Observatory: COVID-19, the response from VET institutions

Vocational training institutions are fully committed to the health status of our countries. Virtually all of them have suspended their classroom activities.

To cope with this context, which implies multiple challenges ahead, they have been taking measures enabling them to offer distance training opportunities as contingency and support mechanisms.

In this box we have synthesised these actions and measures and we expect to update it continuously in order to provide as much information as possible.

Country Measures / actions by institution 
Argentina INET
The virtual training actions continue, based on the platform: https://www.educ.ar/recursos/150936/seguimos-educando

Technical education schools join forces to make protective masks, headbands and other facial protectors with 3D printers, as well as folding screens for beds and feet of serum, alcohol gel, infrared thermometers, among other elements: https://dib.com.ar/2020/03/el-aporte-silencioso-de-las-escuelas-para-combatir-el-coronavirus-en-la-provincia/
Ministerio de Trabajo Empleo y Seguridad Social de la Nación
In relation to specific vocational training actions, a significant number of projects are being virtualized, to the extent that the change in modality does not affect the learning objectives. On the other hand, effectors with a working history with the Ministry of Employment and new institutions are being called to present e-learning proposals.

Likewise, with a view to the end of quarantine and the subsequent economic reactivation process, programs are being designed to:
- training in occupations demanded by the knowledge economy, in coordination with the bill presented to the National Congress;
- training in occupations related to caring for people, in coordination with other employment mechanisms and with the national system of care, which is being designed by the Ministry of Women.

It is established by the Employment Law (24013) that both the beneficiaries of unemployment insurance (of a contributory nature) and those of training and employment insurance (of a non-contributory nature) have additional financial aid to allow their participation in vocational training actions. https://www.argentina.gob.ar/trabajo
Federación Argentina de Empleados de Comercio y Servicios - FAECYS
The face-to-face activities all suspended. They are generating new online courses to reach more participants, experiencing into training with motion graphics and gamification structure. Online platform based on Moodle: 
Centro de Formación Nº8 SMATA
The activities are being carried out partially at a distance.
Some teachers already interacting with their students through videoconferences, information in the cloud and through WhatsApp. They use the Cisco platform so that students can pass the different modules. http://www.centro8smata.org.ar/index.html
UPACP - Escuela de Capacitación para el Personal del Servicio Doméstico
They prepared a flyer to disseminate care measures to private home workers (also, with the financing of the Ebert Foundation, they developed three educational videos, one of them referring to the care that people who work in domestic service should have (https://youtu.be/spe8mU9Vt6E. The tool provided by the UBA (Universidad de Buenos Aires) to teach online courses has been made known to the trainers, who, with the support of the Pedagogical Coordinator, will be able to adapt their courses to the virtual mode.
Bahamas  Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI)
They continue the training using the online platform:https://btvi.empower-xl.com/fusebox.cfm
Barbados TVET
All face-to-face activities are suspended. WorldSkills Barbados 2020 has been postponed, however preparation continues. They use the platform to support the training at a distance.
In Bolivia, by statute, virtual teaching of VET courses is not allowed.
They are developing a platform for online training, but mainly focused on teachers.
To support people during the crisis, agreements are being made with the Ministry of Development and the Ministry of Labor to develop plans to promote employment.

Has expanded its quotas for its free online courses with certification. 

100 free quotas available for distance learning on Industry 4.0., also creating new courses on digitization.


Provides access to the bank of digital teaching books: http://digital.mflip.com.br/pub/senai/?flip=estante2#!/books/cover

SENAI is offering its labs and high-tech infrastructure at the disposal of the fight against the coronavirus; 27 Innovation Institutes and 60 Technology Institutes.

Actions, services and innovations that SENAI is implementing in support of the country’s fight against the coronavirus: Rede SENAI de Inovaçao contra coronavirus

Offers free online courses: https://www.ead.senac.br/cursos-livres/ 

In order to ensure that classes continue for students of courses that have been temporarily suspended, Senac proposes the use of tools commonly used in distance courses by teachers of courses on the platform. In order for this action to be feasible, the states responsible for providing distance education will be coordinating this work and subsidizing the states for training and support to teachers.

Centro Paula Souza
They have adopted a strategy to concentrate all the vacation periods planned for the year, a total of four weeks, during which they are working to strengthen the institution's capacity to offer distance courses starting on April 22.
In addition, they already offer some free online courses (MOOCs) with certification: https://mooc.cps.sp.gov.br/#lista-cursos
Podcasts: https://newsletters.cps.sp.gov.br/podcast/

It develops a free virtual training strategy through 46 courses divided into three main areas: ICTs, entrepreneurship generation, and soft skills. It also offers a platform for organizations to connect their courses, which have an average of 75% attendance. 

To facilitate access to equipment, they have an agreement with the Fundación de las Familas whereby those in need can access computers and Wi-Fi at 84 Digital Family Centers nationwide.

New online course search engine: https://eligemejor.sence.cl/BuscarCursoNuevo/PorPrograma/Cursos%20en%20l%C3%ADnea

Given the nature of its functions, aimed at certifying labor competencies, its activities are currently on hold. They are reflecting on the importance of rethinking certification policies in post crisis recovery processes.
It has the resource: Platform Training Paths Labor: shows the career development possibilities of a worker through certification or the acquisition of knowledge.


To guarantee the training of instructors, the National School of Instructors, Rodolfo Martínez Tono makes available to trainers a virtual space that aims to achieve an effective connection and training for this new challenge. They have made the purchase of data packages to the country's operators so that the instructors should not use their own and can connect with their students.

Access to: Short courses, aims to complement or update people's knowledge in specific areas. Virtual: 100% of training in the virtual LMS environment: https://sena.entrenado.territorio.la/cms/index.php/cursos-cortos
Also to Distance Training: Virtual: 100% of the training in the virtual LMS environment. Distance: virtual and face-to-face meetings organized by the Center responsible for the execution of the training. https://sena.territorio.la/cms/index.php/titulada
Also there are User manuals and videos. https://sena.territorio.la/ 
They start using Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/SENA/

They have signed an agreement with Linkedin to obtain course licenses.

Availability of the "Fondo Emprender" to convene entrepreneurs to respond to the crisis, complementing online consultations with the use of SMS (technology that continues to be effective in contacting students in areas without connectivity).

SENA joins forces with its centers to design valves to increase the capacity of people connected to mechanical ventilators and to cope with the coronavirus: https://t.co/igNFqtr88o?amp=1

 Costa Rica

Offers short online courses: Aimed at people who need to supplement their technical skills to improve their job performance. https://www.ina.ac.cr/inavirtual/SitePages/cursoscortos.aspx

Virtual programmes: Consisting of 2 or more virtual courses aimed at people who have no previous knowledge in the field of employment, they are intended to qualify them for professional practice. Certification is granted at the end of the programme. https://www.ina.ac.cr/inavirtual/SitePages/ProgramasVirtuales.aspx

INA is contacting graduates from the Textile sector, who have a micro or small company, in order to determine if they are interested in making hospital garments. 
The institution makes a partial delivery of 3,200 cuts of waterproof fabric for the preparation of gowns, which will be input to mitigate the impact of COVID 19.


It offers job opportunities to certified training operators who have the conditions to give online courses.
They are considering the incorporation of an abbreviated virtual modality and alliances with private institutions to make training possible. Setec joins regional initiatives to promote virtual professional training.

They are working on the accreditation of virtual training platforms. In this regard, it made the “Vertice” platform available to the other institutions: https://www.vertice.org/blog/tag/ecuador/

Free courses offered on the “Secap Virtual” platform: http://si.secap.gob.ec/sisecap/ofertaCapacitacion/ 

Starting a new modality with online chats via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/secap.ec/

El Salvador

The distance training implementation method involves hiring a number of platforms in different countries, or the platforms of local institutions, which provide e-learning courses in response to the demands of the productive sector and the population. The online platform acts as an interface for the 15 platforms of the different providers through which online training is implemented: http://www.insaforponline.org.sv/

The https://capacitateparaelempleo.org/ platform is provided in partnership with the Carlos Slim foundation; it acts as a means to offer courses and INSAFORP certifies participants once courses are concluded and evaluated. At present, 950 courses are being offered online.

INSAFORP directly runs 17 training courses for training system instructors, which include training in methodology, and cross-cutting and digital skills.


Has developed an agreement with large companies to provide training courses and training resources, all free: https://www.fundae.es/digitalizate

There is also a search engine for online courses: https://www.fundae.es/trabajadores/buscador-de-cursos

One of its options allows access to courses aimed at obtaining official accreditation.

Servicio Públicco de Empleo Estatal - SEPE
On-site activities are totally suspended. Each provider accredited to deliver the training has its own online platform.

Developed “Study with us from home”, a platform with 50 free self-directed courses for the country during this confinement (enrolment in some has exceeded places available). It is already working to increase the number of instructors and open up new places.

The courses are of all kinds: on digital skills, administration, communications, finance, marketing, photography, English, etc. https://intecap.edu.gt/


There is also a MOOC platform available: www.intecap.tech

Honduras INFOP
They are working on an action plan for the execution of the training actions in all their modalities.
Courses that were being carried out in person happened to use platforms such as zoom and google class, in addition to coordinating task assignments by whatsapp and emails.Offers entirely free virtual courses (100% online) with over 80 short courses in various areas, such as Administration, ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), Tourism, Middle Management, Office Technology and Entrepreneurship.

HEART /National Service & training Agency Trust
The teaching and learning process continues via distance/online methods. Assessments that have online components will be delivered online, with practical components facilitated as soon as the institutions return to full operation.
Platform: https://isims.heart-nta.org/

Website about Covid-19: https://www.heart-nta.org/covid-19/


They are working with the network of service providers to learn about proposals that allow expanding the number of online certifications.

Has a virtual resources platform: CONALEP. To work from home: http://recursosvirtuales.conalep.edu.mx/ 

The online courses offered are through the Research and Development Center for Job Training: http://www.campusvirtual.cidfort.edu.mx/

Nicaragua INATEC
Offers a platform for free online courses: http://campus.inatec.edu.ni/course/index.php?categoryid=117 
Panama   INADEH
They have the CISCO and Edmodo tools and are hiring new services for E-Learning.
Installed a Health Committee to reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19: https://www.inadeh.edu.pa/inadeh-ahora/inadeh-instalo-un-comite-de-salud-para-reducir-los-riesgos-de-contraer 
Sinafocal was run 100% with face-to-face education courses; although the idea of generating distance courses existed, it is the first time that it is being implemented and in 6 days they have more than 1,200 students: http://capacitarenlinea.org/
They are also conducting live chats through their Youtube account: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMXbHDFd3f8CckU7M5rUuHg
They have an online course platform that continues the courses that were in progress and new ones are generated: https://identidad.mtess.gov.py/alumno/login.php
Collaborates in the fight against COVID-19 by manufacturing face masks for the Ministry of Health: https://www.snpp.edu.py/noticias-snpp/13231-snpp-colabora-en-la-lucha-contra-el-covid-19-fabricando-tapabocas-para-el-ministerio-de-salud.html

To ensure continuity, has set up its online courses on the Blackboard platform: https://senati.blackboard.com/ 
The Online Campus is an area that SENATI offers so that its students and collaborators can access technological learning tools: https://campusonline.senati.edu.pe/

Educational video: https://www.youtube.com/sencicoperu?fbclid=IwAR2FihfGK7wuWFDBx8HutPHVk6KTQboY_y9VkoKSJEWj038dm4fMa0VGsFQ

On this site, provides updated information on the services offered: https://iefponline.iefp.pt/IEFP/index2.jsp

Work is being done on developing a solution to cater to the largest possible number of participants.

Dominican Republic

They have a Comprehensive Contingency Plan that includes continuing its training actions online, targeting the 120,139 participants currently attending its technological centres, System Operating Centres (COS, in Spanish) and businesses, nationwide.

Participants may continue their training activities through the technology platform (Moodle) in order to access theoretical knowledge, which will be supplemented with audiovisual and interactive material, and will be further strengthened at a later date with practice in workshops, companies and the institution’s laboratories: https://www.infotepvirtual.com/

For sectors with no access to connectivity, a recovery period is being contemplated as soon as the country overcomes the current state of emergency: https://hoy.com.do/coronavirus-infotep-anuncia-plan-de-contingencia/?fbclid=IwAR3mToxeOt1rM5Xrrma2oSH-1mKmmxGbmZfuAAZ0ebrwEneR9MalS9nUV_M

Nurses graduated from INFOTEP join operations against COVID-19: https://www.diariolibre.com/actualidad/enfermeras-egresadas-del-infotep-se-integran-a-operaciones-contra-covid-19-NL17940805?fbclid=IwAR3BS_hJP5mpk9DGuQfv1NueTw4AVY9t9rpHltpRkC8rlY4EVfCzUvETN5s

Trinidad & Tobago

In-person training activities have all been suspended. Webinars series: http://www.ntarestore.org/new-media#tvet-webinar-series


The CREA platform continues to offer the distance training that was already set up: https://cv.utu.edu.uy/node

With a special focus on students with visual impairment (low vision or blindness), within the framework of teleworking. Working materials are previously sent to the Braille printer.

For teachers: Interactivity in virtuality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnLLT7mG27s&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3wSfx6vfTaNIhT-3AK0vqtBFGmm-sgN7hlnJ-N2r80IH5VXe0xMf6RZl8

In these first weeks involving a contingency phase at UTEC, teaching activities will not be used to assess courses’ Curricular Units. https://utec.edu.uy/continua-el-aprendizaje-en-utec/?fbclid=IwAR1bX42_dLbkbnitjgiE4rgSfBGdM7oroLfCKOF2zcGq6WdKkXs8rV76NXQ

Online Course: Learn the soft skills that will enhance your entrepreneurial abilities

Digital educational resources: https://red.utec.edu.uy/pasatealovirtual/

COVID-19 co-innovation: open innovation platform with UTEC support: https://utec.edu.uy/entrevista-con-alejandro-ferreira-sobre-el-proyecto-colaborativo-de-fabricacion-digital-coinnovacion-covid-19-convocado-por-utec/
They are working on a digital manufacturing project, taking advantage of the resources and careers taught by the UTEC, to focus on the production of hospital supplies, including respirators built from open licenses.