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ASEAN Develops Framework To Facilitate Movement Of Skilled Labour And Professionals

14 November 2013

JAKARTA, 14 November 2013 - The Third Meeting of the Task Force on ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (TF-AQRF) was held back-to-back with the AANZFTA Workshop on Developing Regional Qualifications Reference Framework, from 5-7 November 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Task Force, which comprises officials from ASEAN ministries of trade, labor, education and qualification agencies, continued to work together to finalize the key features, underlying principles and structure of the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (AQRF).

The proposed regional framework will function as a device to enable comparisons of qualifications across ASEAN Member States while at the same time support and enhance each countrys national qualifications framework or qualifications systems that are currently at varying levels of development, scope and implementation.

Taking a close look at other related initiatives, including from different sectoral bodies and industry associations, the AQRF could also be used as a reference of possible linkage with other regional and international qualifications systems in future.

The development of an AQRF promotes mobility within the region and specifically supports the implementation of ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint. It aims to facilitate the free flow of services by 2015 through recognition of professional qualifications as well as the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint which targets to establish national skills frameworks as an incremental approach towards an ASEAN skills recognition framework.

Established in 2012, the multi-sectoral Task Force is expected to meet again in early 2014 in Myanmar to finalize the AQRF and plan its phased implementation - which would include referencing, further capacity building, and communications to public and private stakeholders. The implementation strategy and programs will aim at the cultivation of mutual trust among ASEAN Member States in undertaking cross-border education and flow of workforce.

The Task Force activities are supported by the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) Economic Cooperation Work Program (ECWP) Project on Education Training and Governance: Capacity Building for National Qualifications Framework - Phase II.

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