Employment promotion and vocational training

Project description

Title: Employment promotion and vocational training
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Togo
Lead executing agency: Ministère de la Planification, du Développement et de l’Aménagement du Territoire (MPDAT)
Overall term: 2012 to 2014

Context

Despite an improved growth rate, the economy of Togo is developing only slowly and there are not enough jobs for the country’s young women and men. Meanwhile, the vocational training system is unable to provide the skills or the quality of graduates that both the formal and the informal economies demand. Current approaches to youth employment are not adequately coordinated; nor are they based on any findings that relate to the labour market.

In view of the great economic, social and political significance of this issue, the Government of Togo has passed a national Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Employment Promotion (2013–2017). This is being backed up with efforts to reform vocational education, and with systematic employment measures on the part of various ministries, some of which are aimed at school-leavers. The government is hoping to double the number of training places available by 2020. Now that the appropriate course has been set at policy level, the closer alignment of vocational training to labour market needs to be put into practice in enterprises and trades associations.

Objective

A selection of approaches to both formal and non-formal vocational training have improved in quality, as have employment promotion measures for young women and men. Vocational training and employment strategies are designed jointly, and are treated as closely related issues within the context of the programme.

Approach

The programme is working towards the introduction of quality assurance measures in vocational education and employment promotion. This is to be achieved by working more closely with the private sector and through using a strategically aligning policies and programmes based on specific, detailed data.

The capacity and abilities of vocational schools, trade associations and the Togolese employment agency will be improved so that they can help small and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas to meet their needs for properly trained workers. Especially where blue-collar trades are concerned, enterprises and associations will gain the capacity to apply a dual training approach alongside traditional apprenticeships, and thus integrate theoretical content relevant to the labour market into their training schemes.

The programme also advises the Togolese government on coordinating and assuring the quality of youth employment measures and the provision of career guidance. At all levels of the project’s work, special efforts are made to promote the economic potential of young women and people with disabilities.

The programme locations are in three of the country’s regions, centring on the towns of Sokodé, Kpalimé and Tsévié.

GOPA Consultants are supporting the field of activity ‘youth employment’ in the areas of career guidance and in-company training courses.

Results achieved so far

Vocational training. The Togolese partners were advised on putting their strategy document for vocational training into practice. For example, a work plan to reform the vocational education system was drafted in conjunction with the private sector, and the programme is now supporting its implementation. All relevant actors in the pilot towns have been informed about the dual training system. Based on advice provided through the programme, the Ministry for Vocational Training has opted to introduce a modern method of participatory curriculum development and is modernising the curricula with input from the private sector.

Promoting youth employment. Support was provided to the Togolese employment agency as it built a career guidance website that can also be used offline. Short films are used to raise the reputation of blue-collar trades among young people. They show how these trades can also be a good source of income and that women and people with disabilities can be equally successful in traditionally male lines of work.
A training course for the employment agency’s careers advisors is currently in development.
There are very few opportunities for in-company employment in Togo. Young self-employed people and those who aim to become self-employed are therefore being taught business skills and know-how. There is a special emphasis here on people with disabilities and women with little formal education.