Vocational qualifications are becoming increasingly popular across the world, as they provide learners with the practical skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in specific occupations or trades. These credentials are typically offered by technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, which aim to provide high-quality and relevant learning opportunities for youth and adults in the labor market. In fact, TVET qualifications are equivalent to academic qualifications and are recognized by various awarding bodies and accrediting agencies worldwide, including OFCAL, CAA, ANECA, QAA, SQA, and UGC.
While the popularity of vocational qualifications varies across regions and countries, they are particularly popular in Western countries like Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands. These countries have a well-established and well-funded TVET system that combines school-based learning with workplace-based training, resulting in high-quality vocational qualifications that are recognized nationally and internationally. Additionally, these countries involve social partners like employers, workers, and professional associations in the design, delivery, and evaluation of TVET programs and qualifications.
On the other hand, some Middle Eastern and European countries face challenges in their TVET systems, resulting in a mismatch between the skills and competencies of TVET graduates and the needs of employers. However, there are efforts underway to reform and improve TVET systems and qualifications in these regions with the support of international organizations such as UNESCO, the ETF, the World Bank, the ILO, and the GIZ. These efforts include developing national qualifications frameworks, enhancing quality assurance mechanisms, promoting lifelong learning opportunities, fostering public-private partnerships, increasing access and equity for disadvantaged groups, and raising awareness and advocacy for the value and benefits of TVET qualifications.
In the UAE, there is a huge scope for TVET courses, as the country has been focusing on vocational education in the last decade to enable the local population to be self-sufficient and employable, as well as to become entrepreneurs of the future. This aligns with the UAE vision 2030, and the Dubai government has recently approved the TVET law to be administered by KHDA. KHDA has started permitting vocational institutes and colleges since December 2022, and DeMont Institute of Management and Technology is one of the earliest institutes permitted by KHDA, offering Pearson, CMI and NCFE courses in Dubai International Academic City.
Vocational qualifications offer learners a practical pathway to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in specific occupations or trades. While TVET systems face various challenges, international organizations and national governments are working together to reform and improve these systems, resulting in increased access and equity for disadvantaged groups and a stronger link between TVET and the labor market.