The Heads of State and Government Summit of the African Union held in Malabo in June 2014 adopted the Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) Continental Strategy. It is based on the fundamental principle that there is a need for a paradigm shift in the perception of technical and vocational education and training. It is therefore important to set up or restructure a TVET system that;
Restore the image of TVET, which should not be considered as the last option when all the others have failed;
Addresses all the levels: from primary to higher education, informal and formal sector as well as public and private sector;
Ensures adequate linkages between Training and the Labour market needs ;
Acts as an actor of youth empowerment on the continent in order to meet the challenge of making available human resources capable to meet development needs.
The African Union Commission in an effort to revitalize TVET in Africa and to establish a pool of high-quality TVET centres across Africa, launched a competition to uncover the 20 most promising models in TVET for the 21st century from the five AU regions. The selected model centres will serve as examples of best practice of TVET in Africa, in order to provide exemplars and learning models for enhancing TVET development in Africa. A total of 46 applications were reviewed, out of which the 20 centres were selected. Key areas identified and in line with the Continental Strategy for TVET to Foster Youth Employment included; program accessibility to all particularly the minority, private sector partnership and engagement, linkage with employers’ associations, provision across all learning pathways (formal, informal and non-formal), sustainability, scalability and innovativeness.
The selected Model Centres were exhibited during the 1st session of the AU Specialised Technical Committee on Education, Science and Technology held in Addis Ababa from 27th to 30th October 2015.
The African Union Continental TVET expert Group was also inaugurated. The purpose of the group is to serve as a think-tank to support the AUC, RECs and Member States to help them design and implement effective, innovative TVET on the continent. The Working Group shall advise on activities towards the implementation of the Continental TVET Strategy.
The 10 member expert group is charged with advising, supporting and advocating for the strengthening and scaling up of investments in TVET, greater links with industry and alignment to labour markets, resulting in a TVET Paradigm Shift for Africa. It will also provide an additional layer of accountability as part of monitoring and evaluation of implementation progress.
The Department of HRST, through the JLMP is also undertaking a study on Skills Portability regimes at the Regional Economic Community (REC) and Continental levels. The study will inform policy options for African Union Member States on Recognition of Qualification Frameworks leading to enhanced labour mobility. This will enable workers gain access to job opportunities and to adjust to changing labour markets within RECs.