Coordinating Ag and Tech Vocational Education in Iraq

Coordinating agriculture and technical vocational education and training in Iraq

A needs assessment workshop for establishing a National Agriculture Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Committee has been held in Baghdad.

This committee would be instrumental in harmonising various activities being undertaken by key partners to reform agriculture-related TVET in Iraq.

Representatives from the Prime Minister's Advisory Commission, the Ministry of Planning, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and, the European Union (EU) Delegation, UNESCO, ILO, FAO, GIZ, private sector, and the BRIDGE project, a Canadian government funded project to support the transition of male and female youth and adult women into new livelihoods, attended the workshop

The European Union Delegation to Iraq presented its new agriculture TVET project. UNESCO presented its current TVET reforms while the Ministry of Agriculture highlighted their strategy and plans which affect agriculture-related TVET.

Participants discussed current initiatives to reform TVET, the opportunities for greater co-ordination and the advantages of establishing a National Agriculture TVET Committee, which could provide an overarching strategy for agriculture-related TVET for increasing alignment, reducing overlap and highlighting gaps in current activities.

During the workshop, it was agreed that the proposals would be considered by various partners and a decision be made in the coming month.

Ms. Barbara Egger, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation said, "this workshop provides an opportunity for partners to come together to better understand each other's current activities with the aim of ensuring greater alignment and impact".

Mr. Faisal from the Ministry of Agriculture speaking on the occasion said, "The workshop highlighted the range of current activities to support the agriculture sector. Through these combined efforts to reform the TVET system, the agriculture sector can increase its productivity and its contribution to the economy."

Mr. Eric Buchot from ITC believed that "TVET is vitally important as a driver of job creation and productivity". He added that it was crucial to "ensure that young people emerge from TVET institutions and higher education with the practical skills and knowledge that will enable them to take up jobs in the sector, and to ensure that the current workforce has access to courses that enable them to innovate and develop their businesses".

The workshop was organised by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and forms part of a five-year project "Strengthening the agriculture and agri-food value chain and improving trade policy in Iraq" (SAAVI). This 22.5 Million EUR project, funded by the European Union, aims to contribute to inclusive growth and job creation for Iraq citizens, particularly for youth. It seeks to enhance the competitiveness of Iraq's agribusiness value chain, while improving the country's trade policy. It is hoped that eventually projects to improve the competitiveness of the private sector may revitalize Iraq's bid to join the World Trade Organization.

(Source: ReliefWeb)

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