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Vocational training and employment

Vocational training has been experiencing increasing demand internationally in recent years. There is a good reason for this: never before has there been such a large number of young workers. And never before have they suffered so much from lacking or precarious employment as they do today. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), more than 40% of youth worldwide were recently classified as working poor or did not have a job at all. The ILO expects this figure to increase further. At the same time, there is a lack of well-trained specialists in many corners of the world.

Vocational training meets this dual challenge of bringing supply and demand together in a meaningful way. On the one hand, it helps to meet the needs of the labour market. On the other, it offers the upcoming generation future prospects by providing young people with all manner of skills through vocational training. This increases their chances on the job market and also opens up more opportunities to be involved in social processes.

Find out more in the vocational training flyer

Find out more in the fact sheet  (PDF, 224 KB, non-accessible) (German page)

The German system as a basis for orientation, but not a blueprint

The German dual training model, which combines theory and practice, is particularly suited to vocational training and is in great demand around the world. However, it cannot simply be copied by another country, but needs to be based on the conditions in the country in question.

Vocational training in detail

KfW promotes vocational training in various ways on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

  • It finances the construction and fitting out of vocational schools as well as accommodation for trainees, i.e. it creates the framework and the infrastructure for practically-oriented training.
  • However, it also supports scholarship and voucher programmes so as to offer (poorer) young people and adults better access to vocational training opportunities.

In order for vocational training to achieve one of its most important objectives, higher employment, it must above all be practice-oriented. This does not necessarily have to mean a three-year vocational training course. Instead it may also comprise shorter, stand-alone training modules – of particular importance in the informal sector or fragile situations. The approach preferred by the partner country and supported by KfW depends on the framework conditions there and is individually tailored to the local circumstances. A key success factor lies in the fact that vocational training is based on the needs of the economy and works together with it.

Special focus: women and girls

Women remain disadvantaged on the labour market in most countries of the world.

  • They perform most of the unpaid and informal work.
  • They have fewer prospects for good and secure jobs.
  • They are more seldom found higher up the hierarchy.
  • Globally speaking, they earn on average nearly a quarter less than men.

This is due, on the one hand, to entrenched role patterns, but on the other, also to uneven power structures and unequal access to proper training and qualifications. Women are severely under-represented in vocational training institutions, making up just 8% of those completing vocational training. KfW is working to remedy this situation and is in step with international agreements. The G7 states also determined in their Elmau Declaration that vocational training is a good means of countering gender inequality. This is why they undertook to increase the number of women with access to vocational training in developing countries by one-third by 2030.

Find out more about vocational training and gender  (PDF, 72 KB, non-accessible)

Find out more about education for girls  (PDF, 261 KB, non-accessible)

However, better education, no matter how important it is, is not enough. Another important factor is promoting employment, so that new jobs are created and young people are actually able to apply the skills they have learned.

Read more on Financial Cooperation

Read more on our focal areas in 2017

Legal notice:
The information contained in this online Annual Report 2017 is based on KfW’s Financial Report 2017, which you can download here. Should this online Annual Report 2017, despite the great care taken in preparation of its content, contain any contradictions or errors compared to the Financial Report, the KfW Financial Report 2017 takes priority.