TVET Promotion for Positive Behavioural Change
According to the Youth Training and Employment Perception Study (Francis, 2014), a common perception regarding TVET in Timor-Leste is that of a pathway chosen by those unable to cope with formal school education. Another common problem associated with TVET is the highly variable quality of training centres, and mismatch between skills and industry requirements. People fail to perceive it as a viable career pathway since it is a common occurrence for even the government to prefer foreign workers to local TVET graduates for government jobs. People need to witness proof of TVET being able to move in tandem with the realities of the workplace and ensure long-term gainful employment.
The Youth Training and Employment Perception Study of 2014 suggested that TVET be promoted in all 13 districts through media such as TV and radio, newspapers, online platforms such as Facebook, career expos and Skills’ Olympics, seminars and workshops, and community platforms such as the Church and village chiefs (Francis, 2014). Resultantly, TVET promotion campaigns are run regularly to bring positive behavioural change.
The overarching goal of TVET promotional campaigns is to make quality TVET a higher priority amongst TVET stakeholders in Timor-Leste. The objectives are:
- to increase awareness about important youth training and employment issues;
- to increase the perceived status of TVET;
- to highlight linkages between investment in TVET and national economic growth; and
- to assist accredited training centres with their promotion.
At the implementation level, campaigns follow an integrated marketing communications (IMC) approach, involving unified branding and messaging promoted through multiple media channels.
In effect, a TVET Communications Plan 2015 was developed and the ‘Formasaun Profisional’ (Vocational Training) campaign was launched. The 2015 “Professional Formation: Train People in Order to Work” campaign successfully promoted TVET to the youth through short films, radio spots, accreditation signage, comic strips, facebook posts and banners on topics such as career planning, selection of training centres and optional courses and employment tips (Francis, 2016). Similarly, the TVET Communications Plan 2016 facilitated employment opportunities for Mid-Level Skills Training Project (MLSTP) graduates through newspaper articles, a brochure and video.
National Skills Competitions were conducted in September 2014, October 2015 and October 2016 to foster interaction and networking between TVET students and industry representatives and to encourage female workforce participation in non-traditional sectors. These competitions invited participation of 17 accredited training centres and showcased skills such as serving three course meals and installation of a kitchen sink. SEPFOPE is presently considering sponsoring participants to compete in international skills competitions.
Promotional campaigns in general have witnessed widespread coverage and acceptance. For instance, the ‘Formasaun Profisional’ (Vocational Training) campaign that targeted potential TVET students and ran from April-November 2015 was exposed to 96% of target group respondents. Furthemore, the promotional materials developed for the campaign were significantly rated “very good” and “good”, as well as “informative”, “helpful” and “relevant”.
TVET Promotion. (n.d.). Mid-Level Skills Training Project. Retrieved from https://www.mlstp.net/tvet-promotion.html [Accessed 1 Jun. 2018].
Francis, S. (2016). Timor-Leste - TVET Communications Plan 2016 (Draft). Retrieved from https://www.mlstp.net/uploads/4/8/6/7/48670023/tvet_communications_plan_2016.pdf [Accessed 1 Jun. 2018].
Francis, S. (2014). Timor-Leste TVET - Youth Training and Employment Perception Study. Retrieved from http://www.mlstp.net/uploads/4/8/6/7/48670023/14.12.13_youth_training_&_employment_perception_study_draft_1.pdf [Accessed 1 Jun. 2018].