16th October 2017: H.E Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor, Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology joined Government and industry representatives, experts, thought-leaders, and young people from around the world in the WorldSkills Conference 2017 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), which is being held under the theme of ‘Skills Strategies for a Globalized World’.
The event aims to address the foremost challenges facing the development of vocational skills around the world as the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ ushers in dramatic changes to the way people live, learn, and work, and accelerates the need for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to nurture the abilities and talents that the industries and economies of the future will need.
Africa’s development blueprint ‘Agenda 2063’ emphasizes undertaking concerted actions to catalyze a Skills Revolution through strengthening TVET systems and scaled up investments. The Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25) further capitalizes on numerous and active players ready to mobilize financial, human and technical resources within national, regional and continental coalitions for education, science and technology. Thus, CESA 16-25 seeks to provide each education stakeholder the opportunity to the best contribution to education and training in Africa.
On the sidelines of the meeting, H.E the Commissioner held a bilateral meeting with Mr Simon Bartley the President WorldSkills International (WSI); the meeting discussed the proposal for the creation of WorldSkills Africa. Both parties appreciated the nexus of the WSI and AUC mandates; and further agreed to explore this to benefit the African Continent through the creation of WorldSkills Africa. The value addition of the WSI partnership is to support African countries in accelerating the implementation of the Continental Strategy on Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) through the establishment of a pool of high-quality TVET centers across Africa, greater links with industry and alignment to labor markets, with a view to improve the skills profile, employability and entrepreneurship of especially youth and women, and closing the skills gap across the continent.
In her remarks, the H.E the Commissioner applauded the six AU Member States (Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt) who are already members of WSI and implored them to share experiences with other African Countries. In a bilateral meeting with the representatives of the six WSI AU Member States, the Commissioner called upon the African countries to accelerate the implementation of the Continental Strategy on TVET to improve the attractiveness, marketability and credibility of TVET in a bid to change perceptions and mind-sets on vocational education and training in Africa – a key objective of the Continental Strategy on TVET, with the ultimate goal of improving the outcomes of education and skills development and eventually enhance youth employment in Africa.
During the Conference, 15 panel sessions will analyze and debate pivotal issues surrounding the future skills agenda, with participants including representatives from the world’s leading vocational and skills development organizations, such as AUC, UNESCO, the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the European Commission, the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN), and the British Council.
Similarly, working in think-tanks dedicated to exploring specific global TVET challenges, 300 young professionals from 70 countries had begun collaborating online leading up to the Youth Forum in Abu Dhabi. Key discussions addressed TVET in relations with innovation, entrepreneurship, diversity and inclusion, global citizenship, the green economy, and Industry 4.0.
Furthermore, the skills competition features 300 young people from more than 60 WorldSkills Member countries and regions demonstrate their technical skills and craftsmanship across 51 Skills categories to government ministers, representatives of WorldSkills partner organizations, and the conference audience
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