Thursday, November 3, 2011

Best Practice on TEVET Graduate Empowerment Toolkit Scheme

This paper examines the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) Graduate Empowerment Toolkit Scheme in Zambia, which was launched in 2007 by the Government of the Republic of Zambia in partnership with the Indian Government in an effort to curb youth unemployment.

Zambia has been affected by economic recession during which unemployment increased following the failure of companies and the privatization of government services. This economic crisis has compounded the already prevailing high unemployment resulting from the stagnation of the formal sector, as well as population growth which had outstripped the amenities offered by government. Almost 50% of Zambia’s population are young people and 80% of them are not employed (Central Statistics Office, 2009). As they dropped out of school, there were no jobs to absorb these young people. Moreover, even graduates coming out of technical colleges were unable to find employment. This prevailing unemployment context had a negative impact on the country’s prospects for wealth creation, not only at the present time but also in the foreseeable future.

It was in this regard that the government decided that young people attending Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (MSTVT) training institutions should first be equipped with entrepreneurship skills and secondly that they should benefit from support services enabling them to envisage productive ventures. It is in light of the above that the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) Graduate Empowerment Toolkit Scheme was implemented in 2008 in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges to curb unemployment by empowering and motivating TEVET graduates to start small businesses.

This best practice report on the TEVET Graduate Empowerment Toolkit Scheme is based on the review and interpretation of available literature on school enterprises and vocational training graduate toolkit schemes, coupled with information gathered through interviews conducted with college management, TEVET graduate scheme co-ordinators and TVET graduates. The general conclusions reached following an examination of the TEVET Graduate Toolkit Scheme are as follows:

  • There is a need to re-orient TVET curricula to ensure that entrepreneurship is integrated into training programmes. This must include knowledge and skills related to the formation of enterprises, business planning and running a successful business.
  • There is a need for training institutions to have business incubators where students can try out business ideas before forming graduate companies. These incubators should have adequate equipment and resources related to entrepreneurship, business development and management.
  • Industrial practice sessions for TVET students should be emphasized and all students should participate in a business or industrial attachment during their studies. This helps students to gain industrial experience that will be useful when they set up their own companies.
(This excerpt is part of a full article in the TVET Best Practice Clearinghouse published by UNESCO-UNEVOC in 2010)

The rest of the article can be downloaded from: http://bit.ly/suQtrh

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