Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Relevance of Entrepreneurship Training in a Market-Driven Economy

A number of African countries that have embraced economic reforms have experienced a shrinking formal sector. This has been due to privatisation of para-statal companies and state-owned companies. Zambia is one of the African countries that has adopted a market driven economy. This has led to the growth of the informal sector. A number of people in the informal sector lack adequate entrepreneurial and technical skills. The Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) sector has been reformed to make it responsive to the changing scenario in the reformed economy. Entrepreneurship training for the formal and informal sector has been introduced in TEVET institutions. A number of organisations have been formed to provide training in skills required in the informal sector.

The TEVET Policy aims to improve technical training and vocational training and link it to the requirements of the employment sector. The TEVET policy recognises the following categories of people in our society as the most likely to benefit the country from this training: school leavers (i.e. Grade 7, Grade 9 and Grade 12); employees in the formal sector; entrepreneurs, both in formal and informal sector; the unemployed and underemployed – including employees in the informal sector; women; and retrenches. Entrepreneurship training is integrated in TEVET curricula. A number of institutions are offering entrepreneurship training. Is this meeting the needs of both the formal and informal sectors? Are trainees becoming employers and starting their own enterprises or most still expect employment? Is the Entrepreneurship Training relevant to the market driven economy? This paper addresses these issues by examining relevant documents such as the TEVET Policy, Training Policy, Vision 2030 and Entrepreneurship curricula.

Objectives of the Paper:

  • To contribute to the development of strategic interventions that promote sustainable socio -economic development in Zambia;
  • To assess how the TEVET Policy has addressed entrepreneurship training in Zambia;
  • To identify how the country hopes to achieve a middle-income economy through strengthened entrepreneurship training;

Key words: Entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurship training; Curriculum; market driven economy.

(This paper was presented at the National Curriculum Symposium of the Zambian Ministry of Education held in Lusaka in June 2009).

The full paper can be downloaded from:

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