PROMAN has gained a leading position as a supplier of high quality services in a number of core sectors. Principal areas of specialisation relate to human and social development and governance.
TVET needs to ensure that educational and training systems produce students at different levels whose skills and qualifications respond to the realities of the labour market. TVET has gained (and rightfully so) a prominent place on the development agenda and PROMAN is keen to contribute to this process, having successfully worked at both training institute and at national policy levels.
Low priority, lack of comprehensive strategy and heavily underfinancing have left the TVET sector in many developing countries scattered and fragmented, with obsolete equipment and a curriculum not adapted to the demands of the labour market; and typically suffering from low esteem.
In recent years there has, however, been an increasing shift towards TVET in national policies and in development cooperation. This prioritisation of TVET is mainly due to a huge increase in unemployment since 2008, especially amongst the youth; the realisation that the focus on primary education was too narrowly conceived and that bottlenecks now occur at the level of continued education; and finally a new focus on private sector development which raises the question as to what type of training is requested. The debate on how the ideal TVET system should look like and to what criteria it should respond is vivid and interesting. What stakeholders agree upon is that a simple upgrading of existing systems will not be sufficient but that a profound transformation is needed in the design, governance, funding and organisation of the sector.
There is a need for a coherent governance and comprehensive policy for TVET involving all key stakeholders, various ministries (typically Education and Labour/Employment) but also representatives of industry and commerce, workers as well as employers, and training institutions. The government will have to take a coordinating and regulating role, rather than solely that of TVET provider. National Qualification Frameworks – if efficiently established and maintained – which recognize and validate skills, however acquired, may play an important role in facilitating an integrated approach to skills development. Efficient Labour Market Information Services are similarly vital.
While it is true that a training system should respond to the demands of the labour market and that there is a need for flexible TVET systems responding to and even anticipating those needs, there is also a requirement for a proper balance between generic learning and social skills and the specific vocational skills. TVET systems should also be much less gender-biased and more inclusive. A better integration of TVET into the education system with seamless transition from primary or secondary education (or training) to higher levels of learning and training, with linkages between general and vocational training (back and forth) should help in integrating TVET into the education system as a valid option rather than as the fall-back solution of last resort for the most disadvantaged.
PROMAN’s expertise focuses primarily on: