Making Skills Work for Economic Transformation of Ethiopia

Project description

Title: Sustainable Training and Education Programme (STEP)
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) 
Co-funded by: Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, European Union
Country: Ethiopia
Lead executing agency: Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MoSHE)
Overall term: 2018 to 2024



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 a great progress in quantitative expansion of tertiary education, quality and relevance are still lagging behind. Both vocational training and higher education lack demand-orientation and practice elements in teaching and learning. Because of this many young people do not obtain critical job skills and youth unem-ployment rates are high.  


Graduates of vocational and higher education institutions increasingly find employment in Ethiopia’s industrial growth sectors.


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. In cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MoSHE) as well as related agencies and institutions, 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. In this, employers, education providers and public authorities come together to identify their needs and jointly develop education and training solutions that best tackle the skill mismatch.

To achieve its objective, the programme clusters its activities under four action fields. 

Skills development

The programme supports its partners on both sides of the labour market to jointly design and implement demand-driven long- and short-term training. The goal is to equip students and recent graduates with adequate vocational, soft, digital and entrepreneurial skills to prepare them for jobs in construction, hospitality, light manufacturing, metal manufacturing and agro-processing sectors. 

Matching supply and demand

STEP facilitates better matching by promoting dialogue and cooperation between education providers and employers to ensure the relevance of training contents and to create new pathways into employment for TVET and higher education graduates. Therein, the programme creates sector dialogues to engage the private sector and other key stakeholders, promotes quality career services and supports placement measures. 

Institutional capacity development

STEP strengthens the institutional capacity of key stakeholders in the education and the private sector by equipping them with knowled¬ge and tools for implementation of demand-driven vocational training and higher education. Strong institutions will ensure sustainability and long-lasting impact of the programme’s innovations. 

Education policy support

The programme supports national education policy actors to manage current changes in the education sector with evidence-based decision-making and informed policies and strategies. Therein, the programme supports its partners in developing tools (e.g. EMIS, resource mobilisation mechanisms) for effective education system management as well as in revising education policies and strategies to ensure a harmonised policy implementation. 

Latest update: October 2020

Additional information