Promoting vocational training and youth employment in Togo
Title: Promoting vocational training and youth employment
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministère de la Planification, du Développement et de l’Aménagement du Territoire (Ministry of Planning, Development, and Land Management – MPDAT)
Overall term: 2014 to 2020
Economic development in Togo is slow. There is limited industry and dependent employment. Around two thirds of the population make their living from agriculture. Young people in particular, who make up the majority of the population, are finding it difficult on the labour market.
Togo’s Government aims to restructure the country’s outdated vocational training system and turn it into a modern dual training system to ensure that graduates of the training courses meet the requirements of the private sector and find employment.
Youth employment approaches already exist, but they are not sufficiently coordinated with one another. In view of the great economic, social and political relevance of the topic, the Government of Togo has given it high priority, although this is not yet reflected in the allocation of funding.
More young men and women have been integrated into the labour market and have adequate employment.
After key steps were taken in the vocational education and youth employment sector in earlier phases of the project, activities now focus on consolidating these reforms and disseminating the approaches. Since 2019, these have been supplemented by technical short-term qualifications that respond to the market needs, thus creating targeted employment.
Furthermore, the project is adapting and improving training and continuing education. To this end, it is promoting dialogue between the political level, the implementation level and the private sector. New occupations are being identified that are especially attractive for young women and for people with disabilities. These groups are particularly frequently marginalised and hence affected by extreme poverty.
The project is advising the Government of Togo on quality assurance and on coordinating measures aimed at promoting youth employment and vocational training. It is helping to set up a comprehensive steering system.
A dual training system has been established in Togo. The first intake of trainees completed their training in the second half of 2018 and are now receiving support in making the transition to the labour market. Training for a total of five occupations is currently being provided in the dual system in six Togolese cities. Within the scope of cooperation, the project has trained more than 40 national experts on how to modernise curricula and teaching materials. The requirements for developing more training courses autonomously have thus been created.
Joint entrepreneurial qualification measures have been developed in order to create self-employment prospects. The approach supports young people in setting up their own businesses or in managing their existing business more efficiently and hence generating more income. It enables the needs of young women and men with little or no schooling and people with physical disabilities to be addressed. The practical experience of the more than 200 trainers for this approach in providing advisory services constitutes a resource for business start-ups and management that extends beyond the project itself.
The project supported Togo’s National Employment Agency in developing its career guidance services. More than 100 staff members from the National Employment Agency have received in-service training and have thus improved their advisory services.
The project has also strengthened the Togolese chambers of trades and crafts throughout the country; the decision-makers have been legitimised through elections. The chambers have also extended the services they offer their members and are increasingly playing a role as representatives of the private sector.
Overall, the various political measures on youth employment and vocational training are now coordinated more effectively. Since April 2018, a coalition of various actors has created a platform for coordinated dialogue.