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«Comparative Study and ‘Outcome and Impact’ Analysis of Six Vocational Training Projects in West Africa Synthesis report based on six case ...»

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• Collaborating with businesses for student/ trainee attachment (see above)

• Training providers providing services, e.g. skill upgrading, to local businesses The two apprenticeship schemes cooperate with master trainers for organisation of the training, all of them being business owners. Both partners organise orientation seminars before attaching a trainee. OICG conducted seminars for master trainers in instruction methodologies, YOWDAST organises skill upgrading courses for master trainers and graduates with government training institutes.

VTF and SLOIC cooperate with the business sector with respect to attachments. Some business people are also in the boards of SLOIC and LOIC but the private sector is not

Berufsbildung | Evaluierung

involved in curriculum design nor is it consulted in a systematic way for gaining insight in market trends. In no case, including the apprenticeship schemes, a partner is collaborating with a trade association. In the case of rural training centres or projects (at least half of the centres/ projects) the location is an impediment for private sector cooperation.

The purpose of collaboration with other actors is for instance:

• To reach specific target groups, e.g. for advertisement of courses, recruitment of trainees

• To benefit from special expertise, e.g. entrepreneurship or life skill training

• Networking for exchange, resource sharing and lobbying

• Linking graduates to post training support services, e.g. Micro Finance Institutions Most partners cooperate with other organisations for advertisement of courses. MTS advertises courses through other protestant churches and has been trying to collaborate with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in the organisation and funding of attachment without achieving much (the ITF attachment scheme, according to literature, is not functional).

OICG is collaborating with the National Youth Council for recruitment of trainees and involves a specialised NGO in facilitation of seminars on health issues. YOWDAST mobilises communities through churches, community councils, local schools and mosques. YOWDAST works with a small team of core staff and thus intensively uses the capacities of collaborators.

It works with government training providers and the ITF for organisation of skills upgrading courses and facilitation of training seminars, and uses technical resource persons from government departments for vocational counselling of applicants. This approach is cost efficient but has its drawbacks. It is recommended that YOWDAST develops own capacities in core functions such as entrepreneurship training and business counselling.

The OICs are part of an international OIC network. In reality, there has been little exchange and benefit of the affiliation in the past ten years. The partners in Nigeria, due to their isolated locations, work in relative isolation with no interaction with VT actors in other parts of the country. An exposure of the, by then, MTS management with YOWDAST was organised in 2001, but no effects of this interaction were visible. MTS is working with resource persons from public Polytechnics but has no interaction with other non-governmental vocational training centres such as those operated by the YMCA.

Lack of access to credit has been stated to be the most important hindrance for graduates to earn an income. None of the partners has established collaboration with Micro Finance Institutions and none of the graduates who participated in FGD had received a loan from an MFI or knew about MFI offers. OICG made some efforts to link up with MFIs for managing their small scale credit portfolio, but the MFI, according to OICG, did not offer favourable conditions. None of the VTF supported VTIs covered by this study has taken steps to link graduates with credit/ savings schemes, despite the presence of many MFIs in Ghana. The same is true for SLOIC and LOIC. In North Eastern Nigeria, the possibilities of collaboration with MFIs appeared to be limited. Instead, it was recommended that YOWDAST facilitates the formation of saving and credit groups in one village cluster on a pilot level.

The linking of graduates to micro finance services is generally an unresolved critical issue, as young business starters are considered to be a high risk group by MFIs. Trainees should get access to information on savings/ credit schemes. First an introduction into saving schemes would be helpful which might later lead to credit possibilities.

–  –  –

Post training measures for employment promotion The aim of “post training support” is to facilitate graduates’ integration in the labour market

and back into society in the case of displacement. Post training support may include:

• Job placement support • Business start up services including:

Advisory services for starting business/ self employment Provision of subsidised tools and equipment (as grants) Provision of micro credits or facilitating access to credit Post training or “business shelter” facility Post training counselling for reintegration, mediation and resettlement assistance (e.g.

facilitating access to land) in post conflict situations During and after the civil war, LOIC has been engaged in resettlement activities of displaced youth and in reintegration of ex-combatants. These activities, which, besides training, included the distribution of “resettlement kits” (e.g. agricultural tools, seeds), the (rather unsuccessful) attempt to distribute land and follow up through field workers including mediation), have not been subject of this study14. The practice of distributing tool kits has been continued. After training, each graduate receives a tool kit of a value of approximately 65 US$.

SLOIC distributed tools to better motivate graduates but stopped this practice. SLOIC has been planning for some time to construct “post training centres”, where graduates who did not find (self-) employment can work for a year in order to get some practice and to earn an in-come. They would provide graduates with an opportunity to practice business, manage the workshops under guidance and with less risk than in the open market. These centres are not yet functional (the centre at Mattru Jong is under construction) and the management concepts are not very clear yet.

VTF offers specific courses in EST to some female graduates and provides also equipment (sewing machines or tools for hairdressing). VTIs do not provide any further post-training sup-port after the attachment period.

MTS does not provide post training services. The idea of a micro credit facility has been discussed in the past but its feasibility would be very questionable, given that MTS has no expertise and no accreditation of handling loans and little means of recovering credits considering the wide catchment area. MTS is advising its graduates to seek opportunities for apprenticeships, in case they do not find a job, but there are no activities for facilitation of job placement. Again, the rural location (long distances, wide catchment area) is a hindrance for facilitating job placement and self employment.

OICG, in line with the philosophy of OIC International, considers employment promotion an integral part of the “livelihood enhancement project” as the apprenticeship scheme is called.

One to two months before graduation, a so called bridging phase starts where the business development officers (BDOs) start with individual counselling. This activity is meant to initiate a process where trainees start to think what to do after training. The BDOs follow up after training and a record is kept of each graduate. The BDOs provide individual counselling, See EED-FAKT study “promoting livelihood and employment in post conflict situations”, final report 2007.

Berufsbildung | Evaluierung

there is no group counselling and no application of peer to peer methods. Graduates are clustered into three groups: (a) those who work for somebody (employed or as apprentices), (b) self-employed or (c) unemployed. Most attention is paid to the unemployed. Follow up is provided up to one year, in some cases longer. OICG also operates a small credit facility but has put loan distributing on hold because of two reasons: (a) the poor repayment rate, and (b) the low utilisation of the facility by graduates. The latter is a contradiction to the finding of the tracer study, where a majority of respondents said that lack of credit is the main hindrance for earning an income. OICG wants to further investigate this critical issue.

YOWDAST provides an essential piece of equipment to a subsidised rate on the graduation day. For instance a tailor receives a sewing machine, a graduate who opens a business centre a computer, and an automotive mechanic a complete set of tools. YOWDAST is purchasing the item, the graduate has to pay 50% of the costs (in the past, the YOWDAST subsidy was 70%).

This subsidy is a strong incentive to enrol in the scheme but it is also a key sup-porting factor for graduates to succeed in setting up the business. The international consult-ant recommended increasing the self-contribution to 60% so as to reinforce the self-contribution and self-motivation of graduates. YOWDAST is organising workshops and skill upgrading for graduates and plans to intensify these activities. The follow up is rather sporadic. There is no systematic business counselling service. As there are no records six months after graduation, YOWDAST has no information on the business survival rates.

Systems and practices for monitoring and evaluation

The objectives stated in the funding proposals are either very unspecific and refer to overall development goals (e.g. reducing unemployment and poverty) or describe the project outputs (to provide training…). A description of the measurable outcomes in the funding proposal is in most cases missing. Three out of the six partners conduct tracer studies. They collect information on the employment status, but there is no systematic analysis. Usually no information is given in the narrative reports on the percentage of graduates employed and the percentage who work in the field of training.

Monitoring systems are developed to very different degrees. OICG for instance has established an elaborated system for monitoring the quality of the apprenticeship scheme, carries out regular follow ups and documents the results (e.g. the income a graduate earns per months, challenges he/she faces). There are plans (curriculum frameworks) for each trade, which entail learning objectives (although some are not very specific). A monitoring group has been established in every workshop that consists of two trainees and the master. This group is monitoring the purchase of training materials and the process of learning. Primary monitoring is executed by the training officer who visits every workshop twice, at least once a month. Besides monitoring, these visits have the purpose to motivate trainees and to solve any arising issue between the master and the trainees. For YOWDAST monitoring of the apprenticeship scheme is more challenging at the geographic area is very wide and some areas are difficult to access. The outreach system (monitoring through field advisors) is not working very well, monitoring visits are not frequent enough. The situation may well be exploited by the master trainers. Monitoring is a concern of the management. It is thought that the weaknesses in follow up have affected the quality of the apprenticeship training.

The VTI supported by VTF have developed good documentation systems with assistance of VTF. In most other cases record keeping and data documentation is a problem. SLOIC keeps gender disaggregated student records, and has a monitoring tool called Project Performance Tracking (PPT). Instructors develop Weekly Lesson Plans and monthly Operational Work

Berufsbildung | Evaluierung

Plans (OWPs). In LOIC the record keeping is generally weak. In most cases there were no records with the contact data of graduates at the time of their graduation, which is a precondition for providing any follow up. MTS monitors the attendance of students and regularly tests students’ performance in theory and practice. The government curricula are used as a basis for testing. The management is starting to pay special attention to the monitoring of the financial performance of the production units.

Three of the six partners (VTF, OICG and YOWDAST) conduct tracer studies. In the case of OICG the study is conducted once in every three year funding phase. OICG received training on tracer studies from an external consultant. VTF has initiated tracer studies in the VTI.

YOWDAST is conducting a tracer study six months after graduation. At this time, graduates have just received their tools/ equipment and start to practice. The tracer study only covers the most basic issues; i.e. whether a person is employed. MTS conducted the last tracer study in 1999/2000, but did not analyse the results. Since there are no follow-up mechanisms, there were no records available of the whereabouts and the employment status of graduates since then. Instructors in LOIC and SLOIC sometimes seem to know what their trainees are doing but the results are not documented.

All partners have weaknesses in the analysis of tracer study data and the utilisation for institutional management, possibly with the exception of OICG. In the skills enhancement project the monitoring information is shared regularly in staff meetings and actions are planned accordingly. In the case of the VTI it appears that once the data is collected and reports are prepared no conclusions are drawn from the results. The centres continue to give the same type of training since many years, regardless whether the employment rate is satisfactory or not. Whenever conclusions are drawn, as in the case of this study, the VTIs appear not to have the institutional mechanisms to implement the required changes and no substantial modifications of training programmes are made. YOWDAST has more informal ways of discussing results but again, the tracer study data is collected but not analysed (and not even used in narrative reports). The three other partners do not conduct tracer studies.

All partners have been evaluated in the past years, in few cases with international evaluators.

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