We, the participants gathered in Florence, Italy, on the occasion of the SIF 2019 Skillman International Forum, express our gratitude to, and acknowledge the intellectual leadership of the Secretariat of the worldwide Skillman Network, for convening this Meeting, in partnership with several organisations*, and with co-funding from the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

In advancing the contribution of TVET and applied learning to green, sustainable and inclusive development, in response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the emerging needs of Industry 4.0 and the increasing importance of ethical issues,  both at the national and at international levels, we especially recognise the necessity of developing and implementing sustainable partnerships between all levels of government, members of civil society, and policy makers, researchers, and practitioners in the area of skills development for employability. We hereby, propose this “Skillman Florence Declaration on Sustainable and Inclusive Development in Response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Emerging Needs of Industry 4.0 and Ethical Considerations’.

The ideas presented in this Skillman Florence Declaration are the consensus views of those participating in the SIF 2019 Skillman International Forum and not necessarily those of the host organisation and its partners nor of the organisations represented by the participants.

We recognize the important advances that have been made in skills development for employability (TVET), particularly over the past decade, by the national and international community, at all levels, in working toward internationally agreed development goals.

We are inspired by the wide national and international commitment that exists in broad support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), which are catalysing partnerships worldwide to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

We acknowledge that there are major changes – megatrends – affecting global and national economies and societies that have profound implications for the world of work and TVET; and that green skills and transferable skills are the foundation of human capital.

We believe there is a great need to rethink in fundamental ways what is required of TVET to meet workforce and wider societal concerns, to such an extent that there is a need to seriously consider ‘re-engineering TVET for change’, and for a ‘holistic approach to TVET’ to be adopted, which includes an ethical dimension.

We are firmly convinced that education is the key to sustainable and inclusive human progress, and to a world characterized by harmony among peoples, and respect for the natural resources of Earth, upon which social and economic development depends.

We value SDG4 on Education which seeks to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. We also note the significant role of education in the strategies for meeting the targets in all the other SDGs.

We are committed to the Education 2030 Framework for Action, which provides guidance on achieving all the targets in SDG Goal 4. Target 4.4 which requires that TVET address economic, social and environmental well-being by:

  • Developing the skills youth and adults need for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship;
  • Promoting equitable, inclusive and sustainable economic progress; and
  • Supporting transitions to green economics and environmental sustainability.

We celebrate the successes and impacts of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. These achievements illustrate the power and potential of education to empower learners at all levels and in all forms of education, including TVET in both formal and informal sectors, by “developing knowledge, skills, attitudes, competencies and values required for addressing global citizenship and local contextual challenges of the present and the future” (Aichi-Nagoya Declaration on Education for Sustainable Development 2014)

We strongly endorse the 2015 UNESCO Recommendations on TVET, which are based upon a vision of TVET as contributing to “sustainable development by empowering individuals, organizations, enterprises and communities, and by fostering employment, decent work and lifelong learning, so as to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth and competitiveness, social equity and environmental sustainability”.

We strongly believe that to be most effective, policy making and practice need to pay particular attention to exploring:

  • CoVEs – how to best think about, analyse and support the development of this new forefront model as a possible solution for achieving most effective collaboration among TVET providers, policy makers, companies, researchers and relevant others.
  • Curricula development – how curriculum development processes can be strengthened and upgraded to be most effective, and in line with, meeting the changing skills needs of the 4th industrial revolution.
  • 4.0 learning environments – how to best understand and support the transformation of working environments to efficient and  supportive learning environments to develop learning ecosystems which are addressed to continued lifelong learning,  innovation and skills improvement.
  • Mobility for learning – to effectively explore what are the key factors o the mobility for learning experience that can be studied, improved and finally elected to the level of ‘methodological standards’ necessary to ensure a universal across-country approach to ethics in TVET.

We also strongly believe that if skills development for employability is to be able to meet its full potential, to assist countries reach their economic and social development goals, then it is essential that policy making and practice be research based.  If this is to be achieved then all partners need to work together to ensure that the quality and relevance of TVET research be enhanced through a seamless relationship occurring between practitioners, researchers and policy makers, by proffering a research agenda grounded in a collaborative approach to policy, research and practice with each informing and reinforcing the others.



Towards an Evidence Based Agenda for TVET

Educational research is central to developing evidence-based policy- and decision-making. It is especially important if the aim of policy-makers is improving and strengthening educational practice and learning outcomes. This is just true for TVET, as it is for all other areas of education.

Research on TVET is an internationally established and widely recognised focus of educational research.  A new international research agenda for TVET, however, is required in order to support the transformation of skills development to meet the focus and targets of SDG4.

We recognize that one size does not fit all and that different countries and regions will derive different priorities from this research agenda. We endorse this approach and welcome differentiated responses to this research agenda.

Thus, we endorse and recommend a Research Agenda on TVET for Green, Sustainable and Inclusive Development in Response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Emerging Needs of Industry 4.0 and Ethical Considerations that seeks understandings and applications of questions such as:

        • In the new global contest, what are the skills and capabilities required to thrive in the 21st Century and promote green, sustainable and inclusive development? Have these skills and capabilities found their way yet into teaching and learning in TVET? How can we make sure that TVET programs and providers are able to teach and transmit them?
        • What are the drivers of change in favour of green, sustainable and inclusive development? What are the drivers of change towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution including matters such as the impact of technology and big data for good? What are the perspectives and voices of industry, youth, women, marginalised groups, people with disability and civil society on how TVET should respond to these changing global contexts, and to the needs of Industry 4.0?
        • How might the philosophies and aims of TVET evolve in response to demands for green, sustainable and inclusive development?
        • What TVET system reforms are needed to support program development and other changes to better position TVET as an enabler of green, sustainable and inclusive development? And how might the processes of curriculum reform keep up with the rate of change in the workplace today?
        • How might we revise TVET programs and up-skill staff to support employability in a world seeking sustainable and inclusive development?
        • How may pedagogy and assessment be reformed to support the development of skills for employability in a world of green, sustainable and inclusive development?
        • How might the pre- and in-service education of TVET staff be reoriented to better support them as teachers, curriculum developers and researchers in such reforms? And how might the research capacity of TVET staff, institutions and systems be enhanced?
        • How can such reforms within TVET be monitored, the processes influencing patterns and rates of progress be explained, and the impacts of the reorientation of TVET be evaluated?

We commit ourselves to this agenda and its goal of reorienting TVET for green, sustainable and inclusive development in response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the emerging needs of Industry 4.0 and ethical considerations.

We call upon our research, practitioner and policy colleagues to consider this Skillman Florence Declaration and commit themselves to action through:

        • Contextualising and modifying the TVET agenda to suit local contexts;
        • Setting specific goals;
        • Forming appropriate structures, enabling mechanisms and networks to develop, support and undertake priority evidence based research activities;
        • Creating platforms for sharing experience; and
        • Strengthening professional learning processes for ensuring the adoption of relevant and appropriate findings and policies.

We invite all supporters of TVET for green, sustainable and inclusive development to: a) widely disseminate and publicise this Declaration: b) advocate for its adaptation and adoption by governments and relevant international agencies; and c) to reconvene a further Skillman International Forum at an appropriate future date to review progress on the reorientation of TVET for green, sustainable and inclusive development.



Institution of Diploma Engineers Bangladesh, AFRICA INSTITUTE OF ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT, KTDMC, ESCO secretariat, Shipowners and Marine Industry Entrepreneurs Assocation , University of Florence, Centro Studi ‘Cultura Sviluppo’, NS Alberghetti, MTÜ Kool 21.sajandil, Microsoft, The Authority of Natural Science Research and Technology , Oxford Aerospace Academy, CollegesWales , Albanian Skills, ETF European Training Foundation, Ikah youth innovation, women empowerment and human rights training , Universum College, Department for International Cooperation – Folkuniversitetet Uppsala , Instructor Training And Research Center of Iran TVTO , Mind Engineering Academy , Civil Society or Non-Governmental Organisation, Ministry of Education, Sharp, IES Tirant lo Blanc, The College Merthyr Tydfil , Rome, Tuscany Regional Government , University of Florence, CRF – FIAT FCA, Fondazione Universitaria “M. Biagi” – Modena , Centre for Research and Development (CRDS), Firenze Fiera, Association of citizens THE FUTURE IS NOW, National Qualification Authority, Mind Engineering Center (MEC) FOR training and counsultation , V.A.P., NPTC Group , IC Perugia, IP persolvino Strocchi, Uninettuno University UTIU, Cardiff and Vale College , APICE – Agenzia di Promozione Integrata per i Cittadini in Europa, REWARD FOUNDATION GHANA, BURGUNDY NUSINESS SCHOOL, DIJON FRANCE , Korea Reseach Institute for Vocational Education and Training-President, Happiness Institute for the Better World,, Italian Chamber of Commerce in Spain, Texty s.r.l. (University of Pisa), Italian Chamber of Commerce in Spain, Centro Studi ‘Cultura Sviluppo’, Office for the Evaluation of Educational Policies Department of Education and Culture Province of Trento, Italy, COUNTY SCHOOL INSPECTORATE OF CONSTANTA, Asset Technology, European Training Foundation, British Consulate General Jeddah, BABAR LAW ASSOCIATES, Grimaldi  Ghana Ltd,, Centro Studi ‘Cultura Sviluppo’, Centro Studi ‘Cultura Sviluppo’, SOPK, AVTC LIMBE , ClockTvet Foundation Gambia , CollegesWales , Cedefop, Punjab Vocational Training Council, Ministry of Eduction and Vocational Training, Pembrokeshire College , FIT4FoF Project, INFODEF, AECIM, Adventist Development and Relief Agency – ADRA, ASOCIACION FREYTTER ROMERO, CAAR – The Automotive Cluster of Aragon, I.E.S. Miguel Romero Esteo, Consejería Educación y Deporte, Andalucía., IVETA / Warnborough College, Vumilia Africa Performances , Coleg y Cymoedd, Excess International Academy P. Ltd., NTfW , UNRWA, PwC, Coleg Cambria , Cumulus / La Sapienza University, Rome, Cluster AT+R, Centro Studi ‘Cultura Sviluppo’, EY Advisory Spa, Municipality of Milan , Italian Chamber of Commerce in Spain, Uniser soc coop, Istituto Ghiberti, The Technical Institute of Karbala, Asset Technology, ETF – European Training Foundation, CCIE Portogallo – Lisbona, Università di Perugia, FIM CISL , Gower College Swansea , The Education University of Hong Kong, Thales Alenia Space, ITTS FEDI FERMI PISTOIA, DITES – “Digital Technologies, Education and Society” Research Center, Link Campus University, COSPE Onlus,, CENTOFORM SRL, OCDE – Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development,, Centro Studi ‘Cultura Sviluppo’, Associazione Pratika Onlus, EGINA, Brussels, Coleg Sir Gâr / Coleg Ceredigion , University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, IAK Global Consulting Inc, Institution of Diploma Engineers Bangladesh, ECVET Secretariat / 3s , AECIM, College of Nursing, CSA Centro Servizi Assistenza, Coleg y Cymoedd , MANTELLASSI 1926, JEEV CAREER INSTITUTE PVT. LTD. (JCI-NEPAL), Karalius Mindaugas Vocational Training Center, MTÜ Innova Estonia, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Biblioteca Area della Ricerca di Bologna, National Ministry of Education, Technical University of Sofia, Department of Architecture DIDA, University of Florence, Province of Trento, CNR Bologna, EUAbout, ITTS A. Volta – Perugia, Social Technology and Activities research center, University of Pisa, Vice president @Zhejiang Technical Institute of Economics(ZJTIE), Shipowners and Marine Industry Entrepreneurs Association, Mudi Hydropower Company P. Ltd, European Commission – Joint Research Centre (JRC), Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT), Colombo Plan Staff College, Manila, Philippine, ACCRA TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY, Florence, COMET – Cluster Metalmeccanica FVG, CollegesWales , ITS A. Cuccovillo, IES TIRANT LO BLANC, Cis, Gestione di Impresa, Asia, ECVET national expert, FITIN, Steinbeis 2i GmbH, Italian Chamber of Commerce in Spain, ABUplus International GmbH, GLLM , Northern Light Academy of Aviation and Technology (NAAT), Hastor Foundation, CollegesWales , Bridgend College , Ufficio Commerciale Didacta, Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry , DiTES (DIgital Technologies, Education and Society), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Biblioteca Area della Ricerca di Bologna, Consorzio ZIP, CERTEMA SCRL, International Labour Organization, Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority Government of Punjab,Pakistan , Development Project Design and Services Limited, Beijing Normal University, HighTech Startbahn Netzwerk e.V., ITTS A.VOLTA PERUGIA,, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Fondazione ITS Kennedy, Istituto Alberghetti Imola, Consorzio Zip, Spartan Innovation, NESI, Omuga Technical and Vocational College, Coleg Gwent ,, Italienische Handelskammer für Deutschland e.V., European Commission – Representation in Italy, British  Council , MINISTRY OF YOUTH EMPOWERMENT, GOMBE STATE, SDU – University of Southern Denmark, Mechanical Engineering, Department of Technology and Innovation

Skillman Florence Declaration

April 2020 – ISBN 9788887156140

see also: 


SIF 2019 preparatory document for the redaction of the Skillman 2019 Declaration


in News
SECRETARIAT 24 December, 2020
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