The Keynote Addresses were chaired by John Fien, Professor of Practice, School of Architecture and Urban Design, RMIT University, Australia. He highlighted the following overarching question to be addressed by the speakers which was synthesized in Round Table Discussion 1 later in the day.

Professor Fien discussed education for 21st Century skills. TVET needs to incorporate higher order, social competencies, digital and wider skills. In fact, these skills should be incorporated in all education, not just TVET. There is a need for evidence-based research and also a need to move to an inclusive and sustainable development paradigm for TVET. What is required is a new international agenda on TVET.


Presentations on the topic were delivered by four international experts: 

  • Margarita Pavlova, Director, UNESCO Centre (Hong, Kong); Associate Professor, Department of International Education and Lifelong Learning, The Education University of Hong Kong; 
  • Jon Lauglo, Emeritus Professor of Sociology of Education, University of Oslo, Norway; 
  • Chris Forlin, International Consultant, University of Western Australia, Australia;
  • Karina Veal, International Expert on TVET, Philippines.  


A summary of the key messages from these speakers were:

Education 2030 and the Significance of 21st Century Skills: Implications for TVET Margarita Pavlova (Education University of Hong Kong) 
An analysis of the importance of the UNESCO Education 2030 agenda both for 21st Century skills and TVET was provided and identification of the UNESCO strategy for TVET 3 pillars of priority areas; youth employment and entrepreneurship; promoting equity and gender equality; and, facilitating the transition to green economies and sustainable societies.
TVET to meet the Needs of the Intellectually and Physically Challenged Chris Forlin (University of Western Australia)
The United Nations Sustainability Goals “opportunities for all” in SDG4, ensuring access to all levels of education, and TVET for all people “including those with disabilities” in Target 5 of the Transforming TVET policy, as well as SDG8, “all people are active contributors to society” must be actioned. Practical solutions were offered from the International Labour Organisation (ILO, 2017) and other sources.
The Global Spread of Reverse Gender Gap in Education and the role of TVET Jon Lauglo (University of Oslo, Norway)
There has been a very striking social change that has occurred over this presenter's lifetime. There is a ‘reverse gender gap’ in educational attainment level in most countries but there are still major social inequalities in power structures and in the labour market.

Closing the Gap between TVET and Employers: Challenges for Training Systems and Providers Karina Veal (International Expert on TVET, Philippines)
How to bring employers and providers closer together is a crucial topic globally, especially those that are moving to a knowledge economy. A successful TVET system does have to be relevant to industry. There are a number of factors for success outlined such as having standard qualifications validated by industry; vocational and academic pathways; high performing training institutions.