Vocational Education and Skills Development

After having been a rather neglected field of intervention in international development cooperation over the last decades, vocational education is currently experiencing a revival. Reasons for this are the high levels of youth unemployment, the realisation that primary education qualifications are not sufficient to enable people to break out of the cycle of poverty and, lastly, the focus of international development cooperation on economic development.

However, vocational education is seen as inefficient and an educational disadvantage in most countries in the Global South, making any upward social mobility impossible. Discussions thus focus on how vocational training could be improved to meet both the needs of the economy as well as higher quality standards and how such improvements could help with escaping the "dead-end vocational training". In many parts of the Global South, there has been considerable interest in the German model of dual vocational training (in the workplace and in vocational school), which is considered to be the main reason for the low levels of youth unemployment in German speaking countries.

ÖFSE analyses vocational training as part of education systems in Global South countries both in the light of different colonial traditions and new global developments as well as with regard to current strategies of economic development. With respect to possible transfers of the dual system, questions to be investigated are the specific interests of old and new key players in international development (e.g. the corporate sector of donor countries) and the strategies needed to make vocational training an effective method of poverty reduction and of overcoming social disparities, thus generating inclusive economic development.

For more information contact:

Ms. Margarita Langthaler
Senior Researcher
Tel.: +43 1 317 40 10 – 112  
E-Mail: m.langthaler@oefse.at
more information

Publications on the topic:

Working Paper 64

A conceptual approach to vocational training in fragile contexts – bridging education and economic development.

Inspired by a scoping mission to Somalia.

Stefan Wolf / Nicole Rudner

Wien, May 2021

Vocational Education and Training (TVET) can contribute to education and economic developmen ...

Policy Note 37

Vocational Education for Industrialisation. The case of Oman in a regional perspective.

Margarita Langthaler

Wien, March 2021

As part of its 2040 Development Strategy, the Sultanate of Oman aims at industrial diversifi ...

Briefing Paper 30

Skills for Green and Just Transitions. Reflecting on the role of Vocational Education and Training for Sustainable Development.

Margarita Langthaler / Simon McGrath / Presha Ramsarup

Wien, February 2021

The human capability to learn is widely regarded as one of the most important resources for  ...

Briefing Paper 28

Digitalization, education and skills development in the Global South: an assessment of the debate with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa

Margarita Langthaler / Homa Bazafkan

Wien, November 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified discussions about the digital revolution, but has also ...

Briefing Paper 26

Preventing migration with vocational education? Understanding the migration – vocational education nexus

Margarita Langthaler / Dilara Gündüz

Wien, June 2020

In many parts of the world, migration has become a controversially debated issue and a polic ...

Policy Note 34

Ist Berufsbildung ein Mittel zur Minderung von Migrationsdruck? Zum Verhältnis zwischen Migration, Berufsbildung und Entwicklung

Margarita Langthaler / Dilara Gündüz

Wien, June 2020

Migration ist auch in der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit zu einem Schwerpunktthema geworden. In  ...

Briefing Paper 18

Skills for decent work, life and sustainable development

Vocational Education and the Sustainable Development Goals

Simon McGrath / Joyceline Alla-Mensah / Margarita Langthaler

Wien, September 2018

While Vocational Education and Training (VET) was almost absent from earlier international  ...

Briefing Paper 15

Policy Transfer im Bildungswesen – mit einem Fokus auf den Transfer des dualen Lehrlingssystems im Rahmen der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit

Margarita Langthaler

Wien, November 2017

Der Transfer von Bildungspolitiken und -strategien aus einem Land in ein anderes hat eine la ...

Policy Note 15

Der Transfer der dualen Lehrlingsausbildung in Entwicklungs- und Schwellenländer

Eine entwicklungspolitische Analyse

Margarita Langthaler

Wien, September 2015

In den letzten Jahren ist das internationale Interesse am österreichischen System der dualen ...

Working Paper 53

The transfer of the Austrian dual system of vocational education to transition and developing countries.

An analysis from a developmental perspective

Margarita Langthaler

Wien, July 2015

The increasing international interest in the Austrian dual system of apprenticeship has trig ...

Briefing Paper 9

Aktuelle Trends und Strategien der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit im Sektor berufliche Bildung und Skills Development

Mit einem Überblick über ausgewählte Geberorganisationen

Margarita Langthaler

Wien, June 2013

Berufliche Bildung in der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit (EZA) erlebt derzeit nach einer Phase r ...

Österreichische Entwicklungspolitik 2013

Private Sector Development

Ein neuer Businessplan für Entwicklung?

ÖFSE (Hrsg.)

Wien, May 2013 | 978-3-902906-00-7

Diese Ausgabe der "Österreichischen Entwicklungspolitik" widmet sich dem Schwerpunkthema "Pr ...