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The future of technical & vocational education & training (tvet) for upskilling adults serving children

TECHNICAL-VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING (TVET) is education, training, and skills development related to various occupational fields. TVET is part of lifelong learning, and learners can participate in these programs in secondary school, after high school, or as part of their work-based learning and continuing professional development (UNESCO). 

UNESCO recently published its TVET strategy for 2022-2029. TVET stands for Technical, Vocational Education, and Training. TVET refers to all kinds of education, training, and skills development that people get. TVET is seen as lifelong learning, where learners can participate in learning programs either in secondary school, after high school, or even as part of their work-based learning and continuing professional development.

Most countries have their own TVET system or strategies and local regulatory bodies of TVET. Take a look at TVET in the United Arab Emirates, and Australia, or learn about TVET in India here. And each TVET system has its own challenges, priorities, and reforms that they are planning. For example, India wants to promote national standards in skilling through the active involvement of employers, align the demand and supply of skilled workers with sectoral requirements and reduce mismatch, and leverage modern technology to ensure scale, access, and outreach.

Approximately 267 million young people are Not in Employment, Education, or Training (NEET).  31% of young women are NEET.  14% of young men are NEET.  12% of young people who are employed live in extreme poverty. 

When reading about TVET, you will also come across a term called NEET, which refers to people who are ‘Not in Employment, Education, or Training’. Across the world, there are about 267 million people in NEET, 31% of young women are NEET, and 14% of young men are NEET. TVET strategies are used to address this challenge and are usually centered around how upskilling can solve the ‘NEET’ challenge. However, this kind of skills gap is a global problem, not just a local or national one, and NGOs, Governments, and other organizations cannot do it alone. Only through global (or regional) collaboration, sharing, and partnerships can we efficiently and sustainably solve the problem.

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The Skills Gap is a global problem. But NGOs, Governments, and other orgs cannot do it alone. Collaboration and partnerships is the solution. GCA provides the platform for global partnerships between training providers.

Now that we know people need upskilling, you may ask yourself, what areas do they need upskilling in? You may think about skills that help people gain better employment, providing competencies with specialist skills, skills that promote social equity and inclusive workplaces, and skills that tackle gender disparity. But what about skills that help our societies be more peaceful and centered around one of the most valuable assets in the world today – children?

When examining TVET strategies worldwide, little is said about what it could mean for training and upskilling adults and professionals who protect and safeguard children.

  • There are 2.2 billion children around the world and many of these children are not getting what they need from adults around them.
  • People around children lack the skills to nurture, protect, and safeguard children. What’s worse is that even if the professional is skilled in their own role, they lack the proper skills to work with others collaboratively in order to provide a holistic circle of care that the child deserves for stable and optimal development.
  • The current crisis can also be seen as an opportunity for change. There are many programs and initiatives to help upskill and build the capacity of people who serve children. Yet, many organizations still start from scratch, trying to recreate elements of what others have already accomplished. We need to come together, unite our resources, build better partnerships and scale our programs to adult learners who are making a difference in the lives of children globally.

Note: When we say people around the child, we mean adults who have a role in caring for, educating, protecting, and safeguarding children. This includes parents, educators, health professionals, policy makers, education leaders, police officers, social workers, and even business owners, media, journalists and child advocates.

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GCA’s mission is to create an ecosystem that supports the upskilling of all professionals who care for, educate, and protect children. Visit globalchildhoodacademy.com to learn more.

Advocating for a TVET strategy that is centered around the child with the long term goal of building a peaceful and prosperous society should be a priority area globally.

  • We need to work together to teach people the rules and rights related to protecting and safeguarding children. 
  • We need to develop people’s strong ethical and moral compass when dealing with, caring for, educating, and protecting children.
  • We need to teach people about the science: brain development, the plasticity of the brain, toxic stress, etc. 
  • We need to empower people through practical skill-building: coaching, mentoring, observing them in practice, role-playing, etc.  
  • We need to teach people how to collaborate with others, build partnerships, and develop social cohesion to protect and safeguard children. 
  • We need to create programs that build flexible lifelong learning pathways
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GCA has evidence to demonstrate that we have improved learning and employability outcomes.
  • We need better mechanisms for networking and partnerships: 

The world is full of ideas, webinars, training content, books, and pedagogy related to dealing with children. For almost 100 years or more, we have known, to some degree, what children need, thanks to people like Maria Montessori, Piaget, Vygotsky, Erikson, and others. Yet, we still struggle to put this knowledge into practice because, as training providers, there is only so much we can do and so many people we can reach. We talk about working in networks, advocating for partnerships, joining coalitions, and participating in working groups. Yet, we still need the core mechanisms to share and help each other grow.  

  • Use technology to help manage partnership building and scale

If we are to upskill hundreds of thousands and even millions of adults and professionals working together with other partners and organizations, sharing resources with each other, exchanging strategies, co-training, utilizing local resources, and sharing learner networks, then we need to utilize technology to protect our work and to help us scale. Instead of using a paper contract or digital signature, outlining roles and responsibilities of both parties, we need to leverage the power of technology to help protect our IP as we scale, adapt, contextualize and grow into new markets.


The Global Childhood Academy (GCA) is an EdTech platform dedicated to enabling upskilling of professionals and educators serving children. Our mission is to create an ecosystem, bringing together adult learners with vetted training providers and thought leaders from around the world. To do this, we have designed a platform that brings together stakeholders collectively making a lasting impact on our future societies.

JOIN GCA’S Global Community

Are you currently involved in childhood initiatives? Does your work impact the care, education, and protection of children? Then, consider joining the global GCA community.

#partnerships #multistakeholder #systemschange #upskilling #tvet


Transforming technical and vocational education and training for successful and just transitions: UNESCO strategy 2022-2029. https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000383360 

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