TVETs and Workforce Development

The growing problem of youth unemployment in Africa is a major concern of many governments. According to recentĀ  estimates by the World Bank, more than 10 million young Africans, often poorly skilled, leave the school system every year in search of jobs in local employment markets which are not expanding fast enough to create jobs. Many of these job seekers lack the requisite skills employers want. Without employment-related skills, school leavers cannot benefit from even the minimal employment opportunities that may be available to them.

Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is the most practical avenue for acquiring readily employable skills for the world of work. Africa needs skilled workers. In particular, competent artisans and technicians are needed to fill skills gaps in various sectors of the economy, including the building and construction industry, power and energy plants, water distribution and sanitation systems, and large public works. Adequately trained workers are also in short supply in the hospitality and agro-processing sectors. Furthermore, African countries need highly skilled technical personnel to drive the agenda of transforming their economies through value-addition to their primary commodities and natural resources. Well-functioning TVET systems are best placed to train the skilled workforce which Africa needs to address its socio-economic development challenges.

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