A skilled workforce for Ethiopia’s economy

Project description

Title: Sustainable Training and Education Programme (STEP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Ethiopia
Partner: Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MoSHE) 
Overall term: 2018 to 2021



Relevant skill acquisition is a prerequisite for employment and productivity at work. The Ethiopian Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) assigns a key role to the education sector for accelerating economic growth, achieving developmental goals and becoming a middle-income country by 2025. While the country has made great progress in quantitative expansion of tertiary education, quality and relevance are still lagging behind, negatively affecting the chances of fresh graduates to find decent employment.

The Ethio-German Sustainable Training and Education Programme (STEP) improves the employment prospects of young Ethiopians by promoting quality and relevance in vocational training and higher education. The programme establishes strong linkages between the education and the private sector to support the development of a modern education system geared towards employment and economic growth. STEP supports selected industrial sectors by preparing a skilled workforce able to drive Ethiopia’s economic transformation.


The employment for graduates of vocational and higher education institutions in Ethiopia’s industrial growth sectors is increased. 



On behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ STEP works together with the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MoSHE) and its agencies and institutions to provide quality and equitable education and training relevant for the demands of the labour market.

Through establishing linkages with the private sector, STEP helps the education sector understand the needs and gaps of the labour market and use data for evidence-based policy-making in education. Based on the identified labour market needs, the programme creates solutions to be piloted at selected vocational and higher education institutions in the regions. Successful pilots are then scaled up across the country to improve the quality and relevance of vocational training and higher education, prepare skilled graduates for their jobs, promote (self-) employment, and support Ethiopia’s sustainable economic growth.

In the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector, STEP supports federal and regional TVET actors in developing, piloting and implementing innovative models of cooperative training with the private sector. 
The programme:

  • helps to organise and strengthen the capacities of the private sector through guilds and associations
  • develops and implements cooperative training with the private sector in occupations relevant for the regional labour market
  • improves the quality of teacher education and further training at national and regional institutes

In the field of employment promotion, STEP supports the cooperation of key stakeholders from the education and the private sector to make education more relevant for the labour market. 
The programme creates matching mechanisms to promote the employment of graduates and aims at:

  • improving education and labour market data management systems for evidence-based decision-making
  • establishing regional stakeholder dialogue platforms to support demand-oriented education
  • support demand-oriented education
  • implementing concrete employment promotion measures and short-term trainings to improve pathways to employment

In the higher education sector, STEP promotes a higher education system geared towards (self-) employment by bringing universities closer to local industries and involving the private sector in the provision of higher education. The project’s aims are:

  • to enhance the quality of teaching, learning and research at universities
  • to introduce quality internship programmes for students, graduates and teachers, as well as, improve career services at universities
  • to enable entrepreneurship and incubation centers to promote self-employment
  • to develop leadership and management capacities at universities