This TVET strategy document provides a strategic framework for the development of national policies to address the challenges of technical and vocational training. The strategy addresses the cross cutting issues of governance, innovation and creativity, employability and relevance, with the main thrust being development of TVET systems that prepare young people to be job creators rather than job seekers.
A central theme within the continental TVET strategy is the strengthening of global partnerships to support skills development in the continent. The participation of key stakeholders is crucial in TVET and this strategy advocates for a structured and continuous collaboration between the productive sectors, social partners, training institutions and professional associations, among other strategic partners.
Through such partnerships, programmes to spur development of appropriate TVET ecosystems will be promoted so that the youth develop the concrete skills they will need to plan and operate successful entrepreneurial ventures. This may include creation of incentives for industry and other stakeholders to co-fund commercialization of innovative ideas in TVET and the development of business incubation and mentoring systems.
The strategy calls for encouragement and support for research in TVET as little current information about TVET is available. There is need to strengthen TVET research within the continent to ensure availability of data and information that would promote a better understanding as well as facilitate evidence-based policy development, monitoring and evaluation. TVET research will ultimately lead to identification and addressing of gaps in curriculum implementation and market linkages through capacity building programmes for key players in member states.
In addition, National, Regional and Continental centres of excellence, as focal points in sharing of TVET best practices would be promoted.
There has always been a negative perception of TVET and as such, TVET suffers from low esteem, appreciation and appeal. This inferiority perception is reinforced by the fact that in most countries, students joining the vocational education stream find it difficult to proceed to higher education. It is important to create transition pathways between TVET and general education that would make progression from TVET to higher education easier. Rigorous and sustained advocacy will also be important if negative perceptions in TVET are to change and envisaged goals realized. It will be necessary for the Member states and RECs to build corporate communication culture around TVET systems for greater visibility, identity and impact.