Strengthening Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Benin

In Benin, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector is marred by a lack of financing, infrastructure and facilitator training. To make progress, workers need access to vocational training relevant to the job market, and to have the knowledge and skills that they have acquired throughout their life, to be formally recognized.

Benin is committed to improving its education system with TVET being the government’s second highest priority after primary and secondary education. UNESCO has taken on a leading role through its Capacity Development for Education (CapED) Programme to help energize and drive this new vision for TVET, while also strengthening the dialogue between other agencies that are contributing to developing TVET in Benin.

In April 2018, CapED supported a diagnosis of the TVET system, including a strong labour market analysis, identifying strengths and weaknesses of the six priority sectors and related implications on skills development needs. This TVET policy review has been validated by the government, and key national stakeholders during a national workshop in May. Building on the review’s findings, in June 2018, the country adopted a new Education Sector Plan for the period 2018-2030. The plan’s objectives include expanding relevant vocational training and developing a National TVET Strategy closely linked to labour market needs and the country’s development plans.

A workshop was held to define the content of the strategy and to develop a road map to outline the roles of stakeholders. The event brought together ministries directly involved in the TVET and employment sectors, representatives of training institutions, the private sector and researchers.

To complement this, in 2018 CapED supported the government begin work on establishing a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) by setting up a national team and by strengthening the capacities of 63 relevant staff. The NQF will be in line with the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) regional criteria to encourage a standardized coordinated approach and to increase cross-border transparency of qualifications, which will contribute to facilitating orderly and responsible migration and mobility.

CapED is also helping the government pilot a Recognition of prior Learning (RPL) system in the country’s construction industry. The RPL will help those with informally acquired knowledge and skills to be formally certified to help them find decent work and increase skills transparency. CapED initiated the work by introducing 47 national staff to the policy implications surrounding developing the RPL. Looking ahead, CapED will explore the possibility of expanding Benin’s RPL system to other industries, such as sewing.  

In 2019, CapED will continue to support the government develop the NQF, the RPL and the TVET strategy development. The Programme will also continue building capacities to produce annual statistical yearbooks on training offers in Benin, which will help inform, guide and plan future action in the TVET sector.