Launch of the VET Toolbox in Brussels: Perspectives through vocational education and training

Poverty alleviation, political stability and participation in social life – vocational education and training (VET) creates perspectives for the young generation. The VET Toolbox offers effective support to promote VET and labour market reforms in our partner countries. On April 18, 2018, the VET Toolbox project was officially launched in Brussels. The event was accompanied by keynotes, panel discussions and a workshop on VET.

Bringing VET and the private sector closer

Stefano Signor (EU/DEVCO) and Carl Michiels (Enabel) welcomed the participants of the launch event. It their opening speeches they both stressed one important fact: In many partner countries, the private sector and vocational training institutions need to cooperate more closely. In addition, most of the countries lack data and information on the needs of the labour market. The VET Toolbox brings supply and demand closer together and builds bridges between vocational training and the private sector. The programme has three objectives: To improve the effectiveness of Vocational Education and Training (VET) reforms so that they are more demand-driven and responsive to labour market needs, to increase the involvement of private sector actors in VET and to promote the inclusion of vulnerable groups in the formal and informal labour market.

The panel discussion of the launch pointed out important points. Anneke Maarse of the NGO Light of the World emphasised that new technologies are an opportunity to make inclusion of disadvantaged groups in the labour market possible. People with disabilities are important actors in the labour market who strengthen businesses and contribute to the economic growth. Clara Tigenoah, who attended for COTVET from Ghana, underlined the need to continue supporting the participation of women and girls in VET. Kris De Meeser, Senior Adviser of the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium and representative of Business Europe, added that both sides – the private sector and VET - need to collaborate more closely to benefit from each other. It is equally important to build long-term relationships with sector associations: "Know your private sector partner!" is the main message of the Senior Adviser.

More about the VET Toolbox

The VET Toolbox is a demand-oriented support modality for African and Asian EU partner countries in particular. Countries receiving support from the European Training Fund are excluded. The project is implemented through a partnership of European implementing organisations: GIZ, Belgian Development Agency Enabel, LuxDev, British Council and AFD support the VET Toolbox in the different countries. This is the first time that the EU has commissioned a consortium of bilateral organisations to carry out a project in the field of vocational training. The project management unit, the so-called VET Toolbox Coordination Hub, is located in Brussels with Enabel. On the side of GIZ the regional programme E4D/SOGA has been commissioned to carry out the co-financing. The co-financing comprises 3,480,913.00 euros from the European Union and an additional 500,000.00 euros from BMZ. GIZ itself will carry out short-term missions through the VET Toolbox project in Ghana and Botswana in the following months.

Through the VET Toolbox, actors from civil society as well as the private and public sectors can apply for support. EU delegations may also request support, as long as they have the backing of the respective national partners for the support request.

The Toolbox's main instrument are three to six-week short-term expert missions in the partner countries. In addition, there are local and regional seminars for further capacity building of the target groups. A Grant facility addresses the topic of inclusive VET.

The entire term of the project is four and a half years, beginning with the date of signature of the Pagoda 2 treaty on September 23, 2017. Unlike the other partners, GIZ has agreed to run until December 31, 2020.

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