3CL signs partnership agreement with the ILO and COL
The 3CL has signed an agreement of collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL). The three organisations will collaborate on education, digital education, e-learning and vocational education projects. The agreement, in the form of a Letter of Understanding (LOU), has the purpose of increasing communication, information sharing and coordination as well as facilitating concrete collaboration among the three organisations.
Open and distance learning, open educational resources, credentialing, work mobility, educational technologies, and 21st Century Skills are some of the key areas in which the three organisations will pool their resources to build capacity, implement research projects and provide consultation to stakeholders and partners at various levels.
Dr Alex Grech, executive director of 3CL, welcomed the agreement: “I’m very pleased to explore some exciting synergies with the ILO and COL. Our intention is to lever on the in-house capabilities and expertise of the three organisations to focus on projects in small countries with a population of less than 1.5 million inhabitants and Africa. The geo-political element for us at the 3CL is particularly important, based as we are in Malta, one of the smaller member states of the European Union with a population of nearly half a million and lying just 93 km south of Sicily and 300 km from the North African coast.
“We’ve had a long-standing and mutually-beneficial partnership with COL since 2016, acting as a bridge between networks and communities of practice in the Commonwealth and in the EU. In the case of the ILO, we have collaborated in the past on applied research; now we can move on to exploring pilot projects within our technical core areas of competency, primarily on education and emerging technologies, the digitalisation of skills and technical, vocational and education training (TVET).”
Covid-19 has been a game-changer for the aspirations of young people in the waiting room of the labour market: in small states and Africa, the impact of the pandemic on future jobs and future skills still needs to be understood. With our partners, 3cl intends to identify a handful of high-profile pilot projects that can be implemented within a short timeframe, and used for co-learning purposes by both organisations and target stakeholder groups. Practical responses are vital as the world is not going back to the way it was in a hurry.
It is imperative to identify practical ways to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on the labour market in our target geographic areas, and find new ways to provide young people with access to upskilling and reskilling. Now is the time for organisations to use their proprietary networks and collaborate with others in order to truly build decentralised, inclusive and resilient solutions in the EdTech sector.
The ILO is the only specialised agency of the U.N. that brings together governments, employers and workers’ representatives of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all people. The ILO has issued a press statement on the signing of the LOU.
COL is the world’s only intergovernmental organisation solely concerned with the promotion and development of distance education and open learning.