The second Roundtable Group Discussion was held in the afternoon of Day 1 of the conference, after the Panel Presentation on TVET in Qatar – Patterns, Trends and Prospects.

Perhaps more than any other educational sector, TVET (institutions and enterprises) has to react to technological, demographic and socio-economic changes, where change has become the norm: 

  • technological advancement, e.g., digitization, Industry 4.0, which is creating a shift in labour market demand
  • change of economies towards longer value chains, outsourcing
  • migration through globalization, internationalization, regionalization (expats, refugees)
  • global warming
  • green technologies, green consciousness
  • an aging population, increased female participation in the labour force.


Groups:

The topics for discussion were:

In the light of Panel Presentations on the Qatar Context, what suggestions can you make that could help TVET in Qatar contribute to sustainable and inclusive development more effectively? For example:

  1. What are the special drivers of economic, social and environmental change in Qatar?    
  2. What changes are being made (or have been made) in TVET in Qatar TVET in response to these drivers and changes. For example:
    • changes in the philosophies and aims of TVET

    • TVET system and qualification frameworks

    • curricula and course structures

    • new teaching methods and approaches to assessment
    •  TVET teacher education
    •  social inclusion
    •  green skills


  3. Might there be other changes that you could recommend be considered by policy makers in Qatar?

Roundtable 2 Report

Drivers of economic, social and environmental change in Qatar.
Clearly, Qatar is a resource rich wealthy country, with a need to diversify beyond its current narrow base. The very small number of Qatari nationals means that young, school graduates mostly find a place in the workforce - many join the public service, the Military, the Police, as well as joining other organizations and professions.

With basically 'full employment', many of the visiting scholars asked themselves the question: What is the 'problem' upon which we should focus?  For most countries in the world, the challenge is to help young people find a worthwhile place to make a living and to live a good life.  If this is not the problem here, what is the key problem?

Some of the issues identified include:

  • There is a perception of TVET as being less important than a degree. The challenge is whether industry and business will continue to look for a degree, and if so, what is the education pathway to a degree? Where is the cross-laddering?
  • In Qatar, the skills of students coming into the TVET education system vary considerably – some have critical thinking skills, some do not; some have learned independent thinking, some are most familiar with rote learning. It can be very difficult for the higher education system to respond in a coherent way.
  • There is a huge non-national population in Qatar, virtually all of who have an uncertain term of residence in Qatar. Can TVET contribute to this wider expat community?
  • There is very minimal recycling in Qatar. How can be included in the mind shift being asked of the education curriculum?
  • Gender equity was raised as a challenge in Qatar. How can women be fully embraced into the economic life of Qatar, and fully contribute in proportion to their considerable success in public school?

In response, Qatar continues to be in the midst of phenomenal and massive changes in their physical and economic infrastructure, not the least of which is their increased focus on self-reliance brought on by the ongoing siege. 

As well, the extraordinary developments related to FIFA 2022 preparations are causing an arguably temporary mountain of growth, activity and change. Post-2022 economic and societal realities are unclear, and have caused Qatar’s focus to shift to a diversified economy beyond oil and gas. This and many other priorities are reflected in the Qatar National Vision 2030 document. Further, a TVET National Qualifications Framework (QNQF) is in the process of being established in Qatar.


In addition to existing efforts, participants identified the need for: 

  • simulation centres for training 
  • better dissemination of national research and best practices 
  • teachers to be prepared to train learners for sustainability, as well as for specific skills, premised on

    lifelong learning principles 
  • notwithstanding current initiatives for inclusion, greater efforts need to be made on inclusion as

    regards immigrants, disabled persons and women 
  • greater collaboration and partnerships in labour market planning 
  • 21st century skills, including ethical value set and underpinned with adaptability 
  • a pathways focus for training institutions to offer clear choices to learners
  •  as much as possible, industry’s future requirements need to inform TVET curriculum development.

Policy considerations for Qatar

Many ideas and questions were generated for consideration by Qatari leadership, and offered in a non-critical and non-prescriptive way to add to the unfathomable mix of initiatives already being undertaken.

  • Does the country wish to divert Qatari nationals away from jobs in the military, police, civil service, etc. and into jobs in the petrochemical industry, into the construction industry, and into the new, yet to be grown industries? Or is the problem that there is not enough non-Qatari people, long-term residents, even born in Qatar, to do the technical jobs? Or is the key problem that the country has identified some new emerging economic areas and wishes to ensure a pipeline of new young workers for those opportunities? 
  • Promote a change in attitudes through advocacy for employers to recognize that a degree is not necessary for all occupations. At the same time, the value of a TVET diploma must be recognized at the public school level.
  • TVET should not be tied solely to industry imperatives but also to aspirations of students
  • Focus on incentivizing TVET for Qatari nationals, targeting families more so than companies, as the latter already send their employees [sponsored] to upskill at college.
  • Courses/opportunities for migrant workers. Continue with plans to establish an effective skills planning governance structure at the national level, including the establishment of standards. More consideration of skill and competency, rather than simply the degree, in the structuring of salaries
  • Greater involvement of all parties (industry, post-secondary institutions, society, government) in TVET.
  • As TVET expands, teacher education will need to change and expand. How, and in which sectors?

Further, some ideas were put forward for possible research to inform policy decisions. Click below for more information: