• Friday, June 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Private sector driven TVET boosts local skills development, standardisation

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At the 2016 BusinessDay’s CEO’s Forum last week, the consensus among CEOs present was that Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Nigeria was in bad shape and deteriorating.

This they said was increasing the costs incurred for retraining their hires from both the formal and informal labour market, and advocated a private sector-led TVET policy.

Juan Elegido, vice-chancellor of Pan-Atlantic University, lamented the poor state of technical and vocational education, and contended that since 1999, there had been a steady improvement in primary and secondary education due to private sector participation. However, he said, “technical and vocational education is in a terrible shape.”

Prakash Kanth, director, OLAM Nigeria Limited, lamented the paucity of relevant skills among those applying for positions at OLAM, saying, “We spend enormous sums of money in retraining graduates who come applying for positions with us. The educational system needs urgent overhaul.”

Experts say to fix the deterioration of technical and vocational education in Nigeria, seven conditions are necessary: a National Qualifications Framework (NQF): Education and training systems, in partnership with private sector stakeholders, must develop, classify, and establish sets of criteria for levels of learning and competency attained in knowledge, application, skills, and the use of technology. NQF has become the cornerstone of most European and Australian TVET reforms.

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Frank Aigbogun, Publisher, BUSINESSDAY and guests At the 2016 BusinessDay’s CEO’s Forum

Curriculum Blending and Ladders: The curricula at the upper secondary and tertiary levels should be widened to incorporate both general and vocational-technical content in experiential learning programmes. Blending allows for greater mobility within the system, whereby students who demonstrate competency can access higher education opportunities.

Apprenticeships, Internships, and On-the-Job Learning: The effectiveness of practical learning through apprenticeships, internships, and on-the-job learning has been demonstrated by the German dual system. Both the United Kingdom and German experiences have shown the benefits and highlighted the challenges in generating sufficient numbers of apprenticeship and internship placements for young people. Public policies along with business support are essential to promoting and supporting this TVET component.

Lifelong Learning and Adult and Continuous Education: Effective career guidance—as early in the education system as possible – is needed to help limit student uncertainty regarding training and employment, lower drop-out rates, and improve student commitment.

Partnerships with Industry and the Private Sector: Working with social partners, such as industry associations, non-profit organisations, and other NGO entities, has proven to be helpful in the reform process. Industry and Sector Skills Councils have been established to elicit and coordinate information, research labour market needs, and assist in establishing partnerships among educational institutions and social partners.

Mix of Financing of TVET and Equity: full subsidy of TVET within the national education system (France), private sector financing and delivery (UK), and mixed public and private financing (Germany). All reform systems consistently demonstrate the benefits of public-private support for TVET, offering “needs-based” public sector subsidies and private sector financing through user fees to a wider group of participants and firms.

TVET and Higher Education: Throughout Europe and the world, TVET is rapidly being integrated into tertiary education, particularly through the use of short-cycle programs linked to two-year certification programs. Incorporating these wider tracks in higher education offers more flexibility in achieving qualifications and skills.