Governments around the world recognise the importance of skills as driver of socio-economic development.

‘Unrealised Potential: the role of Independent Training Providers in meeting skills needs’ is new research (published September 2019) by AELP and commissioned by the British Council. As Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) policy has increasingly been driven by economic considerations, this series explores the role TVET plays in supporting productivity, business growth and social mobility.

The report finds that Independent Training Providers (ITPs) are an integral part of the TVET landscapes in the UK and in many other countries. They play an increasingly important role in delivering government policy priorities in the development of TVET systems, however their role is often under-researched and their significance overlooked.

The research begins by outlining the distinctive characteristics of the ITPs in the UK which enable them to respond to government priorities. Examples of the successes and challenges that UK ITPs face are presented through mini case studies. Further on, the research examines the role of the ITPs in six countries – Botswana, South Africa, Uganda, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka and the different models they operate within.

This research aims to prompt national policy makers to consider whether they are making the best use of ITPs by highlighting their distinct characteristics that make them suitable and effective in delivering government skills objectives. It also aims to raise awareness among ITPs about the work undertaken by counterpart organisations in other countries and to encourage international collaboration.

Read more:
Executive Summary 
Full Research Report

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