In recent decades, vocational training institutes in Latin America and the Caribbean have made progress in finding responses to the challenges arising from the economic, production and technological changes taking place in the region. Emphasis is placed, in this report, on the change in the key objective of skills-training, which has shifted from mastering specific tasks to developing competencies.
Harnessing information and communications technologies for learning processes has transformed teaching and learning methods, as the rigidities of the parameters of space, time and content that once characterized training can now be overcome. In this context, it has also been possible to enhance sectoral and territorial specialization.
The greater diversity of demand, linked to a more diversified production structure and more differential training requirements by the population in many countries, has resulted in a wider variety of available training programmes, which has generated new challenges in areas such as coordination and quality control. Lastly, several countries are striving to improve the integration of vocational training with general education, and this has generated new momentum in inter-institutional coordination.
National vocational training systems need to play a role in reducing the inequalities typical of the labour markets in the region. This is one of the challenges they should take up. To this end, these systems must be integrated with other labour market policy instruments and must develop effective ways of integrating into the labour market those groups now facing specific obstacles.
National vocational training and education systems are confronting major challenges, both permanent and changing and, as demonstrated in this report, have made significant strides. Much remains to be done, however, in terms of securing resources and achieving efficiency and equality if the region is to make a lasting contribution to growth that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.
Orginally published: October 2013
Publisher: The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) / The International Labour Organization (ILO)
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