Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) has been identified as one of the seven priority areas for educational development in Southeast Asia from 2015 to 2035. This was officially confirmed by the Southeast Asian ministers of education at the Strategic Dialogue of Education Ministers (SDEM) meeting held in Lao PDR in September 2014.

In response to the ASEAN integration, the perceived mobility of skilled workers in the region, and the need to improve the quality of TVET in Southeast Asia, the 1st High Officials Meeting (HOM) on SEA-TVET was hosted by the Office of the Vocational Education Commission, Ministry of Education Thailand on 24-26 August 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This was held under the theme: “Working Together towards Harmonisation and Internationalisation of TVET in Southeast Asia”.

As a result of the 1st HOM on SEA-TVET, the “Chiang Mai Joint Statement on Harmonisation and Internationalisation of TVET in Southeast Asia”, which included 4 priority industry areas were officially announced as the regional policy directions that emerged from the TVET High Officials Round Table Meeting.

The establishment of the “SEA-TVET Consortium” was one of the recommended strategies from the TVET High Officials from the Southeast Asian countries to promote TVET student and staff exchange, which shall include cross-country industrial attachment and internship programmes. In addition, the SEA-TVET Consortium will formalise the partnership among TVET institutions and industry sectors, and operationalise SEA-TVET activities, implemented by SEAMEO in order to achieve the following goals.

  1. To leverage the standard and competency of TVET in Southeast Asia through internationalisation and harmonisation;
  2. To promote and develop the curriculum harmonisation, and internationalisation of study programmes through lecturer/student exchange, joint research programmes and industrial linkages; and
  3. To create a sustainable networking platform among TVET leaders and institutions in Southeast Asia and industry, as well as other related development agencies and industry sectors.