Young people and adults increasingly recognise that vocational skills are needed for participation in the world of work. For governments, public technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is seen as essential for enhancing economic competitiveness and for contributing to social inclusion, poverty reduction and sustainable development. As well as responding to labour market trends, public TVET is expected to equip learners with basic skills and to support personal and social development. Employers are increasingly emphasising the need for new “soft” skills, such as communication, negotiation and team working, in addition to technical knowledge and ability.
The 2001 UNESCO and ILO Revised Recommendation concerning Technical and Vocational Education uses “technical and vocational education” as:
“a comprehensive term referring to those aspects of the educational process involving, in addition to general education, the study of technologies and related sciences, and the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding and knowledge relating to occupations in various sectors of economic and social life”.