Understanding the impact of artificial intelligence on skills development
UNESCO UNEVOC (2021) - Artificial intelligence has produced new teaching and learning solutions that are now undergoing testing in different contexts. In addition to its impact on the education sector, AI is substantially altering labour markets, industrial services, agriculture processes, value chains and the organization of workplaces in particular.
Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) contributes to sustainable development by fostering employment, decent work and lifelong learning. However, the effectiveness of a TVET system depends on its links and relevance to the labour market. As one of the major drivers of change, there is a need to better understand the impact of AI on labour markets, and consequently on TVET systems.
In certain middle- and higher-income societies, artificial intelligence is already deeply immersed in legislation and governance, policy, state expenditure, the private sector and national economies. In these cases, TVET institutions are presiding over the ‘hollowing out’ of intermediate level skills and the direct integration of AI into education and training. Contrastingly, many TVET institutions have yet to form meaningful or robust responses to technological shifts.
Regardless of context, all TVET institutions should develop an understanding of the current and future importance of AI and begin to incorporate its use into their planning. Forward thinking and, where possible, pre-emptive action, will put TVET institutions and their graduates in a position to thrive in the era of AI and contribute positively to economic, social, and individual development.