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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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Except for the largest centre in Bo, not all courses were offered at each centre; courses were selected based on local needs. In Mattru Jong, boat making and weaving components were added. Originally the training course lasted 18 months. During and after the war the duration had to be shortened because there was a high need for semi-skilled workers. SLOIC has now Quote from OIC International Website.

Berufsbildung | Evaluierung

decided to increase the duration again (12 months training and six months internship), which brings it close to the formal, school based training approach.

Over the years, SLOIC has developed among government and the larger society the credibility and recognition of being one of the leading institutions for vocational and technical training in the country.

2.1.4 Vocational Training for Females Programme (VTF), Ghana

VTF was started in 1992 by the Presbyterian Church of Ghana with support of EED, in response to the high unemployment rate among the youth and especially females. Its vision is to create ‘females with employable skills having sustainable livelihoods’. VTF facilitates employable skills training of non-governmental and governmental vocational training institutions (VTIs). Activities include promotion of female trainees to create and set up enterprises on a sustainable basis, provision of career counselling to help female trainees to find employment, strengthening of females socially and politically, networking with partners in VT, training of trainers and instructors of TVET institutions and advocacy for a positive TVET system.

a) VTF works with a total of 42 VTIs. Those 42 VTIs consist of 10 church-based VTIs, 24 VTIs under the Community Development Department of the Ministry of Local Government and 8 VTIs under the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) of the Ministry of Employment. The VTIs are situated in urban, semi urban and rural environments. The evaluation team split up and therefore could visit altogether five VTIs (Anglican Voc. Inst. at Teshie-Accra, St Mary VTI at Asamankese, PREVOC at Begoro,CYO, Sovie, EPTTC, Alavanyo Volta region) The VTIs supported by VTF all adopt a centre-based vocational training approach, working with graduates of primary and junior secondary schools and dropouts. Most of the VTIs train girls. The certification offered by VTIs is accredited by the GoG.

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2.1.5 Masons Technical School, Garkida, North East Nigeria Masons’ Technical School (MTS) was established in 1991 by an American missionary. The aim, according to the MTS mission statement developed in 2008, is “to create job opportunities through the provision of vocational, technical, Christian and moral education capable of making the youth self-reliant, thereby reducing social vices in the society.”4 Legal owner is the EYN Church (Ekklesiar Yan’uwa). From 1992 to 1998, MTS received financial support from BftW, starting from 1999, EED became the principal donor.

MTS started small, with one automotive section and nine students (one female) who graduated in 1993. Today, MTS has five training departments (automotive, carpentry, tailoring, computer, electrical installation/ electronics). A sixth department (catering) is due to be opened after the school holidays in June/ July. New classrooms for computer and a workshop for tailoring are presently under construction.

The VT approach of MTS is formal vocational education except for two courses which are more practice oriented. Four of the six courses offered last two years. Students undertake industrial attachment, one month in the first year and three months in the second. The certification (MTS diploma) is not accredited by the government. Entry criterion is successful graduation of senior secondary education. The entry test focuses on English and Maths, the first year of training focuses on general education and trade theory. MTS is situated in a rural town. The catchment area is the North East of Nigeria, with the majority of trainees coming from the Adamawa and Borno State. MTS offers boarding facilities. The centre is not engaged in post training follow up services.

2.1.6 Opportunities Industrialization Centres Ghana (OICG), Livelihood Enhancement Project for Youth in the Kumasi Metropolis The Opportunities Industrialisation Centre Ghana was established as an NGO in 1971. It was the first OIC affiliate in Africa, looking back on almost four decades of experience in providing vocational training. OICG operates three vocational training centres situated in Accra, Sekondi Takoradi and Kumasi. The Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare provides financial support to these centres.

In 1999, OICG started a pilot project of “improved informal apprenticeship” with EU funding in Sekondi-Takoradi. The EED funded project in Kumasi, subject of this case study, commenced in 2001. Its overall goal is to contribute towards the alleviation of poverty among Ghanaian youth, the project objective is to facilitate placement of Kumasi youth into employment and to assist project graduates owning a business to increase incomes. The project operates in an urban environment.

Quote from strategic plan, 2008, p..9.

Berufsbildung | Evaluierung The approach applied is called “improved apprenticeship”. Youths selected by the project are placed into apprenticeships with master trainers on the basis of an agreement. All youth are school drop outs who have not reached senior secondary level. The project pays a training fee and provides training materials. It offers a number of additional inputs which aim at “adding value” to informal apprenticeship such as orientation seminars for master trainers and trainees before the training starts, training on entrepreneurship and life skills for trainees and upgrading for master trainers in instruction methodologies. OICG provides business and social counselling to trainees during and up to one year after training (in some cases longer) and provides loans for business start ups. The loan scheme is small scale and presently on hold.

2.1.7 Women Development Association for Social Transformation (YOWDAST), Ganye Nigeria The Youth and Women Development Association for Social Transformation (YOWDAST) was founded in 1996 by the Lutheran Church of Christ of Nigeria. YOWDAST is a membership organisation that aims at combating poverty in one of the most backward and marginalised areas of Nigeria. In 1999, YOWDAST started the Youth and Women Skill Acquisition Project (YOWSAP) with funding from EED. The project objective is to provide youth and women with the necessary vocational skills which will alleviate them from poverty and make them self reliant. YOWSAP is the only project of YOWDAST, except for some small scale adult education initiatives. The project is operating in four local government units which cover the southern part of the Adamawa State out of which two were visited during the main study.

The vocational training approach used is informal apprenticeship. Most of the trainees come from rural communities. YOWDAST mobilises communities, involves communities in selection of trainees, provides orientation seminars to masters and trainees before the training starts and provides some follow up during the training phase. Workshops are organised once per year for trainees, graduates and masters respectively. They cover a range of topics, from entrepreneurship to civil rights and conflict prevention issues. YOWDAST, in collaboration with government institutes, also provides skill upgrading to trainees, graduates and masters once in a while.

Trainees select the master trainer themselves, preferably close to their homes. Most of the skill training is on-the-job. YOWDAST has been attaching trainees to enterprises in 17 different trade areas; the majority of trainees is female. The organisation pays a training fee (flat rate for all trades). The training is supposed to last one year, in practice it is often longer. YOWDAST is not paying for materials or transport. On graduation day graduates are given a piece of equipment and/ or tools of which YOWDAST has paid 50% of the costs, the rest has to be contributed by the trainee. In the past, the self contribution was 30%. YOWDAST does provide some limited follow up, but not regular.

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2.2 Labour market context The principal challenge for all African economies over the next decade is to create productive employment for 7 to 10 Million annual new entrants into the labour market5. Population growth rates in West Africa are amongst the highest in the world (on average between 2.5 – 2.7%). Although economic progress has been made in the region, economic growth and particularly growth of employment has been lower than population growth. The effects of the cur-rent financial and economic crises on the local economies in West Africa have yet to be seen. The decline in remittances from oversee migrant workers are an indirect threat to the local labour markets.

Comprehensive labour force data is not available in any of the four countries. Labour market and TVET studies as well as discussions with policy makers during this study show that even in Ghana, which has made modest economic progress in the past years (average GDP-growth rate of 6,2% in 2005-08)6, the growth of job opportunities in the formal sector of the economy is insignificant with respect to the whole economy. The best possibilities may exist in modern growth oriented industrial sectors such as ICT. On the whole, probably less than 5-10% of the entire work force earns a livelihood in the formal economic sectors, public sector included. In the war affected economies of Liberia and Sierra Leone this percentage is thought to be smaller. Agriculture and the informal sector (also called subsistence economy) is the major source of livelihood for the vast majority of young people leaving and graduating from school.

Working conditions in the informal sector are often harsh and employment conditions are generally unstable. Workers have no security; payments are made on a daily basis and depend on the jobs available. Interviews with graduates show that the boundaries between wage and self employment are often blurred.

With the number of job-seekers increasing every day, labour absorption capacity of the informal sector is limited, with the result that competition in some sub-sectors is increasing and earnings are declining. This trend is particularly visible in economic sub-sectors where business entry barriers and skill requirements are low, where supply of labour is plentiful and job and thus income opportunities stagnate. In hair braiding, a common business for females in urban Ghana, earnings for starters are often just above the poverty level (about 1.5 US$ a day). The small scale Batik industry has virtually collapsed because of imports of cheap textiles from the Far East.

In other sectors, especially those which have experienced growth in the past years and which have seen technological advancement that require workers with better skills, job and income opportunities do exist. Individual cases of graduates show that decent livelihoods are possible in sectors were well skilled workers are in need. One example is the construction industry.

Skilled persons can even make a living in trades which are widely thought to be saturated such as carpentry and tailoring, given that a person has both, employable skills and determination to succeed in the market. New income opportunities arise with the increase in trading of cheap industrial goods, even in rural areas. In rural Nigeria the sales of cheap Chinese motorbikes has been sharply increasing in the past years, which in turn offered new income Skills development in Sub-Saharan Africa, World Bank, 2004.

According to World Bank: World Development Indicators.

Berufsbildung | Evaluierung

opportunities for traders of spare parts and motorbike mechanics alike. The import of second hand electronic goods of all sorts has increased in the entire region. This trend plus the widespread use of mobile phones is opening doors for new income opportunities for both sexes.

The final quote comes from an Indian consultant on the subject of entrepreneurship who has been working in Africa: “where there are people there are business opportunities”.

2.3 Labour market challenges for TVET

TVET systems in Africa face a common challenge: they are rooted in the colonial history, are often geared towards formal sector employment and do not recognise the potential of traditional African systems of skill acquisition, namely informal or traditional apprenticeship.

While informal enterprises venture into the era of new technologies (indeed, you can learn repairing a mobile phone or operating a business centre “on the job”), vocational training providers tend to stick to a set of conventional trades often without noticing that new market opportunities arise. The same applies to the national TVET systems where curricula often remained unchanged for several decades without any modifications, despite changes in technologies and markets.

Experiences from West Africa (Ghana) and East Africa (Kenya) show that TVET institutions lost ground in the past two decades. They commonly face three challenges: the challenge of access, the challenge of relevance and the challenge of costs. Two factors effectively exclude the poor from formal TVET: the costs of vocational training (if not subsidised by government) and senior secondary education as a selection criterion for formal TVET. As seen in Ghana today (and a decade before in Kenya), many young people are turning away from costly, school based vocational training and seek training opportunities in the informal economy

which they believe give them better chances to get a job. The signs have been obvious:

although the number of young job seekers is on the increase, the demand for vocational training in VTI has often declined.

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