Addressing Complexity of Social Inclusion in Dual VET in a Feasible Way

Addressing Complexity of Social Inclusion in Dual VET in a Feasible Way, Source: Swisscontact

Social inclusion is often challenged by different types of discrimination, various barriers and the lack of based-needs training.

  • How can development cooperation tackle the complexities for universal access in dual VET and labour markets?
  • How can existing barriers be identified and inclusive dual VET offers be designed in partnerships with social enterprises, civil society organizations, and the business sector?
  • How can adequate framework conditions and incentives encourage inclusive training and work practices?
  • And how can self-assessment tools support the understanding of social inclusion in dual VET projects?

Overall Context

Global and national networks representing disadvantaged groups such as e.g. the Global Business and Disability Network; the International Disability Alliance or the CBM Global Federation play an increasingly important role to raise awareness and identify gaps and barriers that lead to multiple forms of discrimination. They provide guidance towards more inclusive skills and employment policies and practices. An increasing number of training providers, businesses and associations collaborate with governments, specialised civil society organisations and social enterprises to systematically adopt inclusive and diverse training and work practices. Examples for such actors and initiatives include e.g.:

  • ENABLE India, a social enterprise, is a thought leader in the disability sector impacting livelihoods of people with different disabilities across India. They act as training provider cum advisor and placement cell and closely collaborate with the business sector, business associations and the government on progressing on set goals towards social inclusion in training and livelihood initiatives.
  • Christopher Blinden Mission Global (CBM) employs a twin-track strategy that combines community engagement and market-oriented methods. It focuses on overcoming policy and societal obstacles while providing tailored support to address the specific requirements of visually impaired individuals. CBM collaborates closely with businesses and training institutions to evaluate market potential, identify necessary adaptations and accommodations, co-designs curricula and training materials and promote awareness and skills development among their personnel. CBM delivers advocacy, advisory, and project implementation services, and operates in more than 46 countries.
  • Light for the World is active in seven African countries (video). As a part of its advocacy work, they have set up a Disability Inclusion Academy to promote leadership amongst people with disabilities. Community based advocacy, combined with technical support services to training providers and enterprises are core-interventions of Light for the World. They also promote the Score Card Audit tool, a self-assessment tool for organisations.
  • India’s IT association NASSCOM, through its foundation created a platform for individuals with disabilities to access training and jobs with the help of member companies. The foundation also formed the Disability Working Committee (DWC) comprising representatives from companies like Mphasis, Wipro, and Yahoo, to mentor and guide peer companies in establishing inclusive policies and practices. NASSCOM aims to introduce assistive technologies and bring about change in policies, practices, and attitudes towards disabilities at all levels of the enterprises.
  • The GIZ Global Project on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities offers technical guidance and assistance to GIZ development projects worldwide. A total of 133 projects in 58 partner countries actively contribute to promoting the inclusion of individuals with disabilities on a global scale by involving government, private sector and training providers.
  • ILO has recently published a self-assessment tool on GESI (ILO 2022) in skills development and a literature review on incentives for inclusion.

DC dVET BarCamp & Further Resources: How can development cooperation address complexity of social inclusion in dual VET in a feasible way?

During the 4th DC dVET BarCamp the following aspects and strategies on social inclusion were highlighted amongst others:

  1. Inclusion Challenges:
    • Biased mindsets and lack of commitment slow down broader inclusion in VET and the labour market.
    • Intersectionality must be identified and addressed.
    • Disability is diverse, requiring tailor-made approaches for social inclusion.
  2. Strategies for Inclusion:
    • Quotas and incentives can advance inclusion efforts.
    • Universal design, including assistive devices and flexibility, should be the goal.
    • Twin-track approaches are necessary, combining different strategies for success.
  3. Supporting Employment and Training:
    • Self-assessment tools and audit instruments aid organizational change.
    • Specific active labour market measures, like pre-apprenticeship programs, support diverse learning needs.
    • feasible and suitable jobs opportunities for persons with disabilities as inclusive VET activities (beyond basket weaving and handicraft work
    • Sensitizing and building capacities of training providers and enterprises on how to strengthen abilities of people with disabilities is essential.
    • Advocacy for management commitment drives organizational changes and workplace adjustments.
    • Support measures during VET ensure successful completion for learners facing challenges.
  4. Partnership and Collaboration:
    • Collaborating with specialized organizations, businesses, government agencies, and civil society is crucial for addressing barriers.
    • Role of community-based approaches is essential for access and inclusion.
    • Public-private partnerships can upgrade VET by combining industry-based skills and government support.
    • Creating an accessible environment is vital for training and employment opportunities.
  5. Linking Jobseekers and Employers:
    • Developing an effective system to connect employers with disadvantaged individuals seeking training and employment is needed.
    • IT-enabled services, like recruitment platforms and candidate databases, can facilitate this process.

For more in-depth information discover the keynote by Christine Hofmann (ILO), the discussions during the exchange sessions and further resources:

Keynote by Christine Hofmann (ILO)

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Exchange Sessions

The discussions in the exchange sessions were based on inputs by:

  • CBM Christoffel Blindenmission Schweiz ( moderated a session on demand-led VET development for people with disabilities with a specific focus on experiences on VET for blind people.
  • Christine Hoffmann (ILO) deepened the discussion on the ILO`s current work on financial instruments to foster social inclusion.
  • Light for the World will share their experiences on disability-inclusive TVET and engage in a discussion on how to overcome the mismatch in skills training, where students with disabilities are often taught skills deemed to be appropriate to them, rather than what students want or the labour market requires.
  • GIZ Global Project ‘Inclusion of People with Disabilities’ will talk about their general strategic.

Project Insights

Project insights by D. Hofer (CBM Switzerland) and J. Turyashemereerwa (NUDOR Rwanda)

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Project insights by Light for the world

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Further resources from DC dVET members, other donors and organisations and projects:

Voices from the Field