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Media Advisory: Asia-Pacific Education Ministerial Meeting on Skills Development in Kuala Lumpur


Closing Skills Gaps to Combat Youth Unemployment: Education Ministers to Meet on Skills Training Reforms in Kuala Lumpur

More than 800 skills experts expected at ministerial conference on how technical and vocational education and training (TVET) can answer 21st Century challenges

WHAT: Asia-Pacific Conference on Education and Training: Making Skills Development Work for the Future.

WHEN:  3-5 August 2015.

WHERE: Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

WHO: UNESCO will host the conference in cooperation with the Ministry of Education of Malaysia.

UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Education Qian Tang and Malaysian Minister of Higher Education Dato’ Seri Idris bin Jusoh will deliver keynote addresses. They will be joined by other ministers overseeing education and training in Asia-Pacific, as well as representatives from multilateral organizations, the private sector, unions, youth organisations, researchers, and UNESCO-UNEVOC network members.

WHY: Education Ministers from Asia-Pacific will meet to discuss ways to modernize TVET in Asia-Pacific. These will be among the key issues on the table:

Closing the skills gap: There are an estimated 700 million unemployed youth in Asia-Pacific, with the unemployment rate among them double that of the adult population. Yet many employers find it increasingly difficult to fill knowledge-based positions. A major focus of this conference will be determining where these skill shortages are and how can they be addressed by TVET.

Sustainable growth for the future: In keeping with the United Nations’ upcoming Sustainable Development Goals agenda, reforming TVET systems is essential to providing knowledge and skills necessary for the transition to low-carbon, economies.

Harnessing ICT:  Innovative teaching approaches that use ICT effectively impart skills that are in high demand in the labour market.

For more on the conference, please visit:  


To raise awareness around the importance of TVET and to dispel stereotypical depictions of this type of education, UNESCO Bangkok held a photo contest inviting entries from around the region. Thirty of these entries will be on display at the conference.

First prize winner Romado Javillonar from the Philippines will present his photo, below, at the conference. Romado’s image features three women who are part of a comprehensive technical instruction program for linewomen – the first of its kind in Southeast Asia and emblematic of how TVET is changing as well as its ability to empower.

More on the image contest (see contact details below to request print-quality photos and more information on all entries):



Suggested Tweets:

#AsiaPacific ministers to meet Aug 3-5 in #KualaLumpur on closing #skillsgap & improving #21stCenturySkills #TVET

Modern Technical& Vocational #Education & Training (#TVET) means #21stCenturySkills for #SustainableDevelopment

#ICT can transform Technical& Vocational #Education & Training (#TVET). Ministers to chart path to harness it

MEDIA CONTACT:  UNESCO Bangkok Media and Communications Officer Noel Boivin:  

For queries on-site at the conference, please contact Ms. Aliénor Salmon, Research Assistant with UNESCO’s Education Policy and Reform Unit,

Follow UNESCO Bangkok on its social media channels for further updates prior to and during the conference:

Twitter: @Unesco_AsiaPac