Annual Conference: Vocational Education for Economic Development, Georgia

The First Annual TVET Conference of Georgia, organised by PEM CONSULT on behalf of MCA, was carried out on 18 July, 2016 with participation of 250 TVET experts of which many entrepreneurs, politicians, teachers and Ministerial officials and international organisations. This is the first annual conference of a series to be organized by the project in the next 2 years while gradually transferring full ownership to Georgian stakeholders in a public private partnership. Wide media coverage and attention, feedback of Georgian stakeholders and international audience were so remarkably positive that everyone looks forward to continue momentum and see this event as core platform for exchanging on TVET.

The general theme of the first TVET Annual Conference has been defined as “Vocational Education for Economic Development”. The goal of the conference was to bring together key representatives from private sector, government, education institutions, civil society and international donor community and engage them to discuss the opportunities and challenges existing in the vocational education system and how to close the gaps between the vocational education and the labour market needs in Georgia. 

The conference was opened by high-level Government officials: First Vice Prime Minister of Georgia, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, the US Ambassador to Georgia and the Minister of Education and Science of Georgia. The opening session was moderated by Magda Magradze, CEO of MCA-Georgia. More than 250 participants were representing a full range of stakeholders expressing their view and experiences in the topics relevant to the current trends of the vocational education.

The format of the conference was to dedicate half of the day to the key-note speakers presentations (including high-level international speakers from the US, Ireland, Germany, Australia) followed by a panel discussion, while the end of the day would be devoted to three parallel workshops.

The themes of the parallel workshops have been selected based on current trends at the policy level as well as demand from the industry and TVET providers. The theme of the first parallel workshop was defined as Private Public Partnership in TVET, the objective was to discuss the Government’s TVET PPP policy initiatives from both a Georgian and an international perspective. The second session theme was on Increasing TVET Participation Rates, to examine ways of making Georgia’s TVET provision more attractive and providing opportunities for increased access to programmes. The final session was about presenting the work-based learning concept from both an international perspective and in the context of Georgia’s current dual education policy initiative.

Future Annual Conferences

Georgia should host an international TVET conference every year with 2017 and 2018 being organized by PEM CONSULT on behalf of MCA. Through the next couple of years, the conference preparations should involve sponsors and stakeholders who take actively part in the organization of such events. In the future, after the project is ending in 2019, the stakeholders will be maintaining this platform to  make TVET an issue and to discuss current reforms and future trends in TVET – this conference shall be The Annual TVET Event to meet all stakeholders incl. the private sector and to put all in charge of the modernization of TVET for future excellence.