Development of Cooperative Training Implementation Guide for TVET Institutions.

This cooperative training implementation guide is developed by an independent consultancy firm called Game Changers Consulting PLC in collaboration with First Consult – BRIDGES Program.  BRIDGES is a five-year programme (2019-2024) that aims to create employment opportunities for young women and men by unlocking the job creation potential of industrial parks, large enterprises as well as micro, small and medium enterprises.  With Ethiopia’s labour force expanding by two million each year, BRIDGES seeks to contribute toward the country’s efforts to create productive and decent jobs for the youth by direct job creation within factories, as well as promoting employment opportunities in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The result of these efforts will be the creation of jobs for more than 500,000 young people.

It is the aim of this guide to explain the cooperative training approach and related implementation phases necessary to successfully implement Cooperative Training (CT) through Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions in Ethiopia. It is intended to provide guidance how substantial participation of the private and business sector in the implementation of TVET can be achieved.

Technical and vocational education and training or TVET is designed to be delivered through work-based learning, often referred to as ‘cooperative training’. Obviously, this arrangement demands the collaborative efforts of companies, enterprises and the relevant institutions. Cooperative training is a model of training by the cooperation of enterprises/industries and TVET institutions whereby trainees spend much of their time in the enterprises/industries to acquire industrial knowledge, skills, experiences, and attitudes of the industrial environment and the remaining time in TVET institutions to acquire basic skills and theoretical concepts.

The objectives of cooperative training is to educate and train effectively and cost-efficiently a workforce which possesses the competencies needed on the labor market; to bring stakeholders together to work on the provision of suitably qualified manpower. To achieve these objectives it is necessary to encourage enterprises to participate in the training process voluntarily and regularly in their own interest, to gain a qualified workforce and at their own expense, and to motivate participating enterprises to assign experienced trainers to plan and supervise training in order to maintain and increase their competitiveness and performance in an ever-changing market. Cooperative training familiarizes TVET trainees to the actual working atmosphere and enables them to develop the required skills and competencies that demanded by enterprises. In other words, it increases the employability of the trainees after completion of the necessary technical and vocational trainings appropriately. Within this context, cooperative training methods are seen as tools that enable occupation related knowledge and a skill to be passed and ensure that apprentices learn about the way that industries work is structured. To make smooth transition from school to work TVET cooperative system must establish deep-seated links with stakeholders. This cooperative training implementation guide is developed to solve the two common problems of the existing cooperative training implementation shortcomings: (1) Lack of awareness of private sector stakeholders which  resulting in; wrongly assigned apprentices, unfair grading, inability to mentor the apprentices, lack of feedback, insufficient training of the apprentices, hesitation to admit apprentices, refusal to sign an MoU , failure to prepare common training plans with TVET colleges, challenges to balance training and production time, absence of facilities  and lack of well-designed cooperative training programmes;  and  (2). Limited commitment of TVET institutions which resulting in; lack of follow-up, problems of linkages with multi-hosting partners, high number of apprentices requiring apprenticeship training, limited infrastructure and trained/motivated personnel, apprentices’ lack of interest, trainees’ misbehaviour and limited means of communication with the enterprises. Therefore; this cooperative training implementation guide is designed to implement high-quality and effective cooperative training with similar approaches and formats, such as MoU between enterprises and TVET Institutes, training plan and evaluation methods for regular and short-term training programs. This makes clear what to train, how to train and evaluate the trainees by the industry/enterprises.  Moreover, the trainees easily associate the training with the real world work and improve the collaboration between the TVET institutions with the industries/enterprises to improve the quality of cooperative training.

In summary; this cooperative training implementation guide is organized with two major parts, i.e., part 1 deals with an overview on the conceptual basis of Ethiopian TVET strategy, cooperative training systems, common challenges and problems of cooperative training implementation in Ethiopia, benefits of cooperative training approach, clear roles and responsibilities of key actors, the main intention of cooperative training and guiding principles are described. In part 2, the cooperative training (CT) implementation phases (CT preparation, CT implementation, CT assessment and evaluation), which are necessary to implement Cooperative Training within the TVET institutions are explained.  It provides a clear guide how Cooperative Training shall be prepared and organized to ensure that TVET trainees will gain sufficient practical competences and workplace experience and thereby to significantly increase their employability. The guide also presents lessons learned and best practices of different countries in the annex section of this document.