In-Company Trainer Standard in ASEAN Countries
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is one of the largest economic communities in the world experiencing stable growth since 2000. The lack of adequately skilled workers is a crucial bottleneck for sustained growth and keeping companies competitive. Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is recognised as an important element in strategies to close prevailing skills gaps, yet in practice the school-based TVET systems of ASEAN member states (AMS) rarely meet expectations and TVET graduates fail to meet the demands of business and industry.
The involvement of business and industry in TVET delivery can play a significant role in preparing ASEAN's workforce for the labour market. In-company training complements education in vocational schools by offering hands-on practical training, drawing on up-to-date know-how from business and industry. As a result, all stakeholders benefit; graduates are employed, companies hire competent workers and the regional economy grows sustainably.
Ongoing initiatives in the ASEAN region
In-company training is globally recognised as a best practice to provide students and apprentices with technical knowledge and practical skills. Work-based learning in companies relies on competent in-company trainers with the right competencies to effectively train students, apprentices and other employees. Education and labour policies need to support in-company trainers in their important role as TVET personnel.
Between 2014 and 2015, a regional working group addressed the need of defining a benchmark for the essential competencies of trainers engaged in TVET delivery at the workplace. In a collaborative process, they jointly developed the Standard for In-Company Trainers in ASEAN Countries. The group consisted of 60 experts from labour and education ministries, standard authorities, business and industry, universities and other educational and training institutions from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.
In November 2015, representatives from eight AMS established a regional steering committee to oversee the promotion and implementation of the standard at the regional and national level. The committee is composed of one public and private sector representative from each country.
RECOTVET’s support to ASEAN
Strengthening business and industry cooperation in TVET is a central objective of the German government’s efforts in Southeast Asia to support the quality and labour market orientation of TVET systems. In collaboration with GIZ's bilateral TVET programmes, RECOTVET supports the expansion and improvement of in-company training at the regional and national level by
- promoting investments in the competencies of in-company trainers by public and private institutions;
- promoting and supporting the implementation of the Standard for In-Company Trainers in ASEAN Countries through its national adaptation or endorsement by respective authorities of AMS;
- implementing training courses for master trainers (trainers of in-company trainers) in cooperation with relevant regional and national partner organisations;
- supporting the development of a trainer handbook and materials, including e-learning materials;
- facilitating knowledge sharing among AMS, particularly through support to the regional steering committee.
GIZ's support to strengthening the competencies of in-company trainers in ASEAN countries has resulted in the following achievements to date:
- Public and private TVET experts from across the ASEAN region jointly developed the Standard for In-Company Trainers in ASEAN Countries;
- The Senior Officials Meeting on Education (SOMED) endorsed the standard in December 2017 as a regional benchmark and expressed its support to introduce the standard at the national level;
- The responsible public TVET authorities in Thailand and the Philippines have introduced national regulations for in-company trainers based on the regional standard;
- TVET experts from across the region jointly developed a training curriculum, content and materials for the training of master trainers;
- 127 master trainers have been trained in four regional and two national master trainer trainings;
- Master trainers have trained almost 450 technicians in in-company trainer courses in their respective countries, utilising training materials that they had translated and adapted to their national context;
- AMS have engaged in peer exchange and learning in six steering committee meetings between 2015 and 2018, discussing among other issues options for the training, assessment and certification of in-company trainers and business models for the sustainable financing of in-company trainer courses.