By: Dr Yao KOUASSI, Consultant, Education Expert
In Côte d’Ivoire, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) ambitions to achieve the following: (i) meet people’s vocational training needs; and (ii) ensure companies are staffed with qualified personnel to boost both their performance and competitiveness.
Most studies on the TVET system have highlighted major shortcomings, including:
- The low level of consultation between the academic and corporate worlds
- Training curricula not matching economic needs
- The TVET system’s low efficiency levels, both internally and externally
A whole conference could be hosted on any of such issues. At this conference, however, I will not discuss all of them.
Some people would be better placed to discuss possible solutions to each of such identified issues, because they are more qualified and currently help in drafting reforms needed in our TVET system.
Apart from major reforms covering the whole TVET system, I am interested in pilot initiatives led by the Ministry in charge of TVET, with some of its partners, to deal with an apparently inherent part of the capitalist mode of production, i.e. the challenge to match training and employment needs.
In full-employment, blossoming economies, companies faced with a shortage of labour force search elsewhere, including abroad, in a drive to secure skilled workers. Most often, the workforce is quantitatively insufficient. Such a discrepancy, however, is rather scarce nowadays and only a few countries in the globe are faced with this.
The most worrisome discrepancy is both quantitative and qualitative. In such contexts, graduates are unemployed while some jobs remain unfilled. Without a doubt, we can say that this describes most sub-Saharan African countries, including Côte d’Ivoire.
My focus is on proposals being crafted by Ministries in charge of TVET in Côte d’Ivoire to deal with this and, specifically, those related to school governance and the relationship between the training system and the labour market.
The following questions will help frame discussions on how to match training and employment needs:
- What training/qualifications are needed for what jobs?
- What jobs match the present times? Which will emerge in the future?
- What jobs will be in demand in the future? Are we well equipped to handle tomorrow’s jobs?
- What qualifications will be needed?
- How to track companies’ qualification needs as they evolve? Are companies able to define clearly and outline their qualification needs?
These questions may help authorities, training institutions, companies and future workers anticipate new challenges.
- Caring about and preparing for the future
- Ensuring stakeholders’ accountability
- Being bold.
With conference participants, I would like to discuss the various governance approaches and models implemented and/or being experimented in Côte d’Ivoire’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system. These include the following:
Model 1: The ‘classic’ model is the one currently used in CI’s TVET system
Model 2: Introducing a relatively autonomous governance of TVET centres
Model 3: Dubbed Skills for Employability and Productivity (PDC), this Public-Private Partnership-based governance model has been designed by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) within the framework of the Côte d’Ivoire Compact programme.
In a nutshell, my paper will present various models, serve as a basis to discuss improvements brought in with any of the two (2) newly proposed models, and shed light on requirements for a successful implementation of each model.