The policy phrase Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is rapidly gaining ground across Southeast Asia (and beyond). Despite numerous policy reports, little is known about how vocational training and education work as sites of practice. This is especially true for informal household-based apprenticeships and privately organized, commercial classroom-based training. Yet, these latter arrangements are numerous, an integral part of the widespread informal economy, and reflecting the fact that homes have retained their productive character in much of the Global South. Combining a village-based perspective (Laos) with an urban-based perspective (Cambodia), we analyse how these informal and privately organized training spaces are situated in rural youth’s gendered lives and shaped by, but also generative of, aspirations of ‘becoming someone’. In addition, comparing informal apprenticeships with classroom-based training leads us to raise some important questions about the implications of the (global) policy emphasis on the standardization and formalization of TVET.

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Children's Geographies
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Chea, L., & Huijsmans, R. (2017). Rural youth and urban-based vocational training: gender, space and aspiring to 'become someone'. Children's Geographies, 16(1), 39–52. doi:10.1080/14733285.2017.1300234