Technical and vocational education and training

Programme description

Title: Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sector project
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: supraregional
Lead executing agency: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Overall term: 2018 to 2021



Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) covers both initial and continuing training. TVET that is aligned with the needs of the labour market increases employability and promotes political and social participation. Availability of skilled workers is key for a nation’s sustainable economic development.

The TVET systems of many GIZ partner countries do not correspond to the needs of the labour market and are disconnected from the workplace . Often these countries also face a lack of qualified teachers and infrastructure. In addition, TVET suffers from a bad image and is not considered a desired career path in many partner countries.

This situation has given rise to a growing need for support with developing their TVET systems. Germany has long-standing and extensive experience in this area, particularly with regard to intensive cooperation with and involvement of the private sector and close labour-market relevance. German specialist knowledge and competence in TVET are in great demand in partner countries.


The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has at its disposal TVET strategies and approaches that have been further developed for German and international development policy.



The sector project Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) supports BMZ with the further development of TVET strategies and approaches for German and international development policy. A central task is to provide comprehensive advisory services to the Ministry on current TVET trends and issues.. The project focuses on updating BMZ’s existing strategies and approaches in the field of TVET and raising their profile among actors working in development policy, both in Germany and at international level.

The sector project’s advisory approach builds on the findings and lessons learned from national and international discourses on TVET as well as from completed and ongoing TVET projects. Strategic recommendations and innovative topics are developed on this basis.

The sector project provides advisory services in three areas:

  1. Increasing the visibility of TVET in development cooperation
  2. Development of key innovative TVET topics
  3. Mainstreaming of topics in TVET projects

TVET has been steadily gaining relevance in German development policy since 2010. This is also reflected in the number of funding commitments made by BMZ to GIZ in this area, which have more than doubled during this period.

Germany is currently by far the world’s leading bilateral donor when it comes to promoting TVET. Funding provided under official development assistance (ODA) for TVET in recent years even exceeded the respective contributions of the EU Commission and the World Bank.


With the support of the sector project, BMZ has been able to position itself nationally and internationally on innovative topics and trends in TVET.

At the national level, inter-ministerial cooperation has been fostered through the German Government’s strategy on international TVET cooperation. In addition, the German position was strengthened in multilateral and international processes, for example in the discourse on formulating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank in May 2016 and secondment of staff to UNESCO-UNEVOC and the German Office for International Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training (GOVET).

The project has developed several TVET-related instruments, including an online- toolkit entitled ‘Learning and working in the informal economy – access, skills development and transition’. The toolkit provides information to support policy-makers and organisations working in this field. ,

The focus of BMZ involvement in TVET is primarily on information and communication technology (ICT), forced displacement and migration, skills development in the informal economy, TVET in rural areas and in the context of fragile states, and gender equality.