Vocational Education & Training
Vocational training and skills development is generally perceived to contribute to economic growth through their direct link to labour productivity. The initial development and constant upgrading of market relevant skills are therefore critical factors in realizing state’s goal of accelerated economic growth through productivity growth.
Many African Governments recognize that a skilled workforce is also fundamental to the attainment of the objectives of increased export-oriented manufacturing and improved economic competitiveness. Among other things, transition to a Knowledge Based Economy will demand a skilled, competitive workforce. Unfortunately, at present skills shortage is one of the most critical constraints to growth and employment creation.
The key challenges in Vocational education & Training in many African countries.
(a) Weak Managerial capacity – Need to strengthen management capacity of the system to respond to, and involve employers in policy decisions and directing the system, i.e. to make it more demand-led.
(b) Decentralize public skills provision to respond better to local requirements and stimulate initiatives;
(c) Poor public training capacity – Need to build the quality of training;
(d) Financing -Reduce reliance on the government for financing and provisioning of skills development, and
(e) Poor Access – Inadequate coverage and outputs equitably.
Amongst other challenges in many African countries cited by the African Development Bank report includes, obsolete equipment, gender bias.
AfBBA’s Strategies for Improvement – Intervention through Collaboration, which are aimed at strengthening the existing skills as well as provide a range of new skills and which stimulate initiatives and providing relevant skills for development of economy; particularly enable the object of knowledge based economy to be met.
It is expected that the collaborative endeavor between Colleges of Further Education in the UK with counterparts in African countries, will contribute towards building the capacity of the vocational and education sector through transference of knowledge, development of Skills -for employment and for enterprise, as well as skills for continuing professional development and for gaining access to higher education.
The intervention will also enable some of the above challenges outlined above to be ameliorated on a longer run.