Ensuring skills for the future and the transition to work



Educational planning for relevant and adaptable skills to support the transition to work and for social integration is critical in a world where over 10 million young people enter the labor force annually.

Keep reading to learn more about:   IIEP's approach    Examples of our work

In flexible and adaptable education systems, young people can move seamlessly through education systems, training, and employment. Providing learners with opportunities to access, progress, and also re-enter higher education and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programmes, gives young people and returning learners more relevant choices and new opportunities for employment and social integration. This is especially important for marginalized or displaced learners such as refugees reentering a new education system. 

Faced with ever-changing labor markets and increasing demand for access, many African countries are working to renovate and strengthen their technical and vocational education and training (TVET) systems. IIEP’s Office for Africa is supporting TVET reforms to ensure that young people are trained and equipped with the skills required for the future.

A gender lens is also being applied with the initiative "Harnessing education, training, and skills development to unlock women's labor market integration in sub-Saharan Africa" to develop evidence-based policies for the effective integration of women into the labor market through education, training, and skills development. 

Building on its foundational research on flexible learning pathways, IIEP is also exploring innovative types of post-secondary education, such as micro-credentials with a view to supporting countries in establishing a policy framework. 

By 2030, the youth population will grow by 78 million. Education and training systems must keep up and evolve with a changing global economy by establishing new pathways for greater equity, compatibility, and employability. 

Our approach

Our integrated capacity development offer for ministries of education and their partners includes: 

IIEP identifies options for decision-making for UNESCO Member States and follows up on policy implementation and processes to ensure that the inclusion and equity agenda translates into concrete achievements.

Explore more

Flexible learning pathways TVET in Africa  Case for investment in Africa



Teaching New Academic Skills on a Computer

Spotlight: Combining skills development with access and equity – micro-credentials in post-secondary education 

Globally, millions of learners have engaged with new ways of learning and updating their skills at the post-secondary level. With a myriad of alternative providers – many online – now available, micro-credentials have emerged as a promising avenue to ensure skills match in today’s evolving labour market while granting learners recognition of credits for their skills and knowledge. Micro-credentials – which UNESCO has established a definition for – are hoped to provide access to individuals who cannot or do not want to commit to a full-time degree programme. 

Building on previous research on flexible learning pathways, IIEP is now exploring how national policy and regulatory frameworks can best support the recognition, certification, and storage of alternative credentials. The research will provide recommendations for countries to bring micro-credentials to scale. It will also explore these questions:

  1. What regulatory frameworks and policies exist to support the recognition of alternative credentials? 
  2. What is the quality assurance process behind their recognition and certification? 
  3. What innovative mechanism exists for the storage of alternative credentials?


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Platform for sharing tools and resources for vocational training in West Africa

Designed for member states of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), users can discover and adapt TVET resources to promote integration and employment through regional sharing.  

Pôlemag #32: Developing skills, releasing potential

Check out the latest edition of IIEP-UNESCO Dakar's News Magazine with a focus on transforming TVET in Africa.