Supporting vocational training

Programme description

Title: Supporting technical and vocational education and training in Afghanistan
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Afghanistan
Lead executing agencies: Afghan Deputy Ministry of Technical and Vocational Education and Training; Afghan Ministry of Education
Overall term: 2010 to 2017


Setting up a comprehensive technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system is part of Afghanistan’s modernisation strategy. In 2014, around 2,700 teachers at 250 vocational schools around the country provided training for some 90,000 of the approximately 1.7 million young Afghans of vocational training age. Most teachers lack practical experience in the professions they provide training for, and the curricula and examinations are inconsistent. The vocational schools are also poorly equipped, and there are no established cooperation arrangements with the private sector. A very large proportion of young people are therefore completing their formal vocational training without being properly equipped to practise their professions.

Around 600,000 young Afghans are being successfully trained in accordance with traditions and conventions by small businesses in the informal sector, without assistance from the government or society. However, these trainees often lack background knowledge of the modern technologies in their professions that would enable them to work efficiently and effectively. There are also around one million young Afghans who have never been to school or have had to leave school early, and they also need to be integrated into the TVET system.

To cover the entire target group, Afghanistan will need around 1,000 vocational schools and about 70,000 teachers who can provide practical training that is in line with consistent standards.


A TVET system geared towards the needs of the private sector and various target groups has been launched as a pilot project.


The project supports the Afghan Deputy Ministry of Technical and Vocational Education and Training in setting up a viable formal TVET system. Together, they are creating initial and further training programmes for teachers, and vocational examinations and qualified occupations that are matched to the needs of the private sector. These are to be introduced and tested in 50 pilot schools across the country. Employees of the Deputy Ministry are also receiving training to improve their administrative and management skills so that they can perform their tasks more professionally. Through the project, the pilot schools are being provided with the resources and equipment they need to give their training a practical focus.

The project, the Deputy Ministry and the Afghan Chamber of Trade are working together to develop ways of providing apprentices, journeymen and business owners in the informal sector with access to modern technology and up-to-date specialist knowledge.

To reach illiterate young people and school leavers, the consulting group GFA has been commissioned by the project to design a series of vocational training courses that are to be piloted at selected vocational schools and institutions at the municipal level.


So far, a total of six new qualified commercial and technical occupations have been created. 18,829 young Afghans (23.4 per cent women) are currently being trained at 35 vocational schools. In 2014, 6,658 apprentices (22.2 per cent women) from the 50 pilot schools completed a four-week internship at 577 Afghan companies.

The first training centre for vocational teachers opened in Kabul in 2011, followed by another in Mazar-e-Sharif in 2012. 1,427 students (38.8 per cent women) are currently enrolled on the five-semester course of vocational teacher training.

9,949 vocational teachers (20 per cent women) have received either pedagogical or technical training over the last three years.

Two national vocational training trade fairs attracted a total of 15,000 visitors. A total of 250 ministry employees and members of local communities attended a conference that examined public responsibility for TVET. The events provided information for interested members of the general public, and showed parents and young people what prospects a vocational career can offer.

In 2014, the Deputy Ministry, the Afghan Chamber of Trade and the project entered into a cooperation agreement for modernising the traditional apprenticeship system. By 2016, 3,000 apprentices in the informal sector will be able to attend selected vocational schools.

There are also plans to give 1,500 young, illiterate Afghans access to technical and vocational education and further training programmes adapted to suit their needs by 2016.