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International Partnerships

New Vocational, Education and Training Toolbox will support Africans to develop skills for the job market

News 08 June 2021 Brussels

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Investment not only needs finance but also people with the right skills. A pilot project, the Vocational, Education and Training (VET) Toolbox 2, will support people to develop skills in eleven sub-Saharan African countries. The European Commission has launched the pilot project today.

In the next 15 years, some 450 million young Africans will enter the labour market, and many will have difficulties to find decent jobs. While many look for jobs, at the same time, businesses complain that they cannot find employees with the right skills. The European Commission supports jobs creation on both supply and demand side. On one hand, the EU boosts investment and develops the private sector and trade. On the other hand, the EU helps prepare people, through education and skills, to meet the needs of the labour market.

A pilot project, VET Toolbox 2, aims to address the skills mismatch and so enhance the impact of European investment in eleven sub-Saharan African countries: Congo Brazzaville, DRC, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. It does so in three steps: European Agencies, who implement the project, will together with EU Delegations and local stakeholders 1) map the skill needs of sectors that benefit from European investment. Then, they will 2) help local VET institutions to deliver targeted skills training which benefits investors and especially local business partners. This will allow businesses to engage in supply and value chains. Finally, 3) the lessons learned will contribute to new policies, making VET supply more relevant.

The pilot project contributes to the European Commission’s ambition to increase funding for education to at least 10% of the EU long-term budget.

“This launch is a big moment for the millions of young people coming on the job market over the coming years. VET provides youth with the skills needed to adjust to the new economy and lead to inclusive growth. This can really have a positive snowball effect on investment in local economies. I hope that this pioneering pilot project further inspires larger EU VET programmes in Africa in the coming years,” said Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, in her video message to the participants of the launch event.

Background information

The project is jointly co-financed by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It will be implemented by Enabel, the Belgian Development Agency, Luxembourg Agency for Development Cooperation (LuxDev), British Council (BC), Expertise France (EF), and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), a consortium led by Enabel.

More information: https://www.vettoolbox.eu/