Inclusive training delivery

There are many options for delivering training. Recent years have seen significant developments in learning beyond the traditional classroom. A TREE programme may use a mix of formal classroom-based and non-formal community-based learning, supplemented by digital/e-learning technologies depending on the subject matter being taught and the learners’ needs. Onsite, practical and workplace-based training are important elements of training.

An inclusive approach to training delivery will consider both the subject matter being taught and learners’ needs, as well as the way in which training is delivered. Trainers have the opportunity to act as role models for inclusion and equity by using non-discriminatory language and demonstrating responsiveness and adaptability to individual learner needs. This both creates more effective learning for all and reinforces social cohesion. See more on this in the ILO guide Promoting Social Cohesion and Peaceful Coexistence in Fragile Contexts through TVET - Guide for TVET practitioners (ilo.org)

One example of inclusion was how the TREE training for rural women in Pakistan was adapted to the particular challenges the learners faced. Training had to be delivered close to their homes as travel to other locations and overnight stays were not practical. Women had numerous family and other responsibilities and could not attend lengthy or continuous training sessions, so training was delivered in shorter sessions spread over a longer period of time than originally intended. Time of day and suitable days for training delivery were determined based on participants' feedback.

Ensuring that participants meet the basic pre-requirements for the subject matter training is another important factor in inclusive training. Some participants will require preparatory training to enable them to participate in the intended training – for example, they may need basic, functional literacy or numeracy to ensure they can benefit from the training. This will require the training plan to include a number of different elements, which only some participants will require.

People with mobility impairments may have specific needs regarding access and transportation. Those with sensory impairments (affecting vision, hearing or speech) and those with impairments affecting their ability to manipulate objects may require training materials and delivery to be adapted to ensure they can participate. People with intellectual or psychological differences may require specific training techniques or supportive environments.

One important benefit of an inclusive approach to training delivery is that it challenges trainers to understand the training needs of all their students and to deliver information and learning experiences in multiple ways. This provides a richer learning environment for all and significantly reinforces learning for all students.

COVID-19 has introduced many challenges to the traditional delivery of skills training. A 2020 survey by ILO collected information on the responses, including digital and e-learning options, and the results are available at Skills development in the time of COVID-19: Taking stock of the initial responses in technical and vocational education and training.