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The trouble with TVET: some limitations of the technical and vocational education and training literature from low- and middle-income countries

Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 17:30 to 19:00
Speaker: Janice Tripney, EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education
Venue: LIDC Upper Meeting Room,  London International Development Centre, 36 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD
With increasing emphasis being given to work-based solutions to economic and political stability in the developing world, comes a renewed focus on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) as a means to expand opportunities for marginalised youth and alleviate poverty. But what do we really know about TVET? Do the different TVET models that exist differ in their ability to help young people overcome the numerous challenges faced in transitioning to working life? How important is it that TVET programmes are tied to an entire industry sector? Does it make a difference whether TVET programmes are demand-driven, or involve public-private partnerships? These sorts of questions are important to policymakers and donors wishing to limit their investments in TVET to the most effective programmes.

This seminar will present a systematic review commissioned by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) to examine the evidence base on TVET in low- and middle-income countries. Using meta-analytic techniques, the review found that TVET has significant, though small, effects on the employment and earnings of young people. However, we were unable to make a recommendation either for or against the use of any particular model of TVET. This presentation will discuss some of the reasons why, and make suggestions for how we as researchers can start to tackle the important policy-relevant questions left unanswered by this review.