as Germany or Australia. We have helped develop the Ministry’s reform plan including the CoE which will allow Indonesia to reform the TVET system the Indonesia way.

Key objectives of the CoE are

  • Drive Indonesia’s TVET reform agenda
  • Industry led competency-based training system
  • Quality training and assessment
  • Teacher professional development
  • Continuous improvement

 

 

Sustainable Skills Chairman, Michael Gill, delivering a speech at Africa Down Under in Perth – August 2018.

At the end of August, our Chairman, Michael Gill, travelled to Perth to attend Africa Down Under. Now in its 16th year, the Africa Down Under Conference (ADU) is the largest African mining-focused event outside of the continent itself and provides a platform for stakeholders eager to get in on the ground floor of the next African resources boom. Michael built on existing relationships and continued our focus on helping to build industry engaged TVET systems in developing countries.

Our Director, International Development Services, Luke Behncke, finished his contract with us to pursue a new professional project with his family. I would like to thank Luke for his wonderful contribution to Sustainable Skills over the last year and wish him all the very best for the future. We are thrilled to announce that Lee Jackson stepped in Luke’s former role as the new Director, International Development Services. Lee is an expert in TVET who has previously worked with Sustainable Skills on a consultancy basis and with SkillsDMC as Regional Manager for the WA office. I am glad to welcome Lee to the team in this new capacity and I am sure he will be a valuable asset to our organisation.

 

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From the Desk of the CEO – August 2018 Newsletter Address

This month I met Ms Nguy Thi Khanh, Executive Director of Vietnam’s Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID) at the Vietnam Renewable Energy Week being held in Hanoi.  Ms Khanh was a winner of the 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize – the world’s largest award for grassroots environmental activists. GreenID, a not for profit, works to achieve fundamental change in the approach to sustainable development by promoting the transition to a sustainable energy system, good environmental governance and inclusive decision processes. Sustainable Skills, having started exploring opportunities in Vietnam, is developing plans with GreenID to build the skills of the renewable energy sector.

Joko Widodo, Indonesia’s President and Scott Morrison, Australia’s Prime Minister are meeting in Jakarta this Friday to conclude the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership (IA-CEPA) which will create the framework for a new era of closer economic engagement between Australia and Indonesia and open new markets and opportunities for businesses, primary producers, service providers and investors. I’m currently in Jakarta and will be attending events associated with the signing. Australian Universities are expected to get the green light to start setting up campuses in Indonesia under the agreement.

The agreement will also provide opportunities to help improve the TVET capacity of Indonesia. The Australian TVET model, with its well-established industry-based competencies and modular course design, is very often the preferred choice for both qualitative and pragmatic reasons.

Sustainable Skills approach has been to work with Indonesian Ministries that have developed plans to reform VET, take key principles of the Australian VET system, understand the local culture and develop solutions.

The IA-CEPA has enabled a much improved understanding of how Indonesia’s workforce skills opportunity is central to Indonesia’s social and economic development.  Australian experience in delivering industry-based training can help Indonesia to deliver job-ready trained workers. Sustainable Skills Ltd. welcomes the significant opportunity IA-CEPA opens for world-class Australian training providers to contribute to skilling the Indonesian workforce into the future.

 

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Nigel Carpenter Interview for The Australia-Indonesia Centre

How Australia can meet Indonesia’s demand for high quality skills training

In June Susinable Skillsta CEO, Nigel Carpenter, was invited by the Australia Indonesia Business Council Victoria (AIBC) to speak at the Education Panel discussion about education in Indonesia. The conference aimed to unpick some of the key issues in a critical sector for Indonesia, and learn more about the country’s aspirations.

We are sharing an article about how Australia can meet Indonesia’s demand for high quality skills training written by Nigel Carpenter for The Australia-Indonesia Centre (AIC) as well as a video interview produced by AIC.

 

 

President Widodo has elevated infrastructure investment to the top priority and has an enormous investment agenda.

In this case it appears likely that a major constraint will be skills. Already, key projects are heavily staffed by foreigners – a practice that Indonesia simply can’t sustain.

Indonesia is a fiercely independent country with an economy that continues to grow. As the Indonesian economy has grown so has the need to improve the education system particularly vocational education.

We found a country with a strong desire to improve its VET system that has a high degree of alignment with industry demand and a practical design that supports the needs of low income communities.

The Australian model, with its well-established industry-based competencies and modular course design, is very often the preferred choice for both qualitative and pragmatic reasons.

Our approach has been to work with Indonesian Ministries that have developed plans to reform VET, take key principles of the Australian VET system, understand the local culture and develop solutions.

Indonesia has the chance to reform its VET picking the best the international education system has to offer.

Nigel Carpenter in West Java to understand local cattle farming with the objective of developing a plan to develop skills and therefore productivity.

Prior to my first trip to Jakarta I was told Indonesia requires a lot of time and patience to succeed, that business is done differently, and a lot of effort is required to understand the culture and build relationships.

All the advice I received has proven true.

The challenge is being prepared to build sound relationships and there’s only one way to do this – be in front of people and let them know you’re truly interested in their problems.

Indonesians tell me they like Sustainable Skills because we’re committed, and we don’t think several visits over six months will deliver success.

By building the relationship and understanding the problem, an Indonesian solution can be developed. Once a relationship and trust has been established then projects will proceed.

There are major VET capacity constraints and a massive need to build skills. For example, Indonesia wants to build 35 GW of energy.

Nigel Carpenter delivered a lecture at Universitas Pendidikan Bandung on what an Indonesian TVET Centre of Excellence could be.

The Indonesian Government estimates the construction and operating of this system will create 1 million jobs. This creates a huge opportunity for Indonesia to build skills and bring more people out of poverty.

These jobs require world standard competencies and a training system that will deliver world standard skills, otherwise more foreigners will be required.

We are working with the Indonesian government to develop plans to seize this opportunity.

Opportunities are not straight forward, and no one would advocate a rush of investments in Australian-styled institutions in environments with very different economic and social drivers, not to mention much lower incomes.

But the risks can be managed and the scale requirements beyond the initial capacity-building are manageable. Yet so far, most of the activity by Australian providers in these markets has a focus on accreditation, implying some of sort of local delivery of Australian courseware.

Australia has an opportunity to not only attract foreign students but to also develop offshore opportunities and extend the value of our education capabilities and expertise. This requires the development of new solutions.

In pursuing our usual work, we identified the need and commercial opportunity to establish an Australian led Indonesian managed stand-alone training centre.

We have identified a strong local partner and have had significant encouragement in testing the proposition with Indonesian industry and government approval authorities.

This opportunity aligns with the very high priority of infrastructure and tourism investment in the Widodo Government’s agenda. We’ve developed a business plan that doesn’t need a change to Indonesian laws.

Sustainable Skills has developed several very interesting opportunities that we will continue to explore and develop. Each requires a local focus and strong guidance from experienced Australian specialists.

This will take time, but we are confident that strong results will emerge from the application of that Australian expertise. We’d welcome partners or supporters in any of these projects.

Source: Australia-Indonesia Centre

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TVET in Vietnam

Current Situation of Technical Vocational Education and Training System in Vietnam

With a population of 94 million and people under the age of 35 accounting for 70 % of this number, the Socialist Republic of  Vietnam is currently one of the most dynamic and fastest growing emerging countries in East Asia region with an annual GDP growth of 6.6%, a GDP per capita of US$ 2,111, and an unemployment rate of 2.2% .

Vietnam is currently transitioning from a centrally planned to a market-based economy, and is now a lower middle-income country with an emerging middle class accounting for 13 percent of the population and expected to reach 26 percent by 2026.

Today education is equitably distributed with primary school enrollment reaching 99 percent of eligible children, and school attendance ratios for boys and girls largely equalized. In 2006, the Law on Gender Equality established the principles of gender equality in a number of fields as well as promoted measures to increase gender equality in the TVET (known as VET in Vietnam) such as ensuring that the proportion of man and females participating in the study and training is equal, and assisting female workers in rural areas to access VET.

In the coming years, Vietnam will need a large number of skilled and productive local workers able to  make the country competitive regionally and globally particularly for the infrastructure, agricultural, and manufacturing sectors. The local young and well-educated population, able to effectively gain knowledge and skills, work efficiently, and embrace new technology and innovation, is key to the Country’s development. The Vietnamese Government has put VET and boosting employment at the heart of its development goals by investing in education approximately 6.3% of GDP, much greater than the average for most low to middle-income nations, as well as some higher income countries such as Australia.

From 2010-2014 the state budget allocated to vocational training was 2.54 billion USD, out of which 40.81% was allocated to capital construction and 21.79% to the national target programmes. TVET in the formal education system is not legally free and institutions are free to determine the fee levels. For public VET institutions, tuition fees for programmes at the secondary and college education levels are capped at approximately 5 USD. However, institutions may add additional charges for special purposes, such as contributions for training materials and books. Private training providers have to recover all costs through tuition fees, and around 15-18% of trainees from lower-income or target groups are exempted from paying tuition fees, partially compensated by state subsidy.

The “Law on Vocational Education and Training” document, entered into force in 2015, regulates the vocational education and training system, stipulates the objectives of VET at the different education levels, and calls for:

  • encourage the private sector to be involved in the provision of VET;
  • support craftsmen and skilled workers in vocational training, especially in traditional vocational and vocations in rural areas;
  • involve socio-political organizations, social organizations, socio-professional organizations in formulating strategies, planning, and policies regarding VET;
  • develop bridge programmes to facilitate VET students to take programmes as higher education levels in the same or different disciplines.

Current reforms are focused on the implementation of the Law and Vocational Education and Training, and include:

  • reforming the testing and examination procedures;
  • developing policy reforms to improve the quality of teachers and trainers;
  • establishing a network of VET institutions and enterprises;
  • increasing the autonomy of VET institutions.

There are five main challenges to the TVET system identified in Vietnam:

  • adapting the VET system to technological developments;
  • poor ratio of skilled workers working in the sector;
  • skills mismatch affecting productivity;
  • increasing autonomy among VET institutions;
  • outdated technology of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) cannot provide proper employment.

Sustainable Skills is currently exploring opportunities to support the reform of the VET system in Vietnam. In 2015-2016, our organisation was engaged as an implementation partner by the Australian Department of Education and Training to support the development of occupational standards aligned to Industry operational needs in Vietnam, the Philippines and Australia which could be used for benchmarking of qualifications in each of the countries. In this capacity we took part in in-country visits and technical workshops, provided a two-week secondment for TVET professionals from the participating countries, and worked closely with the relevant public sector organisatons to achieve the goals of the project, targeting the development of Industry engagement strategies, the development of regional occupational standards and benchmarking qualifications against these regional standards. Click here to read more about the project.

 

Source: Unesco-Unevoc World TVET Database

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