SEAMEO VOCTECH (SV) Regional Centre successfully held the International Conference on ‘Digitalising and Greening TVET for Sustainable Development’ on Thursday, 27 October 2022, in Bangkok Thailand, in conjunction with the Centre’s 33rd Governing Board Meeting. The International Conference was attended by approximately 130 participants from across the globe and live-streamed on YouTube.

The opening ceremony was attended by Deputy Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) Ministry of Education, Thailand, Dr. Pichet Popakdee and His Excellency Pengiran Sahari Pengiran Salleh The Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to the Kingdom of Thailand.

Deputy Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) Ministry of Education, Thailand, Dr. Pichet Popakdee, officiated the event and gave the opening remarks. In his speech, he commended the Centre’s efforts of drawing attention to the urgent issues on sustainable development, and cited the existing regional strategic policies that emphasises digitalising and greening TVET, including Thailand 4.0, Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative, Malaysia’s Industry 4WRD and Unlocking Indonesia’s digital opportunity. He noted these initiatives require a collaborative effort amongst relevant stakeholders to boost TVET and TVET graduates in digitalising and greening.

“TVET being the major education and training provider for preparing our future workforce must be in the forefront in addressing sustainable development issues. TVET graduates must have a green mindset and green skills. Likewise, together with industry, governments must be able to develop green economies, thus creating green jobs,” he added.

Centre Director of SEAMEO VOCTECH, Mr. Alias Haji Abu Bakar also mentioned green skills in his speech and urged TVET providers to prepare TVET graduates with digital competencies, a green mindset, and green skills into their TVET curriculum, teaching-learning, as well as assessments. Mr Alias highlights that these efforts are all aimed towards the betterment of TVET, and by producing competent, socially-culturally conscious, and economically-oriented graduates, TVET will inevitably contribute towards the sustainable development of the region and beyond.

These sentiments made by the Deputy Minister of Thailand and SV Centre Director were echoed by SEAMEO Secretariat’s Director, Dr Ethel who shared her acknowledgements via a recorded speech. Dr Ethel stated the Secretariat’s advocacy to foster a sustainable mindset and noted the increasing importance of green skills for all sectors and occupations. She reiterated how sustainable developments are rising on the political and economic agenda and that TVET is suited to supply this demand.

In her speech, she also expressed her pride in the TVET regional center for hosting the green tvet conference back to back with Centre’s 33rd Governing Board Meeting and relayed her appreciation to the Office of Vocational Education Commission, Thailand for supporting the event.

The conference also saw two new endeavors of the Centre being launched;  the Private Sector Page in close partnership with GIZ-RECOTVET Functional English Programme for TVET Teachers in SEA in collaboration with Nisai Group. The conference then proceeded with the keynote presentations by Professor Dr Georg Spottl from University of Bremen Germany, Mr. Julien Magnat, from  International Labor Organisation and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Margarita Pavlova, Director of UNEVOC Centre from Hong Kong, and Associate Professor of Department of International Education from Education University of Hong Kong. Along with four panels of speakers encompassing various representatives from education, private and government sectors of the region and beyond.

To conclude the panel discussions and keynote presentations, a Conference Resolution was shared by SEAMEO VOCTECH Deputy Director of Professional Affairs and Research Specialist, Dr Paryono, with key takeaways of the approaches and practices to digitalising and greening TVET summarised and as cited by speakers in the conference.