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BIBB supports Iran with vocational education and training reforms

German delegation and representatives of TVTO© iMOVE/BIBB

BIBB will advise Iran on planned VET reforms. The relevant ministries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on future German-Iranian vocational education and training cooperation at a workshop in Teheran which BIBB helped to organise.

In February 2019, the Iran Technical & Vocational Training Organization (TVTO) and BIBB held a joint workshop. Professor Friedrich Hubert Esser travelled to Teheran at the invitation of the TVTO. He was accompanied by representatives from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and by an expert delegation from BIBB’s international department. The purpose of the meeting was to network with the “High Council of Technical and Vocational Education and Training” (High Council of TVET) on the German dual system and on Iranian vocational education and training reforms. During the workshop, the BMBF and the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare (MCLS) signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding on German-Iranian VET cooperation. The Iranian Minister of Labour Mohammad Shariatmadari, TVTO President Dr. Soleiman Pakseresht and the German Ambassador Michael Klor-Berchtold were all present. They were joined by representatives of member organisations of the High Council of TVET.

"The proposals made regarding a standardised vocational education and training system are very promising" (Prof. Esser)

Keynote address by BIBB President Esser© iMOVE/BIBB

“The reform projects initiated by the Iranian Government at the end of 2017 represent a serious endeavour to develop VET further. The proposals made regarding a standardised vocational education and training system are very promising. Strengthening cooperation between the state, trade and industry and civil society is in particular an approach that has been traditionally adopted in Germany, and this has always been an important success factor for the structuring of vocational education and training.”

One of the major focuses of the Iranian reform plans is the establishment of a “High Council of Technical and Vocational Education and Training”. The aim is that ministries, other government representatives and delegates from the chamber organisations will use this body as a vehicle for consulting on central issues regarding governance and further development of vocational education and training in Iran. Enhanced cooperation is being pursued with a view to increasing the employability of young Iranians and to ensuring that the training of skilled workers meets the requirements of trade and industry.

“The TVTO has asked us to advise on the development of the High Council,” Professor Esser stressed. This is something which the Germans are seeking to support. We will be drawing on the experiences we have gained from working in conjunction with economic and social partners on the structuring and further development of the dual system but will also be using the knowledge we have obtained on precisely these topics from our involvement in international cooperation. The idea is that this will then serve as a basis for generating impetus for the development of an Iranian approach.”

BIBB President Esser with Ambassador Klor-Berchtold© iMOVE/BIBB

The workshop jointly prepared by BIBB and the TVTO initially concentrated on outlining the reform processes in Iran. The main focuses were on previous involvement in vocational education and training by Iranian stakeholders and on opportunities for closer collaboration that would be conducive to the creation of a holistic VET system in future. The Iranian side exhibited considerable interest in German experiences of the dual system. The hosts also indicated a readiness to enter into open dialogue with German partners on the reform needs of their vocational education and training system. A major role in this regard will be played by the Secretariat of the “High Council of TVET”. The intention is that it will coordinate cooperation between Iranian VET stakeholders.

A joint Memorandum of Understanding signed by the BMBF and MCLS on 7 February 2019 will constitute the policy framework for German-Iranian cooperation. This MoU is the result of concentrated talks on the expansion of German-Iranian VET cooperation. These discussions were renewed following the end of sanctions on Iran in 2016. The offering of consultancy services by GOVET was agreed, as was continuation of cooperation with iMOVE at BIBB, which assists German training providers to enter the market in Iran.