TVET Delivery and Structures
Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and its delivery in Africa can be divided into three broad categories:
(1) Public technical and vocational institutions;
(2) Private technical and vocational institutions; and
(3) Traditional apprenticeships.
Generally, there are no common standards that cover the different TVET delivery structures. Some private providers issue their own certificates and diplomas that are not necessarily aligned with national standards. The fragmented delivery structure of TVET in Africa has implications for the quality of training, standards and comparability of qualifications (certificates). Consequently, the task of improving and harmonising TVET systems and standards plays a significant role in addressing youth unemployment on the continent.
1.1 TVET Institutions
TVET institutions play an important role in equipping young people with the required skills to enter the world of work. Considering this crucial task, it is necessary to pay attention to the state of TVET institutions in Africa. In many AU Member States, when modern TVET institutions exist, they are often underfunded and lack adequate equipment. The Continental Strategy for TVET calls for a paradigm shift. One of the visible manifestations of this strategy would be an overhaul of the existing TVET infrastructure.
1.2 Qualifications Framework
Qualifications framework is an instrument for the development, classification and recognition of skills, knowledge and competencies along a continuum of agreed levels. It is a way of structuring existing and new qualifications, which are defined by learning outcomes. Qualifications frameworks based on learning outcomes is one of the tools that has been used to reform and expand educational and training provision in ways that will raise skills levels, improve labour market productivity and contribute to sustainable development. However, the fragmented nature of TVET delivery in Africa has led to the multiplicity of qualifications and professional certificates, many of which are of dubious quality, which in turn undermines the image of TVET.
1.3 Quality Assurance
In the context of TVET, quality assurance generally refers to planned and systematic processes that provide confidence in services provided by TVET institutions under the remit of responsible bodies. Quality assurance of the assessment and qualification processes allows stakeholders in TVET (e.g. graduates and employers) to have confidence and trust in those qualifications. Quality assurance processes focus on the consistency of the assessment and qualification processes, so that qualifications have currency. The process also ensures that assessment meets the required occupational standards, raising the likelihood that a qualification is a valid and reliable testament to a learner’s knowledge, skills and wider competences. The implementation of systematic quality assurance processes is paramount in any TVET qualifications system.
1.4 Teacher Training
Teaching is an essential element of knowledge transmission and skills development. Teachers and trainers in TVET guide the learners in their transition from education to the world of work. The quality of teaching therefore directly impacts the learners’ success in acquiring the necessary skills to meet labour market needs. The training of teachers in sufficient quantity to ensure that TVET institutions are adequately staffed is as important as the quality. The quality of teaching is necessary for harmonisation assurance and the mobility of teachers.
Sustainable Development Goal 4 calls on Member States to “ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning”. One of the SDG4 targets is “equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university”. Across the African continent, quality TVET systems can only be sustained if more financial resources are mobilised. TVET is generally expensive in terms of cost per student. This should be reflected in the budget allocation of the TVET sector.
Africa entered the Millennium with severe education challenges at every level. To cope with these challenges, Conferences of Ministers of Education have reiterated the need to increase access to education, improve quality and relevance, and ensure equity.
Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) forms part of this pledge to advance education across the continent, especially with a focus on equipping young people with the required skills to enter and effectively perform in the job market through specialised technical training.
As part of African Union’s (AU’s) Second Decade of Education (2006-2015), the continental TVET strategy takes account of concrete recommendations to address policy issues, challenges and gaps that constrain the implementation of initiatives and programmes for skills development on the continent. It examines the possibilities of TVET as a response to facilitate the promotion of national development, social cohesion, political stability, poverty reduction and regional integration. It draws on recent regional and international initiatives aimed at promoting TVET to foster youth employment.
The African Skills Portal for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship (ASPYEE) provides a continental platform on which good practices relevant to the current continental TVET Strategy and Legislative Framework can be showcased and up-scaled at country, regional and continental level.
The continent’s TVET strategy is guided by the vision of the AU - “an integrated, peaceful and prosperous Africa, driven by its own people to take its rightful place in the global community and the knowledge economy”. This vision is predicated on the development of Africa’s human resources. Education is the major means by which Africa’s citizenry will be prepared for active participation in the attainment of this vision. TVET should not only provide skills for paid employment, but also to encourage and support creativity, innovativeness and entrepreneurship required for creating jobs and harnessing employment opportunities.
The main objective of the strategy is to promote skills acquisition through training, responding to the demand of the social economic milieu. The strategy places premium on fostering employability tests, sustainable livelihoods and responsible citizenship. Furthermore, thrust is placed on building capacity to create and innovate, anchored within the frame of entrepreneurship.
The major objectives of the strategy are as follows:
Promoting an efficient and cost-effective system of quality TVET;
Ensuring the relevance of training and employability of trainees;
Developing creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship;
Informing improvements in the legal and political environment – including strengthening coherence and management of training provision;
Promoting quality apprenticeship; and
Strengthening the status and attractiveness of TVET.
One of the core priorities of the strategy is to build a unified general framework that can serve as a continental platform around which AU Member States will collaborate in building coherent and integrated TVET systems at national, regional and continental levels. This will require developing and implementing national, regional and continental plans.
Another priority of the continental TVET strategy is positioning TVET within the education system as a tool for the empowerment of African people, especially youth. Specifically, TVET should be viewed as a culmination of all the training needed for social-economic development of the continent.
Addressing the institutional challenge of TVET governance should be at the heart of policy and reforms. This involves first drawing up a legal framework and a coherent TVET policy that also takes into consideration the following factors:
Organisation of the private sector, particularly the TVET informal sector;
Description of consultation mechanisms at the three levels: national, regional continental ;
Direct involvement of parliaments of AU Member States;
Creation of a TVET quality supervisory authority;
Establishment of an implementation body for the strategy; and
Establishment of youth-friendly entrepreneurship funds.
Policy Making & Regulation
The role of Member States is to create a TVET quality supervisory authority and as well ensure an enabling environment for guidance and counselling services of trainees.
A core condition for successful implementation of a national TVET strategy is the development of a national TVET policy that sets out the Government’s vision for skills development. This should be accompanied by a clear articulation of the synergies between the national, regional and continental priorities and plans, for purposes, inter alia, of taking advantage of intra-Africa shared learning and support.
Furthermore, countries are encouraged to articulate the synergies and complementarities between TVET and other sectors of the national economy. Successful implementation of the strategy will also be pursued through promoting consistence between the national TVET strategy and regional, continental and international frameworks of education and training policy protocols.
TVET development should be placed at the forefront of technical information to keep abreast with technological developments across the continent and the world. TVET itself then becomes an object of research putting production lines at the centre of development in order to acquire the ability to anticipate that is always needed in the education system. Through such research, TVET teaching will be constantly reviewed.
Enterprise promotion and human resource development in Africa are key in achieving the goals of decent living standards, social and economic integration, personal fulfillment and social development where 60 per cent of unemployed people are youth below the age of 25. With no signs that population growth will slow in the decades to come, it is imperative that Africa leverages the talent and energy of its youth to create higher levels of prosperity and equality and avoid the risks associated with of unemployment such as social instability.
The African Skills Portal for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship (ASPYEE) provides a continental platform on which good practices relevant to creating and promoting employment opportunities for young people and practitioners can be shared.
1.1. Career Advice
Career advice forms part of promoting employment among African youth and is a service intended to assist individuals, of any age and any point throughout their lives, to make educational, training and occupational choices and to manage their careers. It is an important consideration in the implementation of technical vocational education and training (TVET), as it guides learners in their career and employment paths, thereby matching labour supply with market demands.
Entrepreneurship is defined as the capacity and willingness to develop, organise and manage a business venture along with any risks in order to make profit. In this regard, entrepreneurship is an important factor in enabling TVET graduates to actively participate in the mainstream of the economy. Accordingly, due diligence should be paid to building technical and entrepreneurial skills for enterprise development in TVET initiatives.
An internship is a structured and monitored workplace experience gained through exposure and interactions within a real work environment. Internships, often structured as Work-Study Alternation, can be effective vehicles for promoting a work-orientated study programme as it allows the learner to acquire skills related to their chosen trade, within a real life context.
1.4. Volunteering schemes
One of the ways in which young people can be assisted to improve their skills and employment prospects is to offer them opportunities to take up volunteering as part of their formal and informal learning process. This would enable them to discover the value of voluntary services and help foster a sense of community responsibility and active citizenship.
1.5. Exchange opportunities
Exchange opportunities offer broad based benefits for young people and increase their employability. Firstly, international learning and knowledge propels students towards an appreciation and understanding of an array of different cultural and community perspectives. The second benefit is that of self-development and awareness which leads to enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem. Finally, this opportunity increases employability because prospective employers consider favorably experience of prospective employees gained while living other countries outside their native countries.
1.6. Matching services
The phenomenon of “unemployed graduates” is widespread in Africa. In many countries, a large number of graduates from the formal school system, including university graduates, are unemployed, although the economy still has opportunities for skilled workers. This condition is referred to as “Skills Mismatch” and it is defined as the gap between the skills required on the job and those possessed by individuals. It is imperative that the educational and training service provides deliberately bridge the gap between the labour and skills demand, and the learning scope and content that they provide to students.
1.7. Recognition of prior learning
The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process through which formal, non-formal and informal learning are measured, mediated for recognition across different contexts and certified against the requirements for credit, access, inclusion or advancement in the formal education and training system or workplace. The aim is to make it possible to obtain formal recognition for knowledge gained throughout life, such as in workplaces and own reading or experiences. The RPL process also entails providing support to a candidate to ensure that knowledge is discovered and displayed in terms of a relevant qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).Read less
Africa entered the Millennium with severe education challenges at every level. To cope with these challenges, Ministers of Education have reiterated the need to increase access to education, improve quality and relevance, and ensure equity.
Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) forms part of this pledge to advance education across the continent, especially with a focus on equipping people with the required skills to enter and effectively perform in the job market through specialised technical training.
As part of the African Union’s (AU) Second Decade of Education (2006 -2015), the continental TVET strategy takes account of concrete recommendations to address policy issues, challenges and gaps that constrain the implementation of initiatives and programmes for skills development on the continent. It examines the opportunities of TVET as a response to facilitate the promotion of national development, social cohesion, political stability, poverty reduction and regional integration. The Strategy draws inspiration from recent regional and international initiatives aimed at promoting TVET to foster youth employment.
The African Skills Portal for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship (ASPYEE) provides a continental platform on which good practices relevant to equitable access describes approaches on how to facilitate access to training and equal opportunities in the world of work for girls, women and disadvantaged groups.
Equality legal framework
Inequalities are a great barrier to participation in education and technical and vocational training. For example, in many African countries, the children of poor parents are unable to pay the fees charged by training institutions. Furthermore, good technical and vocational schools tend to be located in cities, especially the larger ones, thus limiting access to quality education and skills for less advantaged populations such as people living in rural areas. To this end, it is imperative for countries to have legal frameworks that promote equal access to education to their citizens, irrespective of their geographical location, gender or other factors.
In drawing up a legal framework, such factors should be taken into consideration to ensure equal access to education among all populations. The process in setting up the legal framework is the following:
Establishing consultation mechanisms among all stakeholders at the three levels: national, regional and continental. Structured consultations with the private sector, particularly the TVET informal sector should be given due diligence
Direct involvement of members of parliament;
Creation of a TVET quality supervisory authority;
Establishment of an implementation body for the strategy; and
Establishment of youth-friendly entrepreneurship funds.
Promotion of TVET
To enhance the attractiveness of TVET and the trades for which people are trained, it is imperative that TVET is appropriately packaged and optimally profiled on the development landscape. This process will require the participation of career guidance service providers as well as entities engaged in productive sectors. The profiling should, inter alia, spell out qualifications accruing to specific training opportunities, as well as the pathways of advancing from a lower level to a higher level.
Most importantly, a demonstrated link to paid work or self-employment, espousing best practices and strategies should be an integral component of promoting TVET in Africa.
Ensuring access for girls and women
Ensuring equal access for girls and women is a must in order to meet the objectives of the continental TVET strategy. In striving for equal access, special attention needs to be paid to ensuring relevant and responsive TVET-content for girls and women.. This is a prerequisite for effective participation of women and girls in the job-market based. Moreover, due diligence should be done to promote high enrolment and low attrition rates during trainings; for example, TVET initiatives should take into consideration women and girl’s reproductive, productive and community roles and factor this is the study-calendar.
Ensuring access for disadvantaged groups
In Africa, traditional apprenticeship is a highly valued way of skills development and employment-preparation, especially for individuals from disadvantaged groups. An individual could be classified as being disadvantaged based on their economic status, having a disability, their race, being orphaned, and from the rural areas
Traditional apprenticeship systems, predominantly espousing the form and nature of TVET structures, tend to be a source of education and training that is particularly important to less advantaged sections of the society; they mainly reach-out to populations that have limited access to higher academic education. It is therefore imperative that national formal TVET systems deliberately target disadvantaged communities for equitable access.
Widening access through new technologies
The main objective of TVET programmes is to enable the acquisition of knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes in a trade or a professional field for gainful employment.. The demand for TVET notwithstanding, TVET has not been widely applied in many African societies. It is evident that TVET initiatives have not sufficiently taken advantage of modern technological facilities.
The role played by new technologies takes centre stage in helping to widen access to TVET programmes through the provision of new platforms (e.g. social media) and tools (e.g. mobile phones). The current continental TVET strategy promotes increased TVET access – exploiting opportunities offered by new advances in development technologies.
1. Private Sector Cooperation
Private sector engagement is a substantial contributing factor to the success of technical vocational education and training (TVET) in Africa. Youth unemployment can only be addressed if learners are equipped with the skills needed on the labour market. For this reason, the private sector should be involved The private sector plays an important role in skills development. It comprises of large corporations, for-profit institutions, voluntary organisations and NGO’s. The engagement of the private sector is especially crucial in the implementation of technical vocational education and training (TVET). Its role in TVET is not only in terms of training provision but also includes a range of other areas. These comprise policy formulation,in curricula development, the setting of occupational standardspriority setting, labour demand forecasting and , curricular and quality indicators, on-the-job training. To ensure maximum success, it is crucial for governments to forge mutually beneficial partnerships with the private sector – for instance, regarding , apprenticeship and employment. This suggests a number of prominent areas for private sector engagement in TVET, including partnerships in the development of national TVET strategies and joint management of TVET schools.
1.1. Participation in policy making and oversight
In Africa, there are many untapped opportunities for public authorities to create favourable framework conditions for private-sector engagement in TVET delivery. Involving the private sector from the start can improve the quality and success of TVET implementation at the national level. This is one reason why At the same time, private stakeholders should be more actively involved in are rarely involved in shaping framework conditions for skills development – for example, regarding the integration of learning and working at the workplace. To ensure accountability and sustainability, it is important to institutionalise and technical vocational education and training. This session elaborated on the opportunities and challenges for public authorities to create favourable framework conditions for private-sector engagement in TVET delivery, specifically looking at opportunities topublic and private sector cooperation institutionalize the cooperation between private and public stakeholders in the integration of learning and working at the workplace.
1.2. Participation in training delivery and assessment
The advantage of privatePrivate sector involvement is that it ensures reach, commitment and efficiency as well as transfers of technology and best practices. Often the Moreover, the merits of pprivate sector involvementleads the charge in terms of which include diversity, cost effectiveness and accountability when are elements which are lacking in thecompared to government programmes implemented by the government. Therefore, private sector companies may be involved in funding, training and sharing knowledge with workers. The the private sector also can strengthen s skills development by contributing to governance though national committees or institutional arrangements. In addition, tThe private sector helps to identify skills, deliver monitoring and evaluation activities as well as feed into curricula development, deliver monitoring and evaluation activities. In many contexts, public TVET are regardeIn terms of funding models, d as vulnerable and unreliable; to make up the shortfall TVET may require financing through the private sector. This may include skills training being could be supported paid for through the contributions of beneficiaries including employers and trainees.
1.3. Defining skills demand
Globally, 38 per cent of the employers have difficulties filling jobs due to the lack of skilleds of applicants. Integrating labour market needs into the TVET system is necessary to ensure that national skills needs are matched. This highlights the importance of involving the private sector in determining the skills demand. TVET curricula and training should be linked to the skills and occupations needed on the labour market. This approach promotes employability and addresses the shortage of well-trained and skilled workers in Africa.
The private sector has continuously filled the gap of demand and supply of skilled professionals. Therefore, integrating labour market needs into the TVET system and linking it with better outcomes is a pressing issue in TVET provision today. Globally, 38 per cent of the employers have difficulties filling jobs due to the lack of skills of applicants. This further indicates the importance of involving the private sector in determining the skills demand.
1.4. Development of training for new economic sectors
One of the most recent and important innovative developments in the Africa’s TVET sector has been the adoption of a holistic approach in recent years has been a paradigm shift making TVET a more holistic policy to adopt andto recognisze the acquisition of skills in all learning frameworks - formal, informal and non-formal settings. This This TVET strategy opens up the possibility to explore more new opportunities, including those offered by globaliszation, technology and advances in new production systems. In addition, this the new TVET strategy will also exposes the youth to other areas of production such as plantations, diamond, gold mines, workshops and industries.Read less