Partnering with Industry: Employer and Institute Linkages

Engaging employers in skills development assures the relevance and quality of the TVET system. Photo credit: MR Hasan/ADB.

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Involving employers in all levels of skills development, from planning to provision, is fundamental to increasing the industry relevance of TVET.


Too often, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) across Asia is perceived as outdated and graduates are not seen as "job ready."  This is remedied when employers play an active role in partnering with TVET institutes. Providing advice on priority occupations and inputs into training materials improve the relevance of skills developed and create a better mechanism for tackling skills shortages and skills mismatch. Furthermore, when employers offer internships to students and are involved in assessments, the connection between the worlds of education and work is greatly enhanced.


As economies across Asia shift toward higher value goods and services, the need for better-skilled workers increases. TVET systems struggle to stay at the forefront of understanding the new needs and may lack the financial, physical, and human resources to provide young people with the skills they need.

A survey of education institutions by the McKinsey Center for Global Governance found that 72% of the institutions believed that their graduates were ready for work.  However, only 42% of employers agreed. 

Active involvement of employers in the various processes of training can reduce this gap.

Employer Engagement Model 1: Don Bosco Mondo in the Philippines

Don Bosco Mondo is a global network of vocational training institutes focused on providing training to underprivileged youths, many of whom do not have good basic education.

The Don Bosco Technical Institute in the Philippines forms partnerships with a number of employers who effectively "sponsor" these youths. These companies provide equipment for the laboratories and workshops and have industry specialists who assist with training and assessment. Training involves a curriculum adapted to the needs of partner companies.

With this model, the school can guarantee competencies that meet employer standards, which is why the Institute has a 98% employment rate for graduates.

The German auto company Porsche is one of the institute’s stakeholders through the Porsche Training and Recruitment Center Asia (PTRCA).  PTRCA offers students full training scholarships and jobs at Porsche dealerships in the Middle East upon completion of the training.

Employer Engagement Model 2: Industry-led Curriculum Design at KIOSC

Classroom learning that is supplemented with apprenticeships, internships, and other work-based learning programs promote invaluable experiences for students. The Knox Innovation, Opportunity and Sustainability Centre (KIOSC) in Melbourne, Australia, collaborates with industry to give students access to high quality, relevant training and technology.

Curricula are developed in consultation with companies and geared towards subjects that have practical applications. The school has two programs that allow students to significantly engage in industry:

  • The "Your Future at Work" Program that embeds students in workplaces to be guided by mentors.
  • The "Industry Pathways Program" that requires students to complete industry-based workplace projects.
The Role of Government

Delivering work-based learning to the disadvantaged is key to promoting economic development. Governments have a primary role to play in providing the framework for effective TVET and offering incentives to enhance employer engagement. Supporting a more diverse and open approach to training and education would encourage employer-supported TVET.


P. Swaim.  2016. Effective Employer Engagement: Work-Based Learning and More. Slideshow presentation for the 2016 International Skills Forum: Innovative Practices in Skills Development. Manila. 19-21 September. 

K. Evans.  2016. Employer Engagement / Student Work Experience: the KIOSC approach. Slideshow presentation for the 2016 International Skills Forum: Innovative Practices in Skills Development. Manila. 19-21 September.

J. Vitug.  2016. Integrated Dual Training in the Philippines. Slideshow presentation for the 2016 International Skills Forum: Innovative Practices in Skills Development. Manila. 19-21 September.

Knox Innovation, Opportunity and Sustainability Centre (KIOSC)

From Manila to Dubai with Porsche - PTRCA

Review of Retail Electricity Tariffs

Effective Employer Engagement: Work-Based Learning and More

Employer Engagement/Student Work Experience: the Knox Innovation Opportunity and Sustainability Centre Approach

Integrated Dual Training in the Philippines 

Karina Veal
International Expert in Vocational and Higher Education

Karina Veal served as a senior education specialist for the Asian Development Bank (ADB), where she provided strategic advice and technical expertise to governments across Asia. She also advocated new approaches for ADB's $2.7 billion TVET portfolio. Prior to joining ADB in 2012, she provided consulting services in skills for development, advising UN and bilateral agencies; and held public policy roles in the Australian TVET system. 

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