The Palestinian state is a fragile state, subject to Israeli military occupation, limiting its ability to grow and develop. Geographically, the Palestinian territories consist of three areas: The West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, and movement between these areas is restricted by the measures of occupation, and the Gaza Strip is under siege. The West Bank is divided into Areas A, B and C, where Palestinians do not control Area C, which accounts for 60% of the West Bank (World Bank 2015), and hence controls water and natural resources.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) (2018) describes the situation in other areas of the Palestinian territories as facing “protracted protection crises”. The political context affects the economic situation by restricting its effectiveness and growth as identified in other international reports (World Bank 2018, UNCTAD 2018). The situation is further deteriorated by Israel withholding tax funds, as well as declining donor funding and reduced support to UNRWA.
These political and economic conditions have an impact on the social conditions that have led to increased unemployment and poverty rates among the population according to the national statistics (PCBS, 2018 , 2019) and increased marginalization of many categories of Palestinians.
Since assuming power in 1994, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has assumed responsibilities in the TVET sector in addition to the other sectors. The PA strive to reach its strategic plans objectives to realize the independent state and end the occupation, improve the quality of public services and reform, and achieve sustainable development. (Palestinian National Authority 2016)
The Palestinian national definitions in the TVET sector are based on Arabic Glossary for TVET Curricula Terms published by the Arab-German Regional Network with the support of the GTZ. Work is currently underway on the TVET law, which includes various definitions.
The following are adopted definitions, presented in the adopted documents at the national level, being the national documents for activation of the system's governance in 2016 and the Work-Based Learning (WBL) strategy in 2018:
Technical and Vocational Education and Training: TVET is a type of education and training that aims to equip trainees/students with skills, knowledge, attitude and competencies required for the career path of a specific profession/vocation or a category of relevant vocations in one of the economic fields, or to benefit from different walks of life.
Technical and Vocational Education and Training Levels: TVET levels are linked with the occupational classification as per the nationally recognised Arab Standard Occupational Classification (AOC), as follows: 1. semi-skilled labour force; 2. skilled labour force; 3. vocational labour force; 4. technical labour; and 5. specialists.
On their part, the vocational training centres (VTC) target the first two categories; the vocational secondary schools (VSS) cover the third levels. The technical colleges (TC), faculties and other universities offer education and training programmes for the fourth and fifth levels.
Technical and Vocational Education and Training Providers: This term refers to TVET providers, be they public (i.e. Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE), Ministry of Labour (MoL), Ministry of Social Development (MoSD), and other relevant ministries), non-governmental organisations (i.e. NGOs, and not-for-profit organisations), international (UNRWA), private (i.e. for-profit organisations, private training centres, and other relevant institutions of relation to private companies (e.g. Electricity Co. and PALTEL) or other TVET institutions that do not fall under any of the above-mentioned categories.
Technical and Vocational Education and Training Law: A TVET law means the corpus of legislation that governs and regulates the TVET system and the aspects and requirements thereof, including, TVET system structure, tools, regulations of relevant bodies, funding sources, budgets, independence, mandate, and relationships with various stakeholders.
Technical and Vocational Education and Training Strategy: The Palestinian Cabinet passed the TVET Strategy in 1999 to be revised twelve years after in 2010. The Minister of Education and Higher Education and the Minister of Labour also ratified this strategy. The strategy encompasses the current TVET outlook, approaches, and relevant operating strategies in Palestine in line with relevant national strategies and the national employment strategy.
As the definition above shows, providers of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) services vary: to include those operating within the governmental, civil society, international (UNRWA) or private sectors. These institutions offer their technical, vocational education and training (TVET) programs both formally and informally, categorized according to graduate degrees, and are defined as follows:
- Formal Education and Training: Intended and specific education in terms of objectives, time and technical support takes place within an organized and structured environment in an educational or training institution or work environment intended for this purpose, leading to obtaining an official certificate within the educational system such as vocational schools and technical colleges.
- Non-Formal Education and Training: Education and training that takes place through the implementation of planned activities that are developed as clear educational forms in terms of objectives, time and technical support such as vocational training centres within the Ministry of Labour, training centres affiliated to the Ministry of Social development, and private centres.
Informal education and training: unintentional and sometimes unregulated education and training in terms of objectives, time and technical support, occurs through the practice of training individually in the workplace.
Below are the details of the formal and non-formal Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Programs offered at various TVET institutions.
First: Formal TVET Programs:
1- Technical Education (TE) Programs: The technical education programs in the community colleges and Palestine technical colleges aim to achieve two goals, which are to prepare the trained workforce in the fields of industry, agriculture and services (at level four) or bridging to higher technical education (at level five), its being offered in (32) College in the West Bank and Gaza Strip through various technical specializations.
2. Vocational education (VE) programs: Vocational education programs in vocational secondary schools and vocational units in general education schools aim to prepare trained vocational workforce within the fields of industry, agriculture and services (at level three) to meet the needs of the labour market and the society or prepare students to enrol in higher education institutions. VE is provided in (24) vocational schools in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, run by the Ministry and by the NGOs, belonging to the NGO-VET League, and (39) vocational units in general education schools in the industrial, agricultural, home economics, and hospitality branches. VE is provide within three pathways, a) INJAZ (the progress of preperation for the national exam), b) Kafa’a (Vocational Competence-includes high intensification of the practical and vocational part of the program, enabling the students to sit for school exams in vocation-related topics only), and c) The Apprenticeship program (which start from the school ( school-based apprenticeship) in collaboration with the labour market, students are assessed through the school and the labour market).
Second: Non-Formal TVET Programs:
1- Vocational training programs in the Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) of the Ministry of Labour (MOL) that aim to contribute to the preparation of trained workforce in the level of skilled and semi-skilled Labour in the areas of services and industry. MOL-VTCs offer various vocational programmes in its 16 centres in the West Bank and Gaza. VT is offered in morning and afternoon courses due to increased demand. It also provides upgrading courses and CVET for workers in the labour force.
2- Vocational training programs offered by the Ministry of Social Development (MOSD) VTCs: These programs targets the marginalised groups as juveniles, drop-outs, those with social issues, persons with disabilities and the poor, in addition to released prisoners. MOSD programs are provided in various vocations within its 10 VTCs in the West Bank and Gaza.
3 - Vocational Training Programs of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA): These programs aim to prepare trained workforce in the level of skilled and semi-skilled workers in a variety of vocational fields, and UNRWA programs are addressed to the children of refugees men or children of refugee women exclusively. In five (5) UNRWA-TVET institutions in the West Bank and Gaza.
4- Training programs provided by non-governmental organizations: They are offered in (16) TVET NGO institutes affiliated with the NGO-VET League in the West Bank and Gaza.
5 - Training programs provided by charitable organisations: The training programs provided by charities cover many areas, but they are concentrated in the areas of sewing, weaving and secretarial for women.
6 - Training programs provided by the private for-profit training centres: These institutions provide capacity building training programs and CVET, according to the needs of the local market. There are (156) private for-profit centres licensed by the Ministry of Labour.
The first draft of the National Qualification Framework (NQF) was developed earlier through the support of the GIZ, there is a common understanding to review and amend the draft as part of the TVET unification efforts announced by the government. The adoption of the NQF is of strategic importance with the aim of improving education inputs in the light of quality standards at all levels: general education, higher education or vocational and technical education to achieve the highest degree of relevance with the needs of the Labour market. The process of adopting the national qualifications framework is one of the most important steps towards the governance of the educational system, which contributes to the development of the elements of the educational learning process and helps in the diagnosis of many problems facing the education sector and the possibility of proposing solutions to those problems. The Strategic Plan for Education (2017-2022) adopted the development of the National Qualifications Framework and the implementation of its system.
The VET levels fall within the NQF as set out in table No. 1, upon its competition and adaptation, this will lead to the required permeability at different levels.
The source for the table (except for the last column): the General Directorate for Vocational Training - Ministry of Labour
Source of the last column in the table: Levels according to the ISCED 11 Level classification (see Annex 3).
According to the approved reviewed TVET strategic plan (2010), the system assumes permeability between different levels. Accordingly, different measures were adopted recently which includes accepting the enrolment of VE graduates at all specialisations at universities (with exception of medical specialisation), previously they were accepted only in relevant fields to their studies. In addition to developing the occupational standards and curricula of a number of professions within the different levels according to the adopted AOC. Yet, vocational training (VT) still in need of accreditation and qualification system to link with the national education and training framework. Curriculum development for vocational training has been completed in accordance with occupational standards at the first and second levels and approved and launched by the Ministry of Labour at the beginning of the training year 2019/2020, which was developed through the EU project implemented by the GIZ, and this is an important step on the road towards accreditation and quality assurance.
The Education Act of 2017 was adopted which included two important articles adopting new policies in the field of vocational education:
- Article (9)- third part: The Ministry shall integrate vocational and technical education within the framework of the sixth to ninth grade academic program, in order to ensure that students acquire the necessary technical expertise and skills, and in specific vocational orientation.
- Article (11), which refers to: Secondary education includes the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades. 2. Secondary education shall be divided into: a. Academic track. B. Vocational and technical track, and therefore a tenth professional grade was added accordingly.
Work is under way to revise the Palestinian Labour Law, with technical support from the ILO, through tripartite partnership with the employers and workers representatives.
Despite the existence of the Palestinian Labour Law of 2000, the Education Law of General Education of 2017 and the Higher Education Law of 2017 and the provision of some articles therein, these legislation in its entirety does not contain sufficient tools for the development of the TVET system in all its aspects. Legislations are still needed to regulate VET in general which will lead to develop the TVET system as an integrated body.
This is in line with the MAS (2015) study, which recommended that all aspects of the development and activation of the system should be included, such as, but are not limited to, open pathways for all forms of vocational education and training (VET), with measures to ensure bridging with the different educational paths; Admission to higher education, and the adoption of other assessment criteria in addition to the criterion based on the national exam results of secondary school for the admission, to include the adoption of measures to accept and assess the prior learning.
It is worth mentioning that, based on the recommendations of the previous TVET Higher Council a TVET law is being worked at, which was aimed to address the challenges and barriers to implementing the different aspects of the previous strategies. A national committee was formed to prepare the TVET law, with clear aims of the law to:
- Organize all aspects of the TVET system in Palestine
- Determine the roles, responsibilities and authorities of each component of the system in Palestine with respect to planning, implementation, monitoring and supervision, including the obligations of public and private VET providers in accordance with the requirements of this law.
To answer the questions raised, this section presents the parties concerned with TVET and institutional engagement first and then the governance of the system.
First: Parties related to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and institutional engagement: Several parties have a direct relationship with the TVET system and can be classified as follows:
- TVET Providers: As noted in the previous section, providers are governmental, non-governmental and privately-run institutes, as well as the UNRWA, whom are responsible for their institutes funding, staffing, teaching, assessment, admission and learning content, as well as day-to day running.
- Regulators of the TVET system: MoE, MoHE, MoL regulates and accredits Vocational Education (VE), Technical Education (TE) and Vocational Training (VT) institutes and programmes respectively, in addition to the MOSD, Awqaf and UNRWA, whom are regulating their own. MoE, MoHE, MoL are leading the sector and setting its policies, according to the legal references, with other stakeholders.
- Other relevant Ministries and Government Institutions: There are other relevant ministries and institutions, such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Economy and Tourism, and the Energy and Water Authority are the official demand-oriented bodies. TVET is considered essential for the development of their related sectors
- Communities: The importance of local communities is to provide support and enhancement to the TVET system through participation in policy making and prioritization, participation in monitoring the outputs and outcomes of the system, as well as their contribution to graduate assessment processes, or the provision of necessary facilities. local community-based organisations (CBOs) are engaged in implementing various initiatives with TVET institutes.
- The LET Councils: LET councils are established from local TVET providers and employment and local community organisations, as well as the local governance units, they are active on the local levels in supporting TVET and employment, and engaged in monitoring initiatives conducted on the local level.
- Private Sector: The private sector and private sector representatives of employers plays an important role in the development of the TVET system, and the role of private sector participation needs to be expanded to become a true partner in all aspects of the system in terms of planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Currently private sector representatives as the Palestinian Federation of Chambers and Commerce (FPCCI) and the Palestinian Federation of Industry (PFI) are represented at the governance structure of TVET, while local chambers and different technical unions (electricians, auto-mechanics and others) are engaged in various initiatives, and through Work-Based Learning (WBL) modes of training including apprenticeship.
- Unions and trade unions: Professions’ Unions play a major role in VET policy-making and play a larger role in determining the needs of different professions and competencies required for each profession. The role of trade unions should be expanded to include participation in planning, monitoring and evaluation. Trade unions are represented in review of labour law, and professions’ unions are participating in implementation of initiatives and WBL including apprenticeship.
- Civil Society Organisations (CSOs): CSOs are variant and those related to TVET are sub-divided into the following:
- NGO-VET League Institutes: Institutes of NGO-VET League provides training at the VET level for decades, some of the institutes have been providing VET for the last 2 centuries, the NGO-VET League is represented at the TVET governance level.
- Other CSOs play an important role in the process of community support to promote the culture of TVET and promote the integration of different groups in TVET, in addition to their engagement in the implementation of certain initiatives and programme, such as Sharek and EFE and others.
- The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS): The Central Bureau of Statistics provides various figures and statistics covering all aspects of the Palestinians and Palestinian Economy, this data is one of the most important inputs that should be utilized, studied and analysed as an important input in the formulation of a TVET policy linked to all other relevant sectors
- The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA): UNRWA is one of the first institutions that contributed to the establishment of the TVET system. The agency graduates a large number of refugee students and the sons and daughters of refugee in its TVET institutions.
Second: Governance of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training System
In 2016, the governance structure of the system was revived according to the Palestinian TVET National Strategy (1999), the Revised Strategy (2010) as shown in Figure 1 below. The National adoption of the Structure, was based on the government decision at the time. In the year 2019, following the decision of the 18th Palestinian cabinet, the governance structure was halted due to its limited effectiveness, a specialized ministerial committee was formed, that has formed a technical committee engaging specialists to review and evaluate the TVET status in Palestine and prepare a comprehensive study on the topic and a proposal to unify the system so that to launch the Palestinian TVET model as stated by the Prime Minister and announced the Ministerial Committee.
During the years 2016-2018, the TVET Higher Council was responsible for approving the general policies of the TVET System in accordance with the national priorities. The council was formed from the relevant ministries, NGO-VET League and UNRWA, with the alternating leadership of the Minister of Education and Higher Education and the Minister of Labour. The Executive Council for TVET was also activated at the time, with the responsibility for the full implementation of the policies for the TVET system, accordingly other governance structures were also activated.
During the years 2016-2018, the Palestinian Development Center (DC) for TVET was considered the main focus in the follow-up and development of the TVET system, and the technical arm in providing services and activities related to the implementation in accordance with the national TVET strategy, and in accordance with the regulations and policies issued by the Higher and the Executive Councils, as well as monitoring and evaluating the performance of the system elements, and the preparation of studies, reports, projects and development proposals necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of the system with quality, efficiency and effectiveness. The Center was planned to include (8) units whose tasks are:
Following up the provision of TVET services and activities in accordance with the needs and requirements of the labour market and society, in partnership with private sector and civil society institutions through:
- Prepare and develop various TVET programs
- Preparation and development of national qualification frameworks (NQF), and the Occupational Classification (POC)
- Prepare programs for the rehabilitation and development of human resources working in the TVET system
- Prepare and follow up the implementation of quality control standards in TVET institutions
- Propose budgets for development projects necessary for all institutions and elements of the system
- Conducting various studies on the TVET system and proposing plans and priorities in the light of these studies.
- Monitoring and evaluation of the elements of the TVET system
- Propose and develop mechanisms to strengthen the relationship with Labour market institutions
However, since its establishment, the Development Center has not been able to move forward in achieving the desired objectives, due to the lack of staffing of the Center with expertise and competence at the level of management and technical staff in the areas related to the work of the Center, the Center was not granted independence, did not have a headquarters for the Center, nor the required physical resources.
The structure has not been able to meet the needs and challenges of the TVET sector, although it acted as a coordinating body, but has been unable to provide uniform policies and support to the sector as a whole.
As a result, and due to the increasing government interest in TVET, a ministerial committee was formed to formulate a vision for developing TVET, by the Cabinet decision dated 13/5/2019. The vision to include a vision of the TVET governance, that enables setting the needed policies for a unified system, providing leadership and enabling implementation of TVET system strategies, and hence providing the Palestinian TVET model.
All MOE and MOHE statistics in this section includes Gaza, while the MOL and MOSA does not include Gaza
Summary of statistics on the number of TVET institutions and enrolment over the years shows the following:
Seventeen public vocational schools and seven private vocational schools provide vocational education, in addition to the establishment of vocational units in general education schools (39 vocational units). The increase in the number of specializations offered in vocational education also contributed to that increase.
In the academic year 2018/2019, the Ministry of Education has expanded into vocational education pathways so that it has three tracks prepared to suit the capabilities and desires of students on the one hand and to discover the potential of creative potential of students and the need of the Labour market on the other hand, and therefore the ministry has three tracks to evaluate the secondary stage for vocational education, as follows:
• Vocational Stream (INJAZ/Achievement): Students enrolled in vocational schools take the general secondary examination (INJAZ/achievement) in the four vocational branches (industrial, agricultural, hospitality, home economics), as their counterparts in other academic branches. They are distributed in (32) specializations, and this certificate qualifies graduates to either join the Labour market, or complete their studies in technical colleges or universities.
• Vocational competence (Kafa’a): applied for the first time in the academic year 2018/2019: The certificate of vocational competence aims to provide students with the skills needed by the Labour market, to allow graduates to join the Labour market immediately after the completion of secondary school and provides the opportunity for the graduates to join higher education institutions at the diploma level. As the holder of the certificate of professional competence goes directly to the Labour market, and can enrol in technical colleges in the same specialty.
• Apprenticeship: This track is adopted in the 11th and 12th grades, where students are trained in the Labour market for three days a week, and continue to study in their vocational schools for two days a week. During the training in the Labour market, the student acquires practical and life skills as well as theoretical material in the vocational school. It is an opportunity for vocational students to discover their abilities and competencies in the Labour market.
The apprenticeship was expanded in the academic year 2019/2020 to include 3 schools instead of two in the academic year 2018/2019, and instructions and regulations related to this track and apprenticeship contracts were prepared and agreed upon between students and parents of Labour market institutions. The professional competency track is expected to be one of the reasons for increasing student enrolment in vocational education.
Nevertheless, the programs offered still need to be increased and diversified to meet the needs of the Labour market and the aspirations of students. The enrolment rate for girls reaches 25% in vocational education, and the specializations available for females are still limited.
The number of Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) affiliated to the Ministry of Labour (MOL) increased from 9 in the West Bank and 5 in Gaza in 2017 to 11 in the West Bank and 5 in Gaza in 2019, and the number of the private vocational training centres reached 193 in 2018, and the number of specialties and programs offered by the Ministry of Labour VTCs has increased from 16 to 21. The number of trainees enrolled in vocational training of MOL increased through the adoption of the evening courses model in the year 2016, and the number of those enrolled in evening courses has doubled, as it increased more than two and a half times in the West Bank in 2019, as it increased from 312 in 2017 to 866 in 2019, and almost doubled in Gaza between 2017 and 2019 to increase the number of enrolled trainees in vocational training. The female participation in vocational training in 2018/2019 reached 30% (37% in the West Bank and 16% in Gaza). The female participation in the MOL evening courses reached 44%in the West Bank, while evening courses are not available for females in Gaza. However, female professions are still mostly traditional. The evening courses provided an opportunity for apprenticeship, some to raise competence and others with key or complementary skills. Female participation in private VTCs increased from 37% in 2016 to 55% in 2019 in the West Bank, Numbers by gender are not available in Gaza.
Specializations in technical colleges have increased. In addition to technical colleges, some university colleges are now offering technical education programs, increasing the number of institutions offering Technical Education (TE) to 30 in 2019. As a result; the number of students in technical education has increased by 9% during the past years (2016/2017- 2018/2019). Females represented 32% of the students in the year 2018/2019 (35% in the West Bank and 31% in Gaza), Gaza students represent 60% of the overall number of students in TE.
Non-governmental VET institutions have developed their programs and increased the number of their students.
The number of people enrolled in Ministry of Social Development (MOSD) VTCs increased to 794 in the year 2019/2020 compared to 693 in the year 2016/2017 with an increase of 15%. MOSD considers Vocational Training as part of the Ministry’s (Integration and Protection Program) for the marginalized groups.
The number of students enrolled in technical education provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Refugees (UNRWA) has reached 4,023 in the year 2018/2019, and the proportion of females has reached 45% of them. According to UNRWA statistics, female TVET graduates reached 35%, reaching 49% in the West Bank and 27% in Gaza.
The tables below summarize the development of the number of institutions, enrolment and number of students over the years
Sources for the table: Data of the different TVET institutes 2019, and the Annual Statistical Report for higher education for the years 2017/2018 and 2018/2019
Notes to table 2:
• N.A.: means not available, as the statistics of some institutions for the current academic year are not available. As a result; the relevant totals were also stated as N.A.
• The numbers of VET institutes of the non-governmental organizations ((within the NGO-VET League licensed by the Ministries of Education and Labour) have been incorporated into the ministries’ private and NGO VET institutions, so they were not added to the totals.
Table No. 3 bellow shows the distribution of the total number of TVET students per institutions, the number in the two years for the two-year system and the number in the one year for the one-year system. The figures which follows the table illustrates the analysis of students increase of the different systems, it also illustrates the gender gap.
Notes to Table 3:
- Abbreviations used are: F: Female, M: Male, WB: West Bank
- N.A.: means not available, as the statistics of some institutions for the current academic year are not available. As a result; the relevant totals were also stated as N.A.
- 0 means non-existent, for example there is no private vocational school in Gaza, or females are not present in MOL evening training in Gaza
- The information received from private centers in Gaza licensed by MOL is not divided by gender
- The scholastic /academic year was used to calculate the numbers of students, so the statistics of the VTCs were modified from an annual to scholastic/academic year
- Technical education statistics need to be audited to separate the technical from non-technical specializations and to establish criteria and definition
- The total numbers of VET students and the total numbers TVET were not presented for the year 2016/2017, due to the lack of availability of VE statistics at the time, and the numbers of technical education were not collected in the 2019/2020 years, as well as the total numbers, due to the lack of technical education statistics.
Table 3 illustrates the increase in the number of students of vocational education by 56% during the years 2017 / 2018 to 2019/2020, (43%, increase in the males’ percentage and double in the female percentages). This shows a decrease in the gender gap from 18.5% to 25.4% in vocational training in the northern governorates (the West Bank), as shown in Figure 2.
The table also shows an increase in the number of vocational training students between the years2017/2018-2018/2019 by 30%. The figure below highlights the growth of numbers by gender for vocational training in the northern governorates (the West Bank) during the years 2016/2017 - 2019/2020 by 57%, the increase in the number of males reached 24.4%, and doubling that for females. This shows a decrease in the gender gap from 35% to 47% in vocational training in the northern governorates (the West Bank) during those years, as shown in Figure 2
The figure shows a decrease in the total number of VT students between the years 2018/2019- 2019/2020, due to the decrease in the number of students in the private sector centers, which requires attention to know the reasons and motives.
Figure 3 below shows the increase in the number of students in technical education between the years 2016-2017 2017-2018 with minor drop in the following year, hence the percentage increases over the three years by 9% (10% for females and 9% for males)
The figures and tables clearly show the gender gap, despite the increase in the numbers of female students over the years, and the reduction of the gap. This calls for setting more policies and measures to eliminate this gender gap.
Newly enrolled students and trainees:
Table 4 that follows shows the numbers of the new TVET students enrolled and increase in their enrolment for each system and in general, it is followed by a comparison of VET students with the number of students newly enrolling in the secondary stage
Notes to Table 4:
- Abbreviations used are: F: Female, M: Male, WB: West Bank
- N.A.: means not available, as the statistics of some institutions for the current academic year are not available. As a result; the relevant totals were also stated as N.A.
- 0 means non-existent, for example there is no private vocational school in Gaza, or females are not present in MOL evening training in Gaza
- The information received from private centers in Gaza licensed by MOL is not divided by gender
- The scholastic /academic year was used to calculate the numbers of students, so the statistics of the VTCs were modified from an annual to scholastic/academic year
- Technical education statistics need to be audited to separate the technical from non-technical specializations and to establish criteria and definition
- The total numbers of VET students and the total numbers TVET were not presented for the year 2016/2017, due to the lack of availability of VE statistics at the time, and the numbers of technical education were not collected in the 2019/2020 years, as well as the total numbers, due to the lack of technical education statistics.
Table No. 4 above shows that the annual VET intakes (the number of new students) has reached a minimum of around 13,433 students (some statistics from Gaza are still missing and if they are completed it can reach more than 14 thousand) in 2017 / 2018, which represents 18.63% of the secondary level intake (the eleventh grades), as their numbers reached 75,154 in the year 2017/2018, according to the published educational statics for the West Bank and Gaza. In the year 2018/2019 the number of new students enrolled in VET increased to reach about 18 thousand, and therefore it is possible for the percentage to rise to reach 19.5-20% in the year 2018/2019. If the statistics collected were desegregated by age, then the percentage in VET of the young people aged 16-18, out of intakes in secondary education will drop to 15%.
This percentage and other statistics indicate the importance of the existence of the VET data base that is updated annually, and the use of the nationally developed VET indicators for annual monitoring, evaluation and learning
Vocational training centres provide continuous education and training (CVET) on a permanent basis, depending on the project or according to demand. While MOL-VTCs and some NGOs provide CVET during evening or morning. The Belgian Development Cooperation (BTC/Enabel), the German Cooperation (GIZ) Projects as well as the Cologne Chamber of Commerce project supported holding of these courses during the years 2016-2018.
During the years 2016-2018, training centres have been developed in the Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture to include 18 centres, offering CVET courses to its members, employees and workers.
Many civil society organizations (CSOs) also offer vocational courses within a specific skill level, which are linked to economic empowerment projects or initiatives.
The following table shows the number of teachers and trainers in VET institutions by provider and gender
- Public expenditure on vocational education in local currency and its share of GDP.
- Vocational education and training funding share by source (ie public sector, private sector, households and external donors, etc)
According to UNESCO statistics, the average public expenditure on education in Palestine - as a percentage of GDP: 5.57% according to UNESCO data during 2010 to 2017. (UNESCO 2019)
Studies and data on education and vocational and technical education spending have been scarce. However, based on the paper presented to the Fourth TVET National Conference, VET expenditure amounted to less than 1% of public expenditure (Hilal 2015), which is lower than international standards. The research paper indicated that spending on VET amounted to 0.34% of public spending (Ministry of Finance 2014).
Information received from the ministries and published information on the budget of the Palestinian National Authority for the year 2018 through the citizen budget (Ministry of Finance and Planning 2018, TVET budgets in ministries) confirmed that this percentage increased to 0.5% and remained less than 1% of government funding.
Cost per student within the different VET programs and systems (governmental, non-governmental, UNRWA) ranges from US $ 2,500 to US $ 5,000, according to the paper (Hilal 2015)
According to the analysis of the citizen budget for the year 2018, education constituted 22% of the budget of the Palestinian National Authority, and that the vocational education budget amounted to 0.4% of the education budget, as snap shot below confirms. Ministry of Labour budget constituted 0.5% of the PA budget, the budget for vocational training constitutes one third of which. The budget for Ministry of Social Development constituted 8% of the PA budget, the integration and protection program which include vocational training constituted 6% of which, and exceeded the budget for VET for the two ministries. for the Ministry of Social Affairs exceeds, in one aspect, vocational training programs, the budgets for the two ministries, as snapshot below illustrates.
These statistics show an improvement over the past years, but they are below expectation and that of the global figures on VET spending.
The analysis of the budget of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education during the years 2017-2019 (according to the data of the Ministry of Education 2019) shows the following:
- The amount of support for the vocational and technical education program has tripled as shown in figure 4 below
- The percentage of spending on for the vocational and technical education program out of all educational programs has increased to reach 1.4% of the education budget.
- The 2019 budget contained community support (7%) while the 2017 and 2018 budget did not
- Budget support resources are distributed as follows: external funding, local funding (local communities), PA budget and Joint Financing Agreement (JFA) to Support Education, Figure 5 shows their distribution for 2019
- Government spending on vocational and technical education development programs reached 20% of the TVE budget, which accounts for less than 1% of the PA's budget (0.16% specifically for 2018).
- External funding accounted for the largest proportion of funding for vocational and technical education programs (73%) of the 2019 budget
Studies on the PA budget showed that the size of development budgets (education, health, and development) does not exceed 39% of the general budget, and the education budget does not exceed 20% within the 2017 budget (the National Coalition 2018) and the 2018 budget. The study showed that the most important challenges in the preparation of budgets is how to plan to cover expenses in the light of the instability of revenues on a regular basis, and this uncertainty is caused by two reasons, the first, the occupation controls an important part of the clearing revenues of all kinds, which constitute 65 % of total PA revenues. Second is the external funding instability, affecting the coverage of its liabilities.
The revised TVET National Strategy (2010) pointed to the importance of the existence of the TVET fund and a mechanism for financing TVET. The WBL strategy (2018) has confirmed the importance of the TVET fund with active policies and mechanisms, and suggested that the fund should allocate a certain amount to support WBL initiatives. The non- existence of this fund is due to the weakness of the TVET system in the past, as previously mentioned, and it is assumed that the new Palestinian TVET Model and system will constitute a leverage for the formation of this fund.
The State of Palestine have a high interest in TVET, and realises the importance of its alignment to the development and the Labour market needs, while ensuring equal access for all, as set out in the National Policy Agenda for the years 2017-2022. It also gives priority to enabling young Palestinians to have opportunities to succeed in their future, to participate effectively in public life and to build the state, focusing on disadvantaged youth, to promote decent job opportunities and to build partnerships with the private sector. Gender equality and the empowerment of women through the elimination of all forms of discrimination and the opportunity for their participation in development. (Palestinian National Authority 2017).
The Education Strategy (2017-2022) highlighted the importance of vocational and technical education as it was presented in one of seven educational programs within the strategy. The overall objective of the program is to prepare qualified graduates of the vocational education program to move to university, working life and the Labour market, through increasing enrolment by developing schools’ infrastructure and vocational schools, focusing on people with disability, increasing partnerships with community and Labour market institutions, and developing supervision and monitoring. The strategy also referred to the reform policies adopted by the ministry in integrating vocational and technical education with general education for grades 7-9 by exposing them to vocational subjects that provides students with basics theoretical knowledge with practical applications in life to encourage them to join the vocational track at the secondary level. (Ministry of Education and Higher Education 2016)
The second objective of the Ministry of Labour (2017-2022) strategy is to provide professional and trained workforce relevant to the needs of the Labour market. The other goals are to reduce unemployment, build decent work opportunities, strengthen cooperative work and tripartite partnership with workers' representatives and Labour market representatives. The Ministry 's orientations showed the need to increase the capacity of the centres, train the trainers, develop the curriculum, adopt the training methodology through the work of WBL, increase the women and focus on the guidance and quality of learning.
The National Work-Based Learning strategy has adopted the vision; Towards an institutionalised TVET WBL that meets the needs of the labour market and the priorities of youth and contributes to the advancement of society in pursuit of sustainable development. (Ministry of Education and Higher Education and Ministry of Labour 2018)
The overall objective of national TVET strategy is to create knowledgeable, competent, motivated, entrepreneurial, adaptable, creative and innovative workforce in Palestine contributing to poverty reduction and social and economic development through facilitating demand-driven, high quality technical and vocational education and training, relevant to all sectors of the economy, at all levels and to all people. Sub-objectives are:
- Create a TVET system that is unified, relevant effective, efficient, crisis resistant, flexible, sustainable, accessible, participatory, LLL oriented, transparent, holistic, and attractive, ensures articulation and fulfils its general obligations towards the Palestinian society.
- Create a coherent framework for all actors and stakeholders in the TVET system
- Strengthen TVET institutions in view of making them centers for technological competence, accumulation & transfer based on local needs and capabilities.
- Improve the quality of TVET (formal and non-formal) at all levels and make it responsive to the needs of the labour market.
- Ensure equal access of women and people with special needs to TVET.
- Strengthen the culture of self-employment and support job creation in the economy.
- Take into consideration the participation of all stakeholders in the governance approach to ensure a unified system.
- Develop a sustainable financing system for TVET with efficient and cost-effective delivery systems and management structure.
- Build the necessary human resources of the system to effectively manage and implement TVET.
The strategic plans of other ministries, UNRWA and the NGO-VET institutions have a high interest in TVET.
National policies and objectives of the national strategy are also linked to the global TVET set goals by UNESCO through the Global Strategy for Vocational Education and Training (UNESCO 2016). It is also linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Goal 4 and target 4.4, which seeks to achieve a substantial increase in the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship by 2030, as well as with other targets related to justice and equality of opportunity. it’s also linked to SDG 5 ad 8 of Gender Equality and Decent Work and Economic Growth, and other SDG goals.
Work was conducted during the year 2018 to revise the strategic plan for TVET in Palestine. The revised TVET strategy should consider the National Policy Agenda issued by the Council of Ministers for the years 2017-2022 and the Sustainable Development Plans 2030, so that the need is the main driver of the entire vocational education and training system, and the development of the necessary interventions to establish a harmonized system, and realistic policies by all parties within a unified and coherent national framework, taking into consideration building on and consolidation of the previous achievements, and lessons learned, with consideration of the rapid changes in the world of technology and the Labour market, through the provision of integrated action steps that is coherent and un-fragmented, able to provide the Labour market with the specific current and future skills required by employers at all levels.To this end, a technical committee representing all partners has been formed to review and develop the TVET 2010 strategy. The draft strategy has identified five strategic themes. The draft strategy has also identified the challenges encountered in the 2010 strategy implementation and other challenges in general, which face TVET, in an effort to encounter these challenges and overcome them as much as possible. The five themes identified are: Governance, interaction with the Labour Market, Enrolment, Quality and Finance. Work was put on hold until the new vision of the TVET Palestinian model is decided.
The new government also adopted a policy of development by clusters, focusing on key economic sectors (agriculture, industry, tourism, services and technology). This requires the flexibility of the TVET system to respond to meet the needs of economic clusters, as it needs skilled and trained workforce to advance these various economic sectors.
It should be noted here that during the past years work was done within the following: (They will be detailed in other building blocks)
National Qualifications Framework (NQF)
Palestinian Standard Classification of Occupations (POC)
Human Resources Development System (HRD)
Integrating WBL within TVET and establish a WBL strategy and Bylaws.
Networking between TVET and business world institutions.
Developing all vocational education curricula (grades 11 and 12 vocational and for all vocational branches) and vocational training centres in accordance with the methodology of complex tasks and issuing a unified manual for this.
Developing vocational guidance in TVET institutions
Teacher Development (TTT)
Quality assurance and quality control of vocational and technical education (Auditing System)
On the other hand, it is noticeable that the TVET system and organizations employees have acquired a balance of experiences over the past two decades by working on a wide range of components of the system and implementing related projects and reviewing the experiences of other countries. However, the fragmentation of the system hinders the realization of the impact of all these accumulations. In the event that the system is unified and governed, Palestine will have to take important steps to qualify professionally and technically its employees, which will be reflected in social and economic development in the medium and long term.
Palestine is still under occupation, that imposes various obstacles impeding all development processes in all sectors. Settlements continue to expand rapidly throughout the West Bank, the separation wall is still standing, as well as military barriers. The Israeli violations against Palestinians rights are increasing.
The same situation is worsening in the city of Jerusalem. This is represented in the adoption of more arbitrary measures and segregation decisions that perpetuate the separation of Jerusalem from the West Bank and hinder all opportunities to contribute to the building of Palestinian society. In addition to not enabling the Palestinian government to perform its duties to the fullest in Jerusalem. This has had a significant impact on increasing poverty, unemployment and social disintegration of Palestinians in Jerusalem.
There is no doubt that TVET has been negatively affected by Israeli violations and abusive practices in terms of:
- Negative impact on enrolment in TVET in Jerusalem due to obstruction of occupation barriers and access of students to VET institutions
- Inability to build TVET institutions in marginalized areas and area (C)
- Difficulty obtaining permits to expand and update TVET institutes or other construction in Jerusalem
- Difficult geographical communication between the West Bank areas on the one hand and almost none with Gaza.
The real growth rate dropped significantly to 06.0% in 2018 compared to 3.1% in the previous year due to the diminution of foreign aid, the impact of the Israeli blockade on Gaza, the policy of settlement, land confiscation and partial closure of crossings, in addition to the repercussions of moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, followed by the obstacles On the import and export side by creating security pretexts that prevent progress in many sectors, which led to the decline of these industries, with expectations that the impact of these challenges will extend to the prospects of the economy in 2019 and possibly other years to come (Monetary Authority, 2018)
These obstacles and violations have affected investments and the ability to create new jobs and affected the ability of existing institutions to renew and contribute to the financial sustainability of training institutions in addition to the inability to exploit large areas of land.
As a result, businesses in Palestine are mostly MSMEs, the PCBS establishment census has revealed that 89% of the businesses are small businesses employing less than 5 employees (PCBS 2018c), while MAS study has indicated that almost half of the businesses are in the informal sector. (Al-Falah 2013)
Hence; TVET should be part of the different economic sectors’ strategies, (such as industry, agriculture, water, energy, tourism and others). This requires joint work to build a common approach between different economic sectors that allows linking TVET with different economic sectors to build a resilient economy to achieve the objectives of the National Plan for Sustainable Development and build a future strong economy (Palestinian National Authority 2017).
The population of Palestine in 2017 is estimated at 4.78 million citizens, 2.88 million people live in the West Bank and 1.89 million people in Gaza Strip. Palestine continues to witness a population growth rate of 2.8% per annum, statistics show that the number will increase to 6.9 million by 2030 and 9.5 million by 2050 due to high growth rate, results indicated that one third of the population is below the age of 15 years. (PCBS 2018a)
The labour force participation rate (LFPR) reached 46.1% in the West Bank compared to 46.9% in the Gaza Strip in 2018. LFPR is 71.5% for males and 20.7% for females. The service sector is the highest employment sector. Unemployment rate reached 30.8% of those participating in the labour force. unemployment reached 25.0% for males compared to 51.2% for females. Unemployment rate among college and universities youth graduates reached 57.9% (39.7% in the West Bank and 77.7% in Gaza). (PCBS 2019)
The poverty rate in the West Bank reached 13.9%, while the percentage of poverty in Gaza reached more than half of the population by 53%. The percentage of Palestinians under the extreme poverty line in the West Bank reached 5.2%, while in Gaza it reached 33.8%. PCBS study pointed out that poverty is more widespread among the unemployed than in the working population. (PCBS 2018b)
Based on the above, these conditions will create more challenges and increase the pressure on the provision of basic services, especially education, health and employment, which requires the government to overcome the challenges and find ways to encourage economic and social development policies and provide employment opportunities. In addition to benefit from the abilities of young people and learners, and allow them to participate positively in various sectors’ development. TVET should be encouraged, with policies to increase social acceptance and add more programmes, so that to allow more participation.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was established under General Assembly resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 to provide assistance to Palestine refugees in five fields of operations – Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. (UNRWA 2015) The mission of UNRWA is to help Palestine refugees achieve their full potential in human development under the difficult circumstances in which they live. UNRWA provides education, health, social services and assistance to over 2M Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, and provides TVET programmes. Refugees in Palestine are living for third or fourth generation, unemployment rates among refugees are higher than national figures, as well as poverty rates. (PCBS 2019, 2018b)
UNRWA's TVET strategy 2014 aims to:
- Provide vocational training for refugees and children of refugees in accordance with the needs of the labour market
The closed boarders’ policy by the occupation, restricted by permission regime, does not allow refugee and immigrants flows
The vocational education and training (VET) segments are still not interconnected. While vocational education graduates can complete their technical and university education, as well as technical education graduates can complete their university education, vocational training graduates can only continue their education if they take the national exam individually.
The following figure shows the current reality, which has been diagnosed in the first TVET strategy (1999), while Figure 7 shows the system's aspirations to achieve permeability between the formal and non-formal parts of the system, according to the 1999 strategy and the revised strategy 2010.
The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is a step towards recognizing the qualifications of non-formal graduates (initial and continuing vocational training- IVET and CVET) as well as those who have gained experience through practice. NQF objectives are:
- Comprehensiveness of the concept of qualification and for determining the intended educational outcomes for both individuals and institutions.
- Building a comprehensive and coherent system of educational inputs and outputs at all stages and levels, which facilitates the process of building educational programs and allowing permeability among stages and levels within these programs, evaluating and developing them.
- Assists in achieving the vision and mission of the educational system, which is reflected in the ease of access and professional development based on set criteria within the NQF.
- Assists in laying the basis and factors to make the prior learning experience gained through work of value and importance.
- Form a road map to facilitate the link between education and work.
- A pathway to make the outcomes of the educational system valuable at the regional and global levels.
Although the rate of enrolment in vocational secondary education has increased and even doubled, it has still not reached 5% of high school students. This increase has been linked to the adoption of the policy of vocational units in public schools and thus spread in different geographical locations and these units are increasing year by year, as statistics indicated.
However, the percentage of students in initial vocational education and training (IVET) in general is more than 10%, according to statistics and figures, and these rates are still low compared with the importance of this sector in providing jobs for young men and women and the growing needs of the labour market.
The absence of a unified M&E system affects the accuracy of the figure and the mechanism for obtaining it.
Overall, the percentages showed a lower participation of females than males in these programs. In a recent study conducted by COOPI related to the attitudes of students towards TVET in Jerusalem has pointed out to the limited opportunities and vocations available, especially for females, in addition to the negative perception towards TVET that still affects the decision of students and parents (Hilal 2019)
Palestine adopts the National Strategy for Adult Education (2014-2019): the second goal of the strategy states:
- To develop the experiences, qualifications and abilities of adult learners to enable them to find new job opportunities in line with the needs of the Labour market
The TVET Strategic Plan focuses on lifelong learning (LLL), contributes to it by providing continuous learning opportunities (CVET) as well as providing initial learning opportunities (IVET).
Some TVET institutes adopts CVET as part of their program, while others link it with provided initiatives, various initiatives were provided for CVET. Accurate statistics for CVET on the national level are limited.
The Ministry of Labour is making continuous efforts to expand the base of CVET for workers in the labor market through evening programs in vocational training centers, most of which are in partnership and at the request of some professional unions and chambers of commerce at the local level in the governorates, in addition to licensing continuing education programs in a group of Higher education institutions and provide supervision.
Over the past years, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) support has been provided through various channels, programs and projects, with the support of international donors working through partners, some of the funded projects during the years 2016-2019 are listed below, with funding reaching over 30M Euros, most of which were GIZ projects.
Donors are coordinating efforts through 2 groups of the TVET sector working group and the labour sector working group.
It has to be noted that funding for TVET is also granted through international funding for UNRWA TVET institutes, estimated at 7 Million USD annually, and funding for NGO-VET Institutes that is estimated at 2Million USD annually.
The number of labour force participants reached 1,382,000 during the year 2018, including 853,000 from the West Bank and 529,000 in the Gaza Strip. The labour force participation rate (LFPR) was 46.4% (46.1% in the West Bank and 46.9% in the Gaza Strip). LFPR reached 71.5% for males and 20.7% for females. LFPR of youth aged (15-24) stood at 33.2% (53.1% male youth, 12.4 % female youth). (PCBS 2019)
In Palestine, the unemployment rate is high, its higher for females, and higher for youth. Unemployment stood at 30.8% (25% males and 51.2% females), it varied between the West Bank (17.6%) and Gaza (52 %). Unemployment for youth stood at 46.7% (40.4% male youth, 75.2 % female youth). Results indicates change in unemployment rate for the past nine years (2010-2018) changed by 7%. (PCBS 2019)
The unemployment rates increase with increased qualification, especially among females, its highest among the college and university youth graduates (54.5% for females compared to 21% for males), indicating that individuals with higher educational levels suffer of decreased job opportunities. Percentages of youth (15-29 age group) who are not in education or employment (NEET) are 41.3% (30.3% males and 52.9% females) (PCBS 2019)
Employment rates of TVET graduates scored high percentages, as various studies indicated, a national study done for PhD (Hilal 2018a) indicated 77% employment rate of youth, and 89% LFPR.
These percentages increased when WBL is integrated in the system as employment rates reached 90%.(Hilal 2018b). UNRWA 2016 tracer study of its VTC graduates indicates (90% for male VTC and 75% for females) (UNRWA 2018), while LWF annual tracer study indicates an average of over 90% over the past 9 when they adopted the WBL fully, with over 15% above the earlier years. (LWF 2018), employment rates at MOL-VTCs are above 70%.
There is a lack in skilled vocational workers due to the low wages compared to the wages paid in Israeli market, as noted by Chambers, and Various studies conducted by MAS. (MAS 2018)
Employment by sector (public sector employment / private sector employment)
Employment is distributed in Palestine to be: 21.1% in the public sector, 65.6% in the private sector and 13.3% in Israel and settlements. (PCBS 2019)
From these statistics, it is clear that the private sector is the largest employer in Palestine, noting that the average wage for workers in Israel is higher than in the government and private sectors.
Employment has varied over the years according to the economic sector. Employment in agriculture sector in 2010 was 11.8%, it has dropped sharply to 6.3% in 2018, losing almost half of its employment, whereas in industrial sector employment has increased, from 24.3% in 2010 to 30.7% in 2018.There is no significant change in the services sector (63.9% in 2010, compared to 62.9 % in 2018 by broad economic sectors in Palestine) (PCBS Data Base 2018)
Challenges of Informal Work and Challenges of unstable work
Almost 40% of the economic establishments are informal, workers in this sector are not organised and the qualifications of the workers in this sector is not recognised or supervised by authorities, and this lead to employ underage people and the working conditions will not meet the descent work requirements and the wages are not organised as well. (MAS 2014)
Unstable work is non-standard work with low pay, unsafe and unprotected, and cannot support the family's livelihood. This is often associated with the following types of employment: self-employment (20%), that is sometimes seasonal or upon demand, temporary work, telephone work, domestic work, telework, etc. in addition to unpaid family member (4.8%), subsistence farming. Informal employment (without social protection) “working poor” can also be used as indicators of precarious employment. (ILO 2017)
The precarious work appears obviously in Palestine in agriculture and industry sectors among the school leavers with low education and those who does not have any skills (Unskilled labour).
The ILO (2018) report has noted that iinformal employment in the oPt is pervasive, calculating almost 55 % of Palestinian workers are informally employed, with men slightly more likely than women to be in conditions of informality.
Informal apprenticeship was found in various areas of Palestine, especially in remote areas and in sectors where TVET can’t meet the demand of the labour market, according to Enabel study (Hilal 2016)
Labour market segmentation, and Labour market problems of the region, age, sex, education, etc.
Labour market segmentation by sector indicates highest employment is in the services sector reaching 62.9% in comparison with industrial (30.7%) and Agriculture (6.3%) sectors. Labour market segmentation by geographic location indicates highest unemployment in Gaza compared to the West Bank. Youth unemployment is the highest among age groups, and long-term unemployment affected almost half of the youth (46.5%), mostly in Gaza (64.5%) compared to the West Bank (13.9%) ( PCBS 2019)
the Palestinian labour market is affected by the limited job opportunities in Gaza strip due to the closure and siege, and limited opportunities in the West Bank due to the Israeli control of resources and land and the restrictions on business sector.
Likewise, the percentages rise among those who hold Associate Diploma Certificate and above to reach 36.7% and rise according to specialization and gender to reach 74.5% among female graduates of the media.(PCBS 2019)
The ratios between females rise to double that of males in all groups, as shown in the figure below
Vulnerable self-employed and temporary workers whom are employment seekers are considered as an underemployment. The WBL graduates’ study has identified the highest in underemployment were among females and Gaza graduates.
Skills mismatch was manifest in the high unemployment among college and university graduates according to fields, where 75% of Education graduates were unemployed, while over 65% of media and humanities were unemployed, followed by natural sciences (62%).(PCBS 2019)
Various studies indicated skills gaps in different sectors, with high shortage of TVET graduates in specific sectors (tourism and hospitality), and mismatch of skills, and the need for technological update (industrial), future employment demand is forecasted in the Industrial, services and ICT sectors. (MAS 2019).
MOL has identified shortages of graduates in certain fields through its labour offices, all identified fields are TVET fields within the industrial and services sectors. (MOL 2019)
As noted above skills mismatch indicates shortages in TVET graduates in general, shortages in TVET graduates with relevant skills that matches labour market needs.
A study conducted measuring the quality of competencies as perceived by employers and graduates through the TVET Partnership Palestine – Koln chambers in cooperation with Federation of Palestinian Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (FPCCIA)and Palestinian Ministry of Labour (MoL) (Banat 2017), has identified inadequacy of practical skills, and engagement of employers, as employers noted.
Another study conducted for the Palestinian Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. (PFCCIA 2018) identified weak offer for agriculture in TVET although agriculture sector is high on the national agenda.
The two studies have indicated the importance of training in the workplace, linking with the private sector, designing programs that are appropriate to the needs of the labour market and are based on studies in the field, they also noted the importance of upgrading the technical and life skills provided through VET.
Skills gaps in TVET and shortages in TVET graduates is attributed to various factors including:
- Limited spaces in VT, with high demand to VTCs above the available capacity
- Labour market representatives are not engaged in VET as should be
- Limited spaces in specific fields and sectors,
- Limited use of LM studies as basis for vocations development. Limited use of LMIS system
- Limited LMIS system coverage and sources of information
- Limited Work-Based Learning
- Limited CVET, for many institutes its linked with projects and initiatives
- Challenges of VET graduates to participation in the labour market, which includes decent work agenda and the effects of the political context for all graduates and social norms for female graduates.
- Israeli market attraction with much higher salary, relevant to the much higher GDP
The vocational programs should be relevant to the LM needs and the labour market should be involved in all vocational education stages starting from design and ending with evaluation of graduates.
A study of the future labour market indicators carried out by the Sharek in partnership with the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) and with the Ministry of Labour (MOL), indicated that there is a high skills gap in university majors in 12 fields that have been investigated, with variation. Many recommendations were presented by the study, most importantly is to fund a data base for graduates and the labour market analysis which would contribute to reducing unemployment and developing economic sectors. (Sharek 2019)
The MOL Employment Department, in cooperation with its partners, prepared lists of labour market needs in the various governorates, and worked to update the labour market information system (LMIS), providing guidance and counselling and matching services for the unemployed and job seekers through employment offices in the governorates.
The Chambers of Commerce in Cooperation and coordination with MOL and with the support of the German agency GIZ has opened four employment corners in the four governorates "Ramallah, Hebron, Salfit, Nablus", with the aim of contributing and participating in providing various employment services for the unemployed and job seekers.
Migration of skilful youth outside Palestine due to various reasons, including limited opportunities and limited participation, led to brain drain in various fields.
A number of studies on migration and youth (PCBS, 2011, 2016) have indicated that 6.7% of the households have at least one immigrant family-member in the year 2010, while returnees were 5.6% among households. The youth study in 2015 indicated that 3.9% of youth have immigrated, while 23.6% expressed their desire to emigrate (15% from the West Bank and 37% from Gaza). The rates are higher among males and the unemployed. Youth immigration from Gaza to Europe has increased recently.
The labour market is changing very fast and this leads to mismatch of skills with the labour market due to the digital transformation especially in ICT aspects, and in technological update within the different vocations.
Digital transformation contributes to skill mismatch, as noted by MAS labour market study noted within the industrial sector ( MAS 2019), VET ability to meet technological skills mismatch is affected by methods of identification of new vocations and curricula development that has limited labour market contribution, and in many times led by the government.
Strategic policies to address mismatch has been:
1. widening the provision of VET through:
a. Integration of VE units at general schools, and adding new professions to vocational
b. Adding new fields and new centres at VTCs
c. Utilising resources through using other centres ( e.g. MOL and MOSA) using each other centres for their programs
2. Updating the curricula at VET levels using Competency Based Education and Training (CBET) with engagement of the labour market. MOL has announced updating all its curricula in Sept 2019. Curricula upgrade for the government was conducted with the support of GIZ, while NGOs have upgraded new technology within 3 professions with the support of COOPI through EU. Curricula methodology was integrated within the MOE/HE and MOL.
3. Widening WBL was done during the years 2016-2018 through the support of Belgium Development Agency, as more than 44 institutes were addressed, 4 vocational schools are implementing apprenticeship, while remaining schools and VTCs are not implementing the model, although strategy and bylaw were adopted on the national level.
4. Integrating new skills and upgrading vocations and trainers’ capacities is currently done through the Cologne project with the chambers and MOL and engaging all TVET providers.
According to MOL deputy minister on labour market policies “Through its policies and interventions, the Ministry is working to strengthen the resilience of the people on their land. This is in addition to several initiatives undertaken by the Ministry, especially in the field of vocational training, in order to ensure the labour market needs of the labour force, yet adopting comprehensive active labour market policies is needed”
The existence of the LMIS, trained employment offices in all governorates, the existence of the Local Employment and Training (LET) Councils are part of the measures for enhancing access to labour market.
In addition, the activation of the (Palestinian Fund for Employment and Social Protection for Workers), which was established by Presidential Decree No. 9 of 2003 as a national institution with legal personality and independent financial authority to support economic development by activating and motivating labour market policies and implementing programs and projects aimed at creating and generating permanent employment opportunities, the Fund was adopted as reference and national umbrella for the entire Employment Operation by the Council of Ministers’ decisions issued in 2014 and 2016 in this regard. The fund has invested in promoting entrepreneurship and business development, it gives priority to VET graduates, the fund is supported by various donors with over 20 million $ fund.
The MOL is currently leading the effort for developing the cross-sectoral strategy for employment, with clear policy objectives towards enhancing TVET relevance. (MOL 2019) The Cabinet decision set the trajectory of the strategy through the following policy objectives:
Strengthening the resilience and capacity of the Palestinian private sector to retain and create jobs, particularly for youth and women
Strengthening the relevance of the tertiary and TVET education to labor market needs.
Strengthening, from a youth and women perspective, the governance and effectiveness of the labour market and active labor market programs.
Given that the National Cross-Sectoral Employment Strategy is expected to be closely aligned with the revised focus of the PA, it is likely to focus on:
On the short term, creating job opportunities to absorb the large number of unemployed, particularly in Gaza.
On the medium-term, improving the relevance of education to labor market needs, improving the business enabling environment, and strengthening social security to promote greater levels of employment and economic growth.
On the long term, promote productivity and competitiveness in the productive sectors towards restructuring of the economy.
Furthermore, the strategy has clarified that the interventions throughout the strategy period are based on the development by clusters adopted by the Palestinian Government, and will focus on key production sectors (agriculture, industry, tourism, services and technology), as the Government launched the “Agricultural Cluster" and started preparing for launching the “Industrial Cluster” and establishing the industrial parks. The strategy will also encourage programmes that will enhance relevance between supply and demand. (MOL 2019)
There is a CVET programs for job seekers provided by TVET institutes. The unemployed people attend some vocational training courses individually, through projects and initiatives and sometimes sent by labour offices, a clear policy in this regard in still missing.
Labour market studies and surveys are conducted based on project initiative or intervention, based on which skills gaps are identified, then curricula is upgraded and skills are introduced, or a whole training program is introduced, as its related to project intervention hence studies are limited. This has been carried during previous years until today. Examples of which was done through the BTC/Enabel previous project were two national studies in 2010 and 2012 were done and used for curricula development, COOPI with the support of the EU has also done studies for the introduction of skills in the Jerusalem market in the years 2013, 2017 and 2018. BTC/Enabel has also conducted a study in 2018 regarding Gaza market needs assessment.
Studies by other institutes as MAS (2019) series of sectoral studies are also used in skills development and curricula development by the relevant authorities.
MAS is also hosting the UNESCO project on skills prediction.
Studies and sources of information may include employer surveys, conducted by various projects on limited sectors. LMIS information from employers demand and labour offices data, quantitative and qualitative forecasting of skill needs in selected sectors, done through different studies commissioned for programmes. Tracking studies, done previously by the BTC/ Enabel for WBL graduates, and the study conducted by the BTC/Enabel, GIZ and ETF for projects beneficiaries, its also carried by some NGOs, for example its carried by the LWF annually since the year 2000. School-to-work transition surveys, conducted by ILO and PCBS in 2014 and 2016.
Some of workers unions, industrial unions, professions union and chamber of commerce provide information based on their members information. In addition, labour offices and LET councils forecasts the demand based on private sector demand for employees from labour offices, and from local surveys carried for the LET council, which are not done on a regular basis.
LMIS has been developed and manged by MOL, yet has limited participation and hence forecasting ability.
Sometimes assessment of demand is carried rapidly, sometimes verbal consultation is done, which could provide wrong prediction and hence waste resources.
Transition from TVET to labour market is an important factor stressed in the developed TVET strategy, that was developed by the TVET and labour market representatives.
Recognition of qualification and certification is done by the MOE and MOHE for VE and TE, while MOL need to develop its qualification and accreditation for VT and prior learning.
UNRWA is providing TVET for Palestinian refugees ( since 1952), UNRWA has a career guidance unit and other services that supports graduates employment in the local and international markets.
There are no new immigrants and refugees from other nationalities due to the closure policies of the occupation and complex permit regime, hence the inability of people to reside in Palestine without a residency or a permit. Yet there are limited number of Palestinian returnees who possess qualification or capital, as Building Block A indicated.
VET leads to employment as noted earlier in various conducted studies and tracer studies. National studies as PCBS (2006) has indicated increase in employers percentages among TVET graduates for both males and females compared to national figures, this was confirmed through other studies on VET. The WBL tracer study found that 35.8 % are self-employed, compared to 20.4% national figures of self-employment. which is expected to VET graduates that have skills and can practice it everywhere. Self-employment in the WBL study was higher in Gaza and for females, hence presented an opportunity for employment among the least employed segment of the population. Moreover; females business owners had higher percentages than the national figures, as the WBL study found out that 6.6% are business owners, (Hilal 2018b) compared to 2.2% national figures. These figures were also confirmed through the joint ETF-GIZ-Enabel (2019) study.
The higher engagement of VET graduates in entrepreneurship is important when the national indicator for entrepreneurship is low according to MAS study (Abdulla and others 2014)
In her PhD; Hilal noted the different shades of work TVET graduates can have due to skills gained (Hilal 2018a).
Although self-employment provided an opportunity, yet for some they were still seeking full employment opportunities, for females it provided flexibility needed to carry out social attributed work.
Regarding actions of support, the MOL has linked its VTCs to labour offices, LMIS and to employment counsellors, as well as to the employment fund, which will assist the graduates in identifying employment and self-employment opportunities. Other initiatives are supporting employment and entrepreneurships, such as the support of COOPI supported by EU to East-Jerusalem VET graduates.
The Chambers of Commerce has support programmes for established businesses and give priority to TVET graduates.
Description of policies
The entrepreneurial education is integrated into the TVET curricula to encourage the graduates to
start their own business. As the Know About Business (KAB) curricula of the ILO is integrated in all
MOE, MOHE, MOL and NGO vocational schools, colleges and VTC's.
The PA has defined MSMEs in 2014, had policies to encourage investments, export and public -
private dialogue, according to SME Policy Index (OECD, EU & ETF 2018)
The new establishment of the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Empowerment (2017-2022) in
Palestine, is a clear message of the government towards the increased interest in entrepreneurship.
There is a new national Policy Framework Document and Action Plan for Women Entrepreneurship in
Palestine still under preparation, which puts emphasis on integration of enterpreneurship within VET.
The recommendations of the first International Conference on Entrepreneurial Environment, which
was held in Bethlehem (on 9/17/2019) came to focus on the need to pay attention to VET to encourage entrepreneurship.
There is no tracking system for self-employment of VET graduates, its only when there is a commissioned study is conducted, or higher education research is done, information can be obtained.
The endorsement of the entrepreneurial programs in the formal TVET institutions through the KAB-ILO curricula is an important step for encouraging self-employment and starting their own business. New study by MOE indicates the need for more activities to further encourage entrepreneurship, especially among females.
National Employment Fund led by the MOL has provided priority for TVET graduates, it provides financial and non-financial services for the TVET graduates, yet implementation of the service is still limited. There are other Micro- Finance Institutes, banks and Business development services that attracts TVET graduates, their procedures are barriers to TVET graduates.
There are certain initiatives as the EU support to East Jerusalem Youth, implemented through COOPI, which provides financial and non-financial support for self-employed TVET graduates in East Jerusalem.
In the MOL-VTCs and through the Economic Empowerment Center, work is carried out on following up the implementation of the Life Skills Program, a Passport for Success (PtS). It is a program that aims to build the student’s personality and prepare them for interviews to get a job, in addition to a providing them with skills for dealing with others after joining work.
TVET graduates has a major challenge when entering the labour market in decent work agenda conditions, which leads sometimes in dropping the vocation and moving to other unskilled fields, and hence increasing the gap between supply and demand. Such status is also linked with the fragility of the economy and the private sector in the oPt. (Hilal 2019), as such measures and policies are needed in this regard.
Moreover, the leakage of skilled labour to the Israeli market exacerbates the skills gap in the labour market as has been identified by many studies, including MAS studies (2019). This leak is attributed to the differences in financial compensation as a result of the differences between the fragile Palestinian economy and the strong Israeli economy, exhibited through the differences in GDPs.
The Palestinian economy is challenged through the Israeli occupation by various obstacles including mobility, use of resources and control over boarders, currency and other sovereignty related obstacles. As a result, the economy suffers from slow growth and limited employment capacity, leading to high unemployment and limited employmentt opportunities. Nevertheless; employment opportunities for TVET graduates is available, and market demand requires TVET graduates with relevant skills.
Ongoing alignment of TVET with labour market demand is an important factor for employment, and so is conducting Labour Market Surveys and training needs assessment to identify skills gaps and skills demands and align TVET programmes accordingly, as enhancing relevance between supply and demand is one of the main interests of the government.
There is a high interest in the government in employment and entrepreneurship, yet linking VET graduates with these initiatives needs further enhancement.
Decent work agenda for the VET graduates needs further monitoring and enhancement.
Widening the adaptation of Work-Based learning is an important factor for market-relevant training and for enhancing future opportunity for employment.
Self-employment presents an opportunity for employment. On-going tracer studies are lacking, and entrepreneurial support needs strengthening.
Challenges to VET access and participation
Challenges and limitations to VET access and participation are realised in contextual status and internal related challenges to infrastructure, systems and policies, as follows:
1. Contextual challenge: Palestine is considered a state under occupation, suffering from constant security tension and mobility restriction that impede the development process, in addition to the settlement expansion and annexation, and the separation wall in the West Bank, not to mention the policy of separating Jerusalem and considering it the capital of the occupying power, while isolating Gaza from the outside world. In addition to the internal division between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and the inability of the Palestinian government to carry out its tasks. This is added to deducting tax funds and their impact on the economic reality, which affected all aspects of life, especially economic and social, which led to reduce operational expenses to approximately 20% of the international aid provided to UNRWA and the US assistance was cut. This reality affects the development budgets of the TVET sector and institutions, looking for covering the operational expenses, while seeking external financial assistance for covering development needs. It also affects the ability of the different government bodies to carry out it role in regulating the sector.
2. Lack of necessary infrastructure, lack of material resources available, lack of vocational schools, vocational centres, specializations offered, inequitable geographical distribution, and lack of options for students, that meets their inclinations, abilities and labour market needs. Despite the many bodies that provide short-term and long-term TVET programs, through 255 institute serving over 15 thousand particpants, as well as 32 community and technical college serving over 30 thousand people.
3 – Lack of systematic tracer study. Lack of an efficient and effective national labour market information system. Lack of systematic market surveys, based on which introducing of vocations can be made, as employment rates vary according to vocations, there is an excess number of students to the labour market needs in some vocations, as illustrated through the KOLN- Chambers study (Banat 2017), further studies need to identify these fields and analyse reasons.
4 - Limited transportation allowances and availability of boarding sections, taking into consideration that the marginalized group and those with limited income are the ones attracted to TVET.
5- The stereotypical perception of society towards TVET, and hence the necessity of enhancing the positive perception.
6 - Poor awareness and public knowledge about TVET institutes and the importance of vocational training and acceptance,
7. Many TVET institutions limits TVET to certain age, such as MoSD and MOE.
8. Gender imbalances in TVET as tables in building block illustrated, as:
- The distribution of students in terms of gender in TVET institutions in government institutions amounts to two thirds of males and one-third of females and therefore does not reflect equal opportunities.
- The distribution of students by gender in private and private VTCs licensed by the Ministry of Labor reflects equal opportunities for enrollment and arrival.
- Distribution of TVET students in (UNRWA) reflects fluctuations in enrollment and access opportunities, sometimes we find discrimination in favor of females 2016-2017 and in the years 2017-2018 & 2018-2019 reflects discrimination in favor of males.
9., lack of legislation to regulate vocational work, and the non-adoption of the POC.
10. lack of activation of the M&E system to provide data for the marginalised, other than the gender and PWD ( a national M&E framework was developed in the year 2017), but collection of data accordingly was not done.
11. The visual identity of VET institutions is unclear. The complementary work is weak, as overlapping of the vocations offered in institutions without joint planning increase competitiveness, not complementarity.
The Palestinian Social Protection Sector Strategy-SPSS has identified vulnerable groups as those who are deprived, in-danger, the poor and the weak. They defined the vulnerable groups they are serving as including: households in poverty, battered women, or women subjected to gender-based violence or households headed by women, children (drop-outs, orphans, juveniles), elderly, handicapped and ex-detainees. With special focus on children, girls, women, people with disabilities, older women and men, youth, as well as Palestinians living in marginalized areas (East Jerusalem, Area C in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, H2 areas in Hebron, refugee camps, etc.). (MOSD 2017)
VET has been attracting the marginalised. Different institutes have been providing IVET for different marginalised groups, whereas some are targeting women (governmental and non-governmental), and setting special measures for that, others the refugees (UNRWA), or juveniles, drop-outs and potential drop outs (MOSD and NGOs), students from poor families are attracted to IVET from different systems. (Hilal 2018)
As noted in building block A, the percentages of students enrolling in VET (VET Intake) is over 15% of that going to academic stream. Percentage is still low although increased over the years.
CVET is provided by different VET institutes on a project-based or permanent base, some provide courses for male and female youth in remote areas (NGO- VET institutes), some provide courses for females with social hardship cases (women CSOs), or unemployed youth (youth CSOs). Various governmental, and semi-governmental, such as the MAJ college for the ex-detainees, with branches in different areas. Different projects and donors has supported CVET for the marginalised, such as Enabel, GIZ and ILO.
The national SPSS aimed to improve and enhance the quality of life of the society, as well as provides social protection and basic services to all the members of poor and vulnerable households, so that they can enjoy a dignified life and decent jobs. To achieve full equality, this process also entails caring for and promoting economic, social and political inclusiveness of marginalized groups, with focus on community and institutional development.
Within same regard; VET system has adopted policies to provide access to dignified life and decent jobs. The following policies are adopted by the government and the different VET institutes for serving the marginalised:
First: policies by the PA:
1. Paying the Jerusalem allowance to workers in the public sector in the city of Jerusalem and its environs in support of their steadfastness and ensuring the provision of human resources necessary for the operation of public institutions. A work allowance was paid to employees of the Old City of Hebron.
2- Reducing the government operating expenses to 20% as a result of the financial crisis that the government is going through.
3 - Opening the door for TVET graduates for admission at Palestinian universities in all branches to complete their university education. At the same time, the student undergoes a follow-up system for students within the bridging system in order to enable students to continue and complete their education.
Second: policies by government and different institutes:
4- Expanding TVET institutes and spread:
- MOE: through Providing three tracks for vocational education ( Injaz, Kafa’a and apprenticeship) Giving the student the opportunity to achieve according to abilities and interest through this policy that has been introduced in vocational education. MOE has also increased apprenticeship provision.
- The introduction of 39 vocational units in general education schools by MOE, to ensure access to vocational education to all geographical areas.
- MOL: has created new centres and increased provided vocations.
- Non-governmental centres also increased their centres and vocations.
- Opening new specialties and new centres in the government, NGO-VET and private sectors
- Signing several agreements with donors such as GIZ to finance developing training programs and enhancing infrastructure of buildings, equipment and furniture.
- Optimal use of institutions and resources and work to the maximum capacity, adding ongoing evening courses in addition to morning courses by MOL and some NGOs.
- Optimal use of resources through use of different TVET institutes by others, such as the agreement signed between MOL and MOSD to use centres and resources.
5. Open opportunities for employment and self-employment
- Through encouraging self-employment and setting up their own businesses (through setting the employment fund by the government, which serves TVET graduates and through different initiatives)
- The MOL policy in organising career guidance during study and training, and after training through linking the graduates to employment offices and employment counselling.
6. Orientation of general schools’ students to TVET:
- The policy of integrating VE with general education for grades 7-9, where students during the three years are introduced to nine (9) vocations at the rate of three (3) occupations annually.
- The introduction of VET within the tenth-grade policy has been developed where students are introduced to seven (7) professions, so that the students can choose their vocation.
7. Increase awareness of students, parents and the community towards VET:
- Promote positive attitudes towards VET, through counselling and media.
- Introducing students and parents to the taught vocations through several means, for example, the TVET portal (https://www.tvet.ps/), and the currently being developed official website, http://tvet.newline.ps/, also through brochures, manuals, radio, television, etc. (different institutes and projects)
- Utilizing Success stories as an opportunity to market TVET and encourage other students and parents. (different institutes and projects)
8. Linking with the Labour market representatives and social partners:
- Activating the participation of the non-governmental sector, especially the social partners.
- Several agreements have been signed with the Chambers of Commerce
- Activation of the LET councils in the governorates
- Activating relationship with the community and CSOs through different signed agreements
9. Increasing relevance of the training
- Spreading Work- based Learning (WBL) to 44 TVET implementing institutes supported by Enabel, and the spread of apprenticeship training within MOE, with full engagement of the market place.
- Accident insurance and work environment insurance for WBL training.
- Developing occupational standards for the system in the public and private sectors and relevant curricula to labour market
- MOSD started implementing a systemized WBL
- Courses were provided to raise the efficiency of workers and mentors
- Raising the competence of vocational trainers in relevant skills and specialisations.
10. Protection measures by MOSD ( 2017), UNRWA and some NGOs, through their other projects that links to VET students and their families, and their mission for social targeting. as well as adopting code of conducts at UNRWA and NGOs to uphold the right of the students.
Future directions: (still under discussion)
11.There is a direction at the Ministry of Social Development to create a general administration of centres for the training of young people, a structure to allow for policy support.
12. There is a new direction to create a TVET university, still under preperation
13. Promote and support the efforts of business incubators and incorporate the concept of entrepreneurship into vocational education tracks
14. Establishing a national VET fund that guarantees private sector investment in VET.
On the other hand, the numbers of VET graduates are still below ambition, due to the presence of many obstacles, including: the absence of the necessary infrastructure, the lack of financial capabilities available, the lack of legislation necessary to organize vocational work, the weak awareness of the importance of vocational training and its demand, and the lack of organization The relationship (especially financial) with the donors of vocational training projects
It has to be noted that no real measures for e-learning has taken place, although its anticipated by the TVET sector.
In addition to the above measures that increased access to TVET in general, the following measures to allow access for the marginalised and limit the restriction on access of the target groups were taken:
Special measures to allow access of the marginalised:
- For MOSD: Providing transportation for all beneficiaries and free education and vocational training for all
- Free of charge or minimal charge IVET is provided by Governmental institutes and UNRWA. NGOs provide exemption of fees for those unable to pay the fees.
- Provide boarding for those from remote areas, assisting students and teachers in getting permits to enter Jerusalem, and other measures
- Develop the skills of the marginalized group and provide the opportunity for training through short-term courses (UNRWA).
- The initiative of some CSOs institutions to cover the cost of transportation
Widen the target groups to allow more access of the marginalised,
- MOSD increased the age to cover young people up to the age of 18 and the Ministry of Labour over 15 years without age limit.
- The existence of 2 centres for PWD run by MOSD, and other centres by NGOs (Charitable organisation), a mapping study is needed here, MOE has a policy to increase VET for PWD, but not implemented yet
- CVET for the marginalised, supported by different initiatives and projects allowed for serving more groups and reaching to different areas.
- The inclusion of Gaza and East Jerusalem in projects enabled increased access
- Providing measures in marginalized areas to support students' access to vocational education and training, as was previously done in the Gaza Strip, hence to continue and include other areas.
- Rehabilitation of VET institutions to enable persons with disabilities to enroll in some vocations, especially the number of injuries and people with disabilities in the Gaza Strip is increasing, numbers of people maimed exceeded 50 thousand in the last three years.
- Developing and training of VET trainers to deal with people with disabilities, especially hearing disabilities
First: VET caters for different needsof target groups, such as through shorter courses, more flexible delivery modes:
- Based on the information provided in BB A, there are different systems, with different durations for different target groups with the VET system.
- MOE introduced 3 tracks with VE as noted above
- MOL and NGOs has evening courses, MOE implemented in Hebron Vocational school.
Second: Flexible curricula:
- MOE and MOL has recently developed market-relevant curricula, hence even if other systems are not obliged to implement, they would for easy access to learning material,
- The curricula is based on market-relevant competencies and can be updated accordingly
- Some of the developed modules by different initiatives were adopted by TVET institutes as additional to the IVET curricula (such as hybrid cars and CNC) or as modules for CVET.
- Partial qualification is achieved through CVET
- MOL developed curricula for 28 training programs, 18 curricula for MOL-VTCs and 10 for private sector centres
Third: organisation of VET for wide range (LLL and In-company)
- Structured and project-based LLL is catered by CVET in institutes or projects.
- CVET and special initiatives or sectoral projects cater for in-company training.
Fourth: recognition of qualifications for the marginalised:
- System allows integration of different groups, yet qualification and accreditation of the achieved competencies is only recognised at the vocational and technical education, while its missing within the vocational training at the IVT and CVET.
- There is no accreditation system for the prior learning. There is no licensing system, which in turn gives workers in the vocational fields a certificate and a license to practice the vocation after being subjected to examination and testing procedures.
- The forthcoming NQF would cater for linking different parts, while accreditation system for VT and prior learning is needed.
1. Centres, schools and colleges are monitored through the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
2. Work has been done to develop vocational standards for the public and private sectors.
3 – Work is underway for practitioners’ certification, and a National Qualification Framework to ensure the quality and permeability of TVET.
4.The process of developing the structural and legal aspects of vocational training continued, as the Ministry of Labour began organizing the work of the 78 private centres during the first half of 2018.
5. A national website has been created that includes all vocational education and training institutions, services and programs.
- The success rate of vocational education graduates, where higher than the national rates of education in most branches. The percentage of successful VE learners in the national exam, industrial branch 70%, branch of home economics 68%, agricultural branch 58%, hospitality branch 70% compared to the national success rate of (66.43%) in 2019.
- Success rate at VTCs of MoL and others private sector and NGOs are above 90%.
- Success rate at MoSD VTCs are 81%
1.Poverty in the West Bank reached 13.9%, while the poverty rate in Gaza reached more than half of the population by 53%. Therefore, poor students needs to be financially supported, especially in Gaza.
2. The high percentage of persons with disabilities, reaching 2.1% of the population, high percentage of which are due to the arbitrary measures practiced by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians. Therefore, this group has the right to be provided with the necessary infrastructure, develop programs and provide the needed resources in all TVET institutes.
3 – The geographical effect, as in the West Bank localities are remote and away from the central city in the governorates, where most TVET institutes are operating. Hence TVET has to develop its infrastructure within different geographical location to facilitate students' access and community needs.
4 - The institutions providing programs available to females are few compared to males and are predominantly traditional, limiting freedom of choice, this limitation is related to restricted policies that segregate courses according to gender, except for some limited courses. This limits their presence to around a quarter of the number of students. This limits female participation in economy and development, and hence hinders the resources of half of the society. Therefore; TVET is required to provide new, non-traditional TVET programs and to enhance infrastructure in service providers that meet the special needs of this group.
5. The system should be flexible to accommodate other groups such as workers, unemployed or other social groups
Description of policies
• As noted earlier, free TVET is provided for all in governmental institutes and UNRWA, with
fees exemption for the poor in NGOs. Transportation allowance is provided for some by projects and extra support.
• There are 3 TVET institutes run by the MoSD for the People with Disabilities
• Some institutes provide outreach training in isolated communities, but this is limited.
• Afternoon courses for CVET allows for the unemployed to be engaged.
1. Exempt female students from fees in some institutions in the NGO-VET League institutes.
2 – Teaching support and special classes are organised to limited achievement students undertaken by the UNRWA VET institutes.
3. Special vocational units to provide VE have been established for girls (positive discrimination)
1- The Ministry of Social Development have 2 centres for males and females people with disability (PwD) for the age groups (15-35) males and females (except for mental disabilities) Sheikh Khalifa Center in Nablus and Sheikha Fatima Center in Hebron Governorate, where different vocations are being provided.
2 - Al Alia Resource Center provides tools to support teaching PwD, print the curricula for the blind and visually impaired people using (Braille), and have audible software Laptops for their use.
3 - Implementation of the inclusive education policy adopted by MOE in vocational education, where two vocational units started functioning in the school Sadiq Rafie- in Gaza for deaf boys and girls.
4 - Rehabilitating vocational schools to accommodate existing students with disabilities. The MoE is also working to ensure that there is an elevator in the new vocational schools.
5- most of the vocational training provided by the charitable organisations are provided for PwD.
- The most important challenges facing us is the high unemployment rates, especially among the youth groups, and especially females, as section B of the report has illustrated
- Employment rates vary by institution, level and vocation, but are generally better than national youth employment rates. Previous studies showed that the employment rates of graduates reached 77% (Hilal 2018), and more than 70% according to statistics of the Ministry of Labour, and up to 90% among male graduates and 75% among female graduates for UNRWA graduates (UNRWA 2016). As indicated in part B of the report.
- These percentages are better than the employment rates of youth graduates of higher education, where unemployment was high as shown in part B of the report.
- The majority of studies agreed that a good percentage of graduates suffer from working conditions and wages, especially in females’ related work.
- As for the graduates of the MoSD VTCs, whom are juveniles and families in difficult economic and social conditions, the employment rates do not exceed 35%, which requires full support for this category.
- A significant proportion of vocational education graduates complete their higher education before entering the labour market.
- The VET sector gives graduates the opportunity for self-employment.
- Centering job opportunities in the city center.
- The availability of Labour force in Palestine is an important element for production, but in light of the obstacles placed by the Israeli occupation and the shrinking of assistance to the State of Palestine in addition to the restrictions set by the Ministry of Economy for investors. As such employment opportunities are limited.
- The high cost of transportation changes the movement between the place of residence and the place of work.
- The presence of permanent and abrupt military checkpoints impede access to the workplace.
- Lack of legislation to regulate working conditions and minimum wages, and limited supervision upon implementation of the min wage.
Description of policies
• Civil Service Law does not give value for VET certificates, which affect transition to public institutes.
• The possibility of movement between jobs and promotion in the public sector is difficult because graduates are usually within the level of skilled and semi-skilled worker
• lack of students’ life skills such as customer service.
• The existence of skills gap in some vocations.
• Government institutions are trying to encourage SMEs, but it is not easy and measures do not have the required impact, which leads many young people to emigrate.
• The government has formed the Wages Committee.
• The government is continuing the work on updating the Labour law.
• The government is working on activating the work of inspection committees of the labour market.
1 - Adoption of the Arab Occupational Classification of occupations (AOC).
2. Include the National Qualifications Framework or National Qualification Classification within the strategic plan of the two ministries and strive to implement it.
3. Build a partnership with the Labour market in the design and evaluation of TVET programs.
4. Employment Fund and supporting SMEs has led to employment of 100 students from MoSD.
5. Adopting the Know About Business (KAB) Program in the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
6- Raising the awareness of the local community about VET through awareness campaigns, and providing vocational guidance for tenth grade students in general education schools, in addition to vocational exhibitions and employment days.
7. Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning in partnership with the Labour market.
8. currently working on the amendment of the Civil Service Law to recognize vocational skills.
- The presence of a vocational counsellor in each vocational school and vocational centre, to familiarize students expected to graduate to the Labour market and the protocol of work, job search, employment skills and matters related to entry into the Labour market
- Carry out events such as Employment Day.
- Follow up graduates after graduation from VET institutes.
- Highlight success stories and host successful students in specific areas to share their story.
- The existence of Career Resource Center (CRC) on the TVET Portal: https://www.tvet.ps/crc
- Linking vocations and specialisation with occupational description of occupations for each level according to the Arab profession classification https://www.tvet.ps/departments
- Therefore, there is a need to continue linking vocations and specialisation to occupations for each level according to the Arab and Palestinian occupational classifications, and to activate a website that provides job recruitment services to provide work and follow up with graduates
Marginalization is linked to the Palestinian external and internal context, which calls for policies that guarantee the participation of the different parties in Palestine, and to clarify additional distinct measures for marginalized groups and regions.
The key challenges, as this building block indicated, are in the limited accessibility of the marginalised, which although addressed partially, but need to further develop, other challenges are lack of accreditation system for the initial vocational training and CVET, as well as prior learning, other challenges are lack of information and M&E systems, as well as restrictive policies for access including gender and age. Various pilots were implemented that needs to be upscaled.
Hence; today, the government is required to overcome challenges and find ways to develop economic, social and development policies, provide employment opportunities and benefit from the capabilities of young people and the qualified ones, and allow them to participate positively in the development required in various sectors. This requires addressing the challenges and find mechanisms that will:
- Enhance the social acceptance of VET. Changing the traditional view and the standards of society in its appreciation of academic certificates at the expense of vocational certificates.
- Developing the enrollment system in TVET for all levels and target groups
- Establishing a culture of lifelong learning and training.
- Consolidation of self-employment and addressing its challenges.
- Changing the cultural and social norms represented in refusal of many parents of VET for girls.
- Provide adequate attention to marginalized groups and people with disability and females.
- Provide modern training programs that suit all groups and not be limited to traditional programs.
- Create and support VET opportunities in Gaza, Jerusalem and Area C.
- Focus on vocational guidance and the preparation of new students.
- Give priority to integration of marginalized groups in Gaza, Jerusalem and Area C in VET.
-develop accreditation system for initial and continuous VT and that measure prior learning
-provide analytical studies on drop-outs, tracer studies, and provide M&E data desegregated by marginalisation, in a systematic and regular manner.
• Recently; work has begun on the use of modern non-traditional patterns of learning in the majority of TVET institutions with improvements in the methods of VET learning in the majority of vocations offered by TVET institutions in line with the needs of the Labour market, and in implementation of government policies to promote the vocational education and training sector.
• It should be noted that the curricula were developed using the standard method adopted nationally (complex tasks to achieve professional, personal, methodological and social competencies in the profession by building educational learning attitudes reflecting the solution of a problem in the Labour market), and these learning situations are implemented through the learning methodology of problem-solving or work-oriented education that focused on analysing learning situations and considering that the trainee is the focus of the training process and the trainer is the facilitator. This method emerged from the recommendations of the TA-Pooling, which was implemented by the GIZ, Enabel and MOL, MOE and MOHE. The relevant committees of this group recommended the adoption of the national standard method, adopted by the higher council an documented through a manual in 2018.
• There is a great success of the Work-Based Learning (WBL) methodology, which aims at engaging the labour market in VET, as the trainee spend the period in the economic establishment to do business that complement and consolidate the learning at the VET institute. WBL allows the trainee the opportunity to build relations in the market place and facilitate access to participate in the labour force and to access future work opportunity, in line with the policy of the government of promoting joint cooperation and engaging Labour market sector in the implementation of VET.
• Through the application of the WBL methodology, several methods were used according to the educational institution, such as apprenticeship and “professional competence- Kafa’” in the vocational schools of the Ministry of Education, and increased the duration of field training ( internships) in the training centres of the Ministry of Labour, the most prominent advantages of this methodology is that it reduces the cost of vocational education , Linking training programs with the needs of the Labour market, increasing employment opportunities, strengthening partnership with the Labour market, strengthening relations between vocational education and training institutions with the Labour market, improving the quality of the output in vocational education and training (but it has encountered some pitfalls) The lack of incentives for private sector institutions to cooperate in this field, the absence of legislation that obliges private sector institutions to receive trainees for training, the lack of a full-time and resident trainer to train trainees in the workplace, the lack of qualified trainers to follow trainees outside the VET institution, small size Private sector institutions, and the relevant financial and structural burdens over some of the institutes for implementing apprenticeship schemes.
• An integrated education system was used, which is a Dual- Study system that combines the two parts of education within the university with the partner institution in the Labour market, implemented at Khadouri University and Al Quds Abu Dis University and the cooperative style applied at Khadouri University.
• Our experiences in Palestine proved that the WBL methodology is the most effective, especially the results achieved through high employment rates.
• VE is being integrated within general schools through adding vocational units to academic schools, 45 units were added till today and can be increased, and cooperating with the VTCs of the MOL and the industrial schools of the MoE to implement VET programs in the vocational units.
Description of adopted policies
1) The policy of integration of VE in general education, through the integration of VET at the 6th to 9th grade , some sort of orientation as noted in various parts of the report.
2) Curriculum development policy based on complex tasks and learning situations. As MOE and MOL developed their curricula for all disciplines, and integrating the approach into the ministries systems, following the adoption of the approach through the approved approach manual by the Higher Council
3) The policy of Work- Based Learning and dual studies, enables the increased relevance of the VET training and engaging the mentors in the market.
• Despite the limited improvements in some areas and improvements in other, there are still some obstacles that prevented the development of the learning environment in some facilities of vocational and technical training institutions due to the lack of available budgets, which led to a reduction in the absorptive capacity of some TVET institutes, as some can only take part of the applicants.
• Although the number of TVET institutes, spaces and market-relevant vocations have increased during the past few years, yet a shortage of TVET institutions and offered specializations and vocations still remains, which prevented some students from joining the programs of their interest on the one hand and on the other hand some of the students had to enrol in programs they are not interested in because of the availability of vacant seats, hence this fact has led to drop out or inability to progress or acquire the needed competencies of the vocation, as noted by VET institutes, and as the deep shortage in the TVET graduates in the labour market, noted by MAS studies (2019) in various sectors.
• The availability of one trainer for each vocation in some VET institutions, especially in MOL-VTCs, led to a gap in the implementation of the training program and trainees losing interest.
There is limited decentralization in some financial procedures in the vocational schools of the Ministry of Education, while there is a high level of decentralization in technical colleges, MOL-VTCs do not have such decentralization, as there is centralization in the procedures.
Description of policies
1) Creating market-relevant vocations based on the needs of the Labour market Policy.
2) The policy of increasing the absorptive capacity of VET in Palestine.
3) Enhancing the infrastructure, equipment and facilities Policy.
4) the TVET strategy has called for supporting decentralization and flexibility in TVET institutes’ management.
• Projects and activities associated with the adoption of more modern and efficient learning styles are still more intensive. A large number of TVET programs are carried out based on new learning and teaching methodologies, including WBL carried out in cooperation with the Belgian project and CVET in partnership with the private sector through the GIZ and World Vision.
•The training of trainers and the capacity building of TVET staff is done through TVET institutes internally or through various projects, including the GIZ capacity building project.
• The mentor in the labour market engaged in WBL has been trained through the Belgian project, and it should continue to be provided by representatives of the labor market and various chambers of commerce (CCI).
• With regard to WBL; challenges associated with the labour market require the contribution of stakeholders representing the employers. The challenges associated with the system require structural development and funding for apprenticeships mode of WBL, as well as the development of an accreditation system to recognize the skills acquired in the WBL by VT institutions. In addition, to develop its adaptation at the technical level and increase its application at the VE level.
• Construction of new vocational schools and vocational training centres (Kufr Ne’ma secondary vocational school was built by MoE and equipped, a Izarya and Salfit vocational training centres were built, Yatta vocational training centre was equipped and operated, and the work started for building Tubas vocational training centre ( foundation stone set) by MOL
• Creation of new classrooms and workshops, 18 vocations were introduced with the support of the European Union, vocations were distributed in VET institutes of MoE, MoL, and MoSD, necessary maintenance and equipment were provided.
• Enhancing equipment, computer labs and teaching aids for NGO-VET league institutes with Mercy Corps and COOPI supported by the EU.
• There is still a lack of capacity in the VET institutions, and this aspect is currently being addressed by operating evening training.
• The number of teachers and trainers versus the number of students is high in some VTCs compared to the global ratios, especially in MOL-VTCs and some NGO-VTCs as it reaches 1 trainer to 20 trainees.
Description of policies
- Enhancement of infrastructure and increase of VET spaces.
- The training of trainers and the capacity building of TVET staff
- Increased communication with donors to enhance and improve the training and learning environment.
• Teachers and trainers in the TVET sector often hold university degrees relevant to the vocation they teach or train. Some hold a post-secondary diploma, others hold vocational secondary certificates, or VTC certificate with accredited experience certificates or short training courses.
• The Ministry of Education has prepared a draft professional standard for TVET teachers in vocational secondary schools, which illustrate the most important technical and cognitive skills and competencies and attitudes for TVET professional teachers, which included standard evaluation forms through which professional teachers are evaluated.
• There is an accredited classification in the Ministry of Education for professional teachers starting from beginner teacher and reaching expert teacher.
• There is an approved classification in the Ministry of Labour for professional trainers, starting from a vocational trainer then to the head of the vocational field then to the deputy director for technical affairs.
• There is an accredited classification in the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research for the lecturers of theoretical subjects who hold higher degrees not less than masters and technicians to follow the practical side of the students and most often hold certificates at least intermediate diploma.
• Despite the efforts made, the stereotypical attitude towards TVET affects related policies.
Note: Gaza figures for VTCs affiliated with the Ministry of Labour and the UNRWA are missing, as are the number of teachers / trainers in the private VTCs in the West Bank and Gaza. The teacher distribution according to the qualification is missing for many and is referred to as (N.A.).
Analysis of the above data indicates:
- The total number of teachers and trainers (with the exception of Gaza trainers in vocational training and private centres) reached more than 5300 as shown in the Building Block A- Table No. 5, 21% of them in vocational education and training and 79% in technical education., They are distributed almost evenly between the West Bank and Gaza
- Gender distribution: As illustrated in the figure below, female trainers and teachers constitute 22% of the total number (21% of the total number in technical education (TE) and 26% of the total number in vocational education and training (VET)), and the percentage increased in the West Bank compared to Gaza, where the percentages of Female trainers and teachers reached 25% of the total in the West Bank and 18% of the total in Gaza. In terms of qualification, technical qualification achieved the highest female presence according to qualification (29%), 28% of the total number working in technical education institutions and 32% of the total number in institutions Vocational Education and Training). As shown in the figure below
The lower representation of female teachers reflects the lower distribution of female students and open specializations in VET, but it does not reflect this in technical education.
3. Distribution by qualification: Statistics showed a difference in the distribution according to the qualification according to the different level, where university degrees held the majority of the teaching staff in technical education, while they were distributed in vocational education and training as the figure below show
Description of policies
1) Work is undergoing for the improvement of the employment status of TVET institutes staff within the civil service law.
2) A new recruitment policy for new trainers, trainers, teachers, and teachers.
• In the public sector, the procedures for the appointment of new professional trainers or teachers are subject to fierce competition and multi-stage procedures. They are subject to an interview with the Administrative Committee in charge of the interview procedures, which is formed by a decision of the head of the Civil Service Bureau. Committee is usually formed from MOE, MOL, MOHE and Civil Service Bureau.
• In some cases, the procedures mentioned are almost insufficient, especially when vocational and technical trainers are needed, as the experienced vocational or technical person preference is for self-employment, as income is much more rewarding.
Description of policies
1) Orientation and training policy for those entering the education profession.
2) Job description cards (including TVET teacher and trainer) for appointment approved by the Council of Ministers and the General Personnel Bureau, (2018).
- Some TVET trainers are recruited on permanent full or partial appointment
- In many cases, TVET trainers and teachers are recruited on temporary contract or day-to-day basis.
- MOL-VTCs depend on only one trainer per vocation, and according to the structures, there is a first trainer and a second trainer, so this loophole must be dealt with, to ensure the progress of education and training.
Description of policies
1) Job description cards (including TVET teacher and trainer) for appointment approved by the Council of Ministers and the General Personnel Bureau, (2018). Where the job description for all was approved, as well as the classification of grades, and this is important for the trainer and consequential implications, as it is reflected on the allowances and the trainer's bonus, it’s important to make sure that this is applied to Gaza teachers and trainers
2) The policy of parallel contracts, which means equalizing the salaries of temporary contract employees with those of full or part time employees.
• Teachers in beneficiary institutions were targeted with a large number of teacher training activities through pedagogy, technical and management training.
• Additional groups of employees in VET institutions have been trained in the Know about Business (KAB) program in cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO). Half of the MOL-VTCs were trained in KAB.
• Training of 28 trainers in the MOL-VTCs through a program to develop capabilities in the field of life skills (the Passport to Success PtS Program), as the program was applied to selected groups of trainees in VTCs. It is a program that aims to build the student’s personality and prepare them for interviews to get a job, in addition to skills for dealing with others after joining work.
• Teachers and trainers are also subjected to TOT by GIZ . Until now 458 trainers / teachers have been trained before service, in-service, training was also provided for supervisory and management personnel, as shown in the table below
Training in national projects includes all agencies. Moreover; the UNRWA also has local and regional training programs. NGOs conduct training within national projects and through their own projects.
Description of policies
Please refer to the guidance on providing information on policies,
1) The continuous Training the Trainers policy according to the needs (through projects or participation in other projects or through external invitations from other institutes).
2) The policy that provides attention and promotion of TVET and training sector at the national level, exhibited through working on the TVET system proposal to present the new Palestinian model for TVET.
• There is a shortage in the number of teachers and trainers in the TVET sector in Palestine, particularly in some disciplines.
• Work has been done to amend the salary scale of teachers and trainers working on the temporary contract system.
• Mentors in the work place were trained during the Belgian project during the period 2016-2017, currently they are not part of the capacity building plans.
• UNRWA operates within the teachers’ development system upon appointment and every few years.
• WBL provided and still provides an opportunity to inform the teacher and trainer about the vocation-related developments in the market.
• Government regulations and the regulations of many organizations give space for employees for professional development at their own expense
• The General Civil Service Law (which applies to all civil servants, including those working in the education and training sector), allows for advancement according to years of seniority, which naturally entails an increase in salaries and allowances. General Personnel Council has anticipated that they are discussing the possibility to modify from fixed criteria to a competency-based system (also for initial recruitment and salary range). This shall be monitored in the future.
Description of policies
1) Professional development of teachers and trainers are part of the TVET strategic plan and many TVET institutes’ plans.
2) WBL is adopted by many TVET institutes
3) The teachers and trainers’ incentive policy, applied to trainers and teachers affiliated to trade unions. One of the drawbacks of this system is that it did not include trainers and vocational teachers who work in some disciplines such as: tiles, turning, blacksmithing and aluminium, because it is linked to the certificate of the teachers and trainers.
• Vocational teachers and trainers in TVET institutes are evaluated by school principals, centres’ directors and deans of faculties using special forms and approved by the ministries and the General Personnel Bureau. Assessment is based n years of seniority and grade, assessment includes (Productivity, Persistence, personal behaviour, personal qualities) and there is often a score of 100%.
• The Ministry of Education has recently worked to motivate outstanding teachers by giving them certificates of appreciation and encouragement, which led to the participation of many schools in international programs and activities (reading challenge, student school, ...)
• The Ministry of Labour has recently worked to motivate trainers by giving them certificates of appreciation and encouragement, which is linked to the high scores of students
• An evaluation of the vocational teacher trainer is partially carried out by the trainees in VET Institutes, but this is not subjected to a system, where it depends on the institution’s management, the type of the training, and its connection to projects. Therefore, it must be institutionalized.
• It is worth noting that until today, a TVET Teacher Training Facility does not exist.
Description of policies
1) Non-financial incentives to teachers and trainers
2) The teachers and trainers’ financial incentive policy, applied to trainers and teachers affiliated to trade unions. One of the drawbacks of this system is that it did not include trainers and vocational teachers who work in some disciplines such as: tiles, turning, blacksmithing and aluminium, because it is linked to the certificate of the teachers and trainers.
• Training programs have been developed and equipment, equipment and infrastructure have been updated in line with Labour market needs in partnership with the Labour market.
• Previous labor market studies were carried out following which new vocations were developed
• Curricula development according to new method engage the market representatives.
• The employment rates of graduates for the majority of vocations are high and higher than the national figures as indicated in Building block (b) of the report
• A new mechanism for involving Labour market representatives in the implementation of practical examinations in VET institutions is currently under way to ensure that training programs are linked to the actual needs of the Labour market.
• The Vocational and Technical Education and Training (TVET) strategy addressed the issue of quality assurance and quality management with great interest and keenness in order to reach the proposed reforms within it. The national strategy is concerned with the quality of the outputs of TVET and linking them to the needs of the Labour market in order to improve the employment opportunities for graduates through the optimal use of available resources. The strategy document also stressed the importance of establishing a national quality assurance authority to develop the quality system of vocational and technical education and training and to promote a culture of quality.
• There is a need for more relevant legislation to ensure quality, as the activation of the Higher Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training to re-arrange and pool efforts in this area, especially as it is the incubator for the programs and institutions of TVET and the compass that determine the path where the rotation of the presidency of this Council Minister of Labour and Minister of Education and Higher Education every two years.
• The Palestinian standard of competency centres is the first starting point in the world of quality culture in vocational education in Palestine. The procedures manual developed for the competency centres will be a facilitating tool for the application of quality principles in all major operations of the six competency centres that have been established. Once successful, the application will be disseminated successively to training institutions and professional sectors.
• The Palestinian Council of Ministers established the Accreditation and Quality Assurance Committee (AQAC) for the purpose of licensing higher education institutions and programs and accrediting qualifications using the quality standards, this is applied to all universities, technical colleges and their new programmes.
• There are systems for accreditation and licensing of VET institutions and the adoption of their programs, each according to the body responsible for, VE at the Ministry of Education, and VT at the Ministry of Labour.
• The Arab Occupational Classification (AOC) is adopted nationally and is used in the process of developing new vocations. The Palestinian (POC) and the National Qualifications System (NQF) and are part of the two ministries strategies. All are part of the basis of the Quality Assurance System
• VET needs a comprehensive system of accreditation, quality assurance, and accompanying systems that have been mentioned in the proposed strategy and the proposed law.
• In light of recent developments, the Higher Council for Vocational and Technical Education and Training was activated. Furthermore, a decision was issued by the Prime Minister to form a ministerial committee charged with promoting vocational and technical education and training in Palestine and its technical committee.
Description of policies
• VET needs a comprehensive system of accreditation, quality assurance, and accompanying systems that have been mentioned in the proposed strategy and the proposed law. The system should include clarification of standards, structure and reference.
• As a start; Vocational Training needs a qualification and accreditation system for the skilled and limited skill worker level, and to accredit prior learning and acquired skills through experience.
- Each TVET institute will develop its own programmes, many of the institutes will develop the new programme with the support of donors, many will use available labour market studies to identify gaps and needs, or carry out their own study, or the donor support will carry out such study, accordingly either the new programme is initiated or developed. As noted above only technical colleges will need to accredit their programmes through AQAC before implementing.
- The newly developed programmes will need curricula, which is either available, or would need development or alignment with identified skills.
- The Ministry of Labour, Education and Higher Education has completed the development of their curricula (Pilot version), which was based on the complex tasks and learning situation methodology which aims to harmonize qualifications and link them to the needs of the Labour market by relying on the POC based on the ACO and the sectors’ representatives workshops. The Ministry of Labour curricula were developed for 28 training programs (18 training programs for vocational training centers affiliated with the Ministry, 10 training programs for vocational training centers / the Ministry of Labor in the Gaza Strip and Private centers licensed by the Ministry of Labour)
- As a first step, the Ministry of Labour has linked the name of the certificates it issues to the vocations listed in the AOC
- As for the objectives and performance indicators, each ministry continues to use its own and there are no unified national indicators
Entrepreneurial skills are integrated as noted earlier in the report, literacy and mathematics are integrated in all programmes. Digital competence is integrated by many TVET institutes, life skills, social and civic competencies are integrated in some institutes, as the NGO-VET League members and through extra-curricular activities provided by CSOs to the relevant TVET institute.
• The curriculum was developed in cooperation with the private sector through expert workshops, and through providing technical and educational training.
• Implementing field training elements of the WBL in partnership with the Labour market and benefiting from feedback from the Labour market
• Conducting unified ministerial examinations for MOE ( Injaz) and for MOHE ( the comprehensive exam)
Description of policies
1. The existence of the AQAC for the TE level
2. The intention to set a policy for establishing the National Authority for Accreditation and Quality System in the Technical Education System (PQCC).
3. The policy of linking the outputs of VET with the Labour market.
New and innovative teaching and learning methods has been adopted during the past few years, with various capacity building programmes and enhancement of infrastructures. Specialisations added as well as spaces, yet quality assurance system is missing on the VET level as a whole and for each VE and VT separately. Hence; its recommended to develop a national quality system for TVET, and HRD system for TVET staff.
The development of a new programme does not necessarily follow the scientific method that is based on analysis of labour market demand, which could jeopardise and waste effort and resources, using the AQAC approach to accredit the VET programmes, which will emphasis on market study and assessment before starting the new profession. To use the AOC and POC as reference for any change and to link it with the National Qualifications Framework that needs to be reviewed and adopted.
Vocational training is missing the accreditation and quality assurance system at the level of skilled and limited skill, and for evaluation of prior learning or skills obtained with experience. In this regard; the reference is made to the system of vocational certification, which in turn gives workers in the vocational fields a vocational license and a practicing license after being subjected to examination and testing procedures. Therefore, it is proposed to establish a quality control unit for vocational training in the ministry and in each of the centres, or in stakeholder organization, to monitor the quality of the educational / training process and to conduct practical vocational tests, and to ensure that students graduate according to the needs of the labour market
The WBL was implemented in the work environment through a standard method adopted nationally, all elements should be preserved, including the training of the mentors and involving them in the development of competencies and the assessment of the trainee, with engagement of the representatives of the labour market and conduction of systematic training in the labour market.WBL should also be implemented widely within the system.
In 2016, the Higher Council (HC) for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) was reactivated by a decision of the Government. The Council approves the general policies of the TVET system in accordance with national priorities. The Council is composed of representatives of the concerned ministries, representatives of the private sector, NGOs and UNRWA, headed by a patrol between the Minister of Education and Higher Education (then) and the Minister of Labour. In 2016 the the adoption of the formation of the Executive Council (EC) for TVET has taken place. The EC is responsible for the full implementation of the TVET system.
The Council of Ministers issued a decision in 2005 to establish the TVET Development center (DC) as a main component of the system's management. The concept paper on the establishment of the center was reviewed in 2016 and approved. The DC was formed in 2017-2018, and has since been involved in the review of the strategy and the development of the TVET law.
The TVET system was required to play its role and deal with the requirements of national issues related to economy, unemployment and development. Hence; a national plan was needed to develop the system to be able to contribute to economic and social development through the provision of qualified human resources to meet the needs of the labour market and meet the aspirations of young people. The TVET National Strategy was prepared and adopted in 1999, which was revised in 2010 and currently under revision. All attempts to formulate this strategy as an integral part of the Palestinian educational system have not been successful despite multiple attempts to implement a number of components of this strategy.
TVET sector was challenged with the lack of effective coordination and implementation of decisions made by the HC or the ministries, lack of follow-up. In addition to failure to develop, build and adopt successful initiatives and achievements, as well as lack of leadership capacity to support and guide strategies, and the absence of a legal framework linking TVET with the education and employment systems.
The key issue preventing an effective TVET system in Palestine is the lack of an effective governance system. The current governance and management structures have failed to guide the TVET sector in achieving effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the system, and did not allow the full implementation of the components of the national strategy at the official level.
The Higher Council during the years 2016-2018 was responsible for TVET sector policy development and accountable for monitoring and evaluating TVET sector performance. The leadership of the Council is shared between the Ministers of Education and Higher Education (then) and the Ministry of Labour. TVET social partners participate in the Council.
However, the accountability process did not take its real dimension. There was no evaluation report of the strategic plans before they were modified, or measuring of its indicators, nor annual reports were published on the status of TVET and implemented policies. This governance structure was halted until the new TVET Palestinian model is agreed.
National indicators were developed in 2017, as well as national Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework, through a collective effort with the participation of the TVET sector, but so far no information has been collected for the indicators, and monitoring indicators were not yet used as a tool for accountability and learning. The national M&E framework and indicators are available at the ministries, with the TVET departments.
Through the system, each TVET provider monitors and evaluates training and its outputs through its structures and systems, but there isn’t a unified body that supervise the quality of TVET outputs and outcomes.
Work was conducted for the preparation and adoption of a modern TVET law, which was in its early stages, as well as the for revision of the 2010 TVET national strategy. However, work was halted until the new TVET Palestinian Model is adopted.
Through a decision of the Council of Ministers dated 13/5/2019, a ministerial committee was formed to develop a vision for the promotion of TVET. The committee membership included the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, the Minister of Education, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Minister of Labour and the Minister of National Economy. The committee has formed a technical committee to present a vision to the ministerial committee on the governance of the TVET system. The report of the Ministerial Committee was finalized and discussed with the in the Ministerial Committee in the presence of the Prime Minister on 5/9/2019 at the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers. The committee's recommendations are as follows:
“First: The Committee unanimously agreed on the need to unify the TVET system through a governance system that works to develop TVET and without which it is difficult to overcome the weaknesses and fragmentation of the system, and accordingly the Committee came to recommend the adoption of one of the following scenarios:
Scenario 1: The establishment of a policy planning body that manages the TVET system, while keeping the multiple implementing bodies, ie keeping the executive bodies intact in the relevant ministries, namely the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Social Development.
Scenario 2: The establishment of a policy planning body to manage the TVET system through a single executive body comprising all implementing agencies working in the TVET system.
The Ministerial Committee will decide upon the scenario. Accordingly; the Technical Committee will finalize the system based on the selected scenario, and will identify the tools and needs that will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for adoption.
- Second: Determining the responsibilities and authorities of each party within the system in Palestine with regard to planning, implementation, monitoring and supervision, including the obligations of public and private TVET providers in accordance with the requirements of this law. ( this law will be reviewed in-line with the government's direction to establish a public body for TVET).
The Higher Council is composed of representatives of the relevant ministries (education, higher education, labour and economy), representatives of the private sector (Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture- FPCCI), NGOs (NGO-VET League) and UNRWA.
The Executive Council is composed of VET officials in the relevant ministries (Education, Higher Education and Labour), representatives of the private sector (Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture), NGOs (NGO -VET league) and UNRWA.
There are different representative bodies of teachers that are engaged with their respective institution in dialogue, with different degree of engagement. The participation of students is weak.
As a result of the absence of an effective vocational and technical education and training (TVET) body, and the presence of a coordinating body with universal participation, the distribution of functions, responsibilities, oversight and accountability is unclear.
The private sector is involved in policy development within TVET sector. The private sector was represented in the Higher Council and Executive Council during the years 2016-2018, and will participate in any new structure adopted by the government.
There is also a national policy to strengthen partnership with the Labour market through apprenticeship and work-based learning programs, an integrated education system, and stimulate private sector participation by qualifying and training skilled workers and technicians working in the Labour market to transfer skills to trainees.
There is participation of the private sector in Local Employment and Training (LET) councils in different governorates.
Expenditure planning is done through:
First: Planning operational expenses: To cover operating expenses, from different operating salaries and expenses, to be built according to reality and previous years
Second: Planning development expenditures: by linking programs and activities to be implemented with strategic plans, and they are built on the basis of intervention, program and activity.
In addition to the urgent expenses that require action in a timely manner, such as providing transportation for students in some areas.
The Governmental TVET providers present their budgetary needs to the relevant authorities in the concerned ministries. These needs are included in the strategic plan of each ministry (for example, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education). Other VET providers receive their funding needs from their institution (UNRWA, NGO, charitable organization, or private training institutes).
Usually the operating expenses of the governmental VET institutes are covered by the general budget. The development expenses are covered from other sources, as will be mentioned later, especially from the funders. Expenses are covered by non-governmental entities through a mixture of self-income, funders and programs.
Development priorities are discussed with the donors through formal and informal relationships, TVET projects and programs are often based according to the priorities of the VET partners and their development plans.
Implementation, monitoring and correction of annual budgets of the government agencies are carried out through participation in the internal committees of each ministry, and through the supervision and follow-up of public departments each in his / her ministry. These operations are carried out by non-governmental bodies through the participation of the TVET management with the specialized bodies or committees in the authority responsible for the education or training institution.
Description of policies
Draft proposals for the TVET Fund in 2015 and WBL Fund in 2017 have been prepared, it includes contribution from all social partners in supporting TVET, but have not been implemented, due to the weak governance of the TVET system and its fragmentation.
Recommended Policies in the Field of Budgeting and Planning:
1. Allocate budgets based on the identification of needs, and linked to strategic plans. This is done at the level of ministries and some institutions.
2. The policy of strengthening the partnership between the government and the private sector in policy making, not in funding.
3. Establishing a National Fund for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), has been planned and is one of the pillars of the 2010 National Strategy for TVET, yet its not implemented.
4. Enhancing the financial autonomy of TVET institutions, implemented in colleges and schools, but still limited in VTCs.
The average value for Palestine public spending on education as a percent of GDP during that period 2010 to 2017 was 5.57%.
The government allocated nearly (22%) of the total government spending on education at all levels, public spending on education includes spending on schools, universities, vocational and Technical education, while government has only allocated (0.5%) of the 2018 general budget for VET (Ministry of Finance and Planning, 2018, TVET budgets in ministries). This allocation is below the international standard figures, yet higher than the allocation in 2014, as one of the studies presented at the 4th Vocational and Technical Education and Training Conference (Hilal 2015) showed that expenditure on TVET is 0.34% of public expenditure (Palestinian Ministry of Finance 2014)
The study has also pointed out that eexpenditure per student in the VET programs of different systems (governmental, non-governmental and UNRWA) costs between 2500 and 5000 USD (Hilal 2015)
The allocation for TVET from the public budget covers the expenses of the VET governmental institutes only. The government does not provide funding to any private sector or NGO TVET institute, except for some incentives for some NGOs.
There are other sources of funding ( for governmental and Non-governmental VET institutes), including:
- National and international grants and donations.
- Tuition fees collected from students enrolled in TVET institutions.
- Income-generating activities (productive work, services and training programs offered in TVET institutions).
- Supporting local community organisations through TVET projects.
- individual contribution
The type of contribution and percentage of coverage varies for each side, whereas the Ministry of Labour, Social Development or UNRWA does not cover its budget through the fees (as VET is provided for free by those institutions), the non-governmental institutions cover between 20% to over 50% of their expenditures through fees. While the fees cover a large proportion of the expenses of the private sector TVET institutes.
The distribution of the Ministry of Education's Vocational Education Budget for 2019 (illustrated in Figure 5, in Building Block A within the report) showed that there were contributions from the local community that started to emerge newly compared to the last two years.
It is not possible to provide quality vocational and technical education and training without securing sufficient funding for the TVET sector, rationalizing expenditure and introducing new mechanisms to reduce costs and ensuring efficiency in expenditure, including partnerships with employers.
With the exception of the dual system (apprenticeship), there is no mechanism in place to determine the contribution of limited financial employers to the TVET system. A strong partnership with the private sector can limit the dependence of TVET on public spending.
Description of policies
1 - limited government funding and the lack of adequate development budgets to meet the requirements of rapid change in the areas of training
2. Multiple donors and lack of adequate coordination between them
3 - Lack of effective exchange mechanisms
4- Inactivation of the planned National TVET fund.
Current sources of funding:
- Operational budget, which is specific to cover operating expenses and financed by the Ministry of Finance for governmental TVET institutes, and by others (UNRWA, NGOs, Private) for their TVET institutes.
- Allocating budgets from the ministries as part of their strategic plans to support TVET, for example the fourth vocational education program within the Ministry of Education strategy.
- Specific to certain ministries, which are funding from donors, as the basket funding JFA for the MoE.
- Development projects, including joint projects with ministries and other stakeholders.
- Community contributions
- Other sources: student fees, income for production, income from agricultural activities and farm, and training course revenues.
The objective of this pillar will be achieved through:
- Diversify the sources of funding of the TVET system by granting more independence to its providers and allowing them to take more responsibility for their own funding.
- Encourage TVET institutes to implement WBL and widen its implementation so that to establish partnerships with private sector companies that can cover part of the cost of training providers
- Transition to performance-based financing and the establishment of criteria and a conditional share of the general budget allocations for the agreed results.
- Establish the Training Fund to be funded by the government, international partners and the local private sector on a voluntary basis.
Less than 1% of government spending is allocated to the public budget, mostly for salaries and wages and a small portion of operating expenses.
TVET institutes serving the marginalized and providing additional services included the cost of these services within their budgets, as UNRWA, MoSD, and some NGOs (Hilal 2015)
As for the development budget, most of it is covered by donors, and some contributions from the private sector and the community.
The ministries identify the needs of their institutions and centres (human resources, equipment, financial support ....), and then analyse and study these needs in line with the policies of the ministries and the needs of the Labour market and work to provide them through budgets allocated to ministries and donors, and justice is taken into account In allocating resources through prioritization, budgets and advances are disbursed to training institutions based on the number of programs and the number of trainees and students. Different systems are used by each entity but follows needs based and some strategy-based allocation of resources.
Different TVET entities insures all students and TVET teachers against work injuries (in MOE vocational schools, some NGOs and the UNRWA.
In the absence of a unified funding mechanism, equity in the allocation takes place within each entity for its different centers
It is important to provide additional support for vocational education and training in Gaza, the Gaza Group has proposed providing transportation for students, due to the remoteness of schools and the poverty situation of families in the Gaza Strip. There is also a need to invest in infrastructure in the sector’s institutions to cut-down on operating expenses, by investing in renewable energy, especially as a result of the conditions Gaza is going through. It is also necessary to open vocational schools and training centers within the different geographical distribution for males and females. The need is high to involve Gaza in all TVET national projects and discussions, clarity in the roles within the new system is also requested.
The preparation and adoption of appropriate legislation, the development of appropriate regulatory frameworks, and the creation of accreditation and quality assurance systems are key areas for the government to take the initiative and in this context has been formed a national committee to prepare a law for vocational and technical education and training, which aims to: organizing all aspects of the TVET system in Palestine. A review of the governance system is underway. Both are essential for activating the TVET system and its governance.
Recommendations for Effective Governance and Financing for TVET
• Strengthening the governance of the unified system for vocational and technical education and training (finalization and implementation of the proposed governance structure) and activation of its policy reference (unified Palestinian body according to the new proposal)
• Involve the private sector regularly and within an institutionalized relationship in policy making and in all TVET system processes, through widening WBL implementation, relationship includes participation in the training, assessment and program evaluation. In addition, activate relation to provide ongoing training for job seekers and workers in the sector to continuously develop their skills through continuous life-long learning.
• Accomplish the work on the TVET law and adopt it
• Adopt unified input and output for TVET and develop M&E systems to measure them.
• Enhancing the financial sustainability of TVET.
• Follow up on the provision of education, training and professional development services and activities in accordance with the needs and requirements of the Labour market and society in partnership with private sector and civil society institutions, and ensure its funding.
• Preparation and development of various technical and vocational education and training programs, and find adequate funding for it.
• Propose budgets for development projects necessary for all institutions and elements of the system.
• Conducting various studies on the TVET system, and proposing plans and priorities in light of these studies.
• Budgets should consider the difference in context between areas, and in specific the difference with Gaza and Jerusalem, VET in both locations needs additional support to face the challenges.
• Propose and develop mechanisms to strengthen the relationship with Labour market institutions.
Four key actionable interventions have been identified for the development of the Palestinian TVET system, including these
- Support and strengthen system governance, and develop its implementation mechanism.
- Develop Monitoring and Evaluation system for all components of TVET, and activate it.
- Introducing necessary reforms to the legislation related to the TVET system in Palestine;
-Set up the National TVET fund