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26 October 2021

Green skills leading the way – Day 2 round up

Green skills and training young people to support the green shift were at the forefront of the second day of WorldSkills Conference 2021.

The second day's sessions, part of a five-day hybrid event taking place in Shanghai and online, began with a look at how green skills can be made the focus of curriculums, with a focus on the Asian-Pacific region.

Session 2.1 — Bringing green skills to curriculums - a focus on the Asia-Pacific region

This session examined the approached used by ASEAN+3 countries to adapting vocational education and training to meet the needs of profound economic changes and the jobs they will provide.

The first session was moderated by Dr. Neil Bentley-Gockmann, CEO WorldSkills UK, with guests including:

  • Isidro S. Lapeña, Director General of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the Philippines,
  • Chen Haina, Vice President of Guangzhou Industry and Trade Technician College, and
  • Amina Maharjan of ICIMOD.

“The Asian-Pacific region is a great powerhouse of skills and talent,” Mr Bentley-Gockman said. “It is extremely relevant for anywhere in the world to have an understanding of major Asian economies, which are helping to drive the world’s economy in terms of policymaking but also in terms of economic development and change.”


2.2 Showcase — Job-rich opportunities of the green transition

The second session highlighted the many jobs the transition to a green economy has the potential to create, and was moderated by Kenneth Abraham Barrientos from UNESCO-UNEVOC and Robert Parua, an Education Specialist, for UNESCO in Beijing.

Among the speakers was Adrian Ang, a Senior Manager at Temasek Polytechnic’s UNEVOC Centre in Singapore.

Technology was changing so fast, he said, that there was a danger students’ knowledge would be outdated even as they graduated and entered the workforce

“We as educators have to be forward looking and plan ahead and make sure that what we teach is not just relevant but something we can envision happening subsequently,” he said.

2.3 The WorldSkills Occupational Standards: Building its value for work and VET futures

For the final session of the day, speakers looked at how vocation education and training can serve the specific needs of countries, but also adopt common standards like the WorldSkills Occupational Standards.

Speakers included:

  • Paul Comyn, Senior Skills & Employability Specialist with the International Labour Organization, and
  • Borhene Chakroun the Director of UNESCO’s Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems.

Mr Chakroun stressed the importance of engaging all stakeholders in creating TVET standards.

“In many countries in the world, having a national standard is a challenge and that why it is important to see how at global level we can also support, that shouldn’t undermine, shouldn’t reduce the importance of national dialogue,” he said.

The Conference continues tomorrow with discussions about inclusivity and a session devoted to how WorldSkills has responded to the pandemic and the Year of Innovation initiative.