Project supporting vocational training and the integration of young people

Apprenticeship-based dual training and education is an effective mechanism of professional training that can provide sustainable solutions for providing sufficient professional qualifications to young people who have failed at school or find themselves in a precarious socio-economic situation. Benin is committed over the long term to developing this training approach, continuously improving the system’s ability to respond to the challenges of training and labour market demands.

It appears necessary nevertheless to build the capacity of the Ministry of Technical Education & Professional Training to pilot apprenticeship-based dual education. Such capacities involve:

  • apprenticeship placement and certification;
  • staking out the place this approach should occupy within the formal professional education system and the various certifications offered;
  • the creation of a framework for concerted action by the various institutional entities involved in the formalisation of apprenticeships within the dual vocational system
  • gathering baseline data for analysis of training, how it is organised, the partners involved and the flow of beneficiaries through the system.

It is equally important to improve the quality of trainings offered. The proliferation of private training centres increases quantitative outreach substantially but it is quite unequal. The weak diversity of training institutions and poor prospects for labour market insertion have resulted in the saturation of certain economic sectors and ineffective linkages with the job market. MSMEs already struggling to grow are weakened by market developments and different technologies. Training is often of poor quality in underequipped workshops.

Consequently, apprenticeship-based dual vocational training seems less and less attractive, to the extent that young people struggling for autonomy are turning increasingly to rapid sources of revenue that do not require qualifications and feature low entry barriers for self-employment in Benin or in neighbouring countries. For the system to solve the problem of employability effectively, it is necessary to base training on the needs of the local economy, supporting the productivity and competitiveness of economic actors.

The Project

The overall project objective is to enhance the employability of young people by improving the apprenticeship-based training on offer, which in turn will improve skills among labourers, a key factor in the country’s economic development. It specifically targets the apprenticeship-based dual vocational training system, which is currently being restructured in line with a reform of the technical and vocational education system.

The project’s target beneficiaries are youth seeking or already attending apprenticeship-based vocational training as well as professionals requiring additional qualifications, be they business owners or salaried employees. The project advises public sector actors both at the national and regional levels, professional associations, businesses, consulting organisations, trainers, and local collectives to improve their services and ensure they are active participants in the systemic development desired.

The project is financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) and implemented by the Swisscontact/IRAM (Institute for Research and Application of Development Methods) Consortium for a period of thirty six (36) months starting in 2015. The project is structured around three complementary objectives:

  • strengthening the dual apprenticeship-based vocational training available in Zou, Collines, Mono, and Couffo Departments for courses to respond to the needs of local businesses in the formal sector;
  • improving labour market insertion of youth in partnership with local stakeholders in the 9 municipalities of Zou Department;
  • building the capacity of the dual apprenticeship-based vocational training system during this period of reform and in line with the changes occurring in the system as a whole.



  • The training centres will have been strengthened and organised in a network, offering a progressive dual apprenticeship-based training model applicable to new economic sectors and reflecting the needs of local businesses.
  • Businesses and professional associations will contribute effectively to the development and implementation of dual vocational education, offering apprenticeships to trainees;
  • Labour market insertion activities at the communal level will have been launched or strengthened and involve multiple stakeholders
  • Dual apprenticeship-based vocational training will have been overhauled in consensual fashion, based on in-depth and participatory analysis
  • Stakeholders involved in the vocational education system will be applying dual apprenticeship-based mechanisms
  • A mechanism for gathering and analysing data on young people in apprenticeship-based training will have been set up within the Office of Apprenticeships and Professional Training (DAFoP) in association with the regional offices of the Ministry of Secondary Education, Technical and Vocational Education, and Integration of Youth (MESFTPRIJ) and enabling improved piloting of training courses
  • The National Apprenticeship & Training Committee (CNPFA) will be holding regular meetings and helping to pilot apprenticeship-based vocational training.

Project countries

  • Benin

Project duration

2015 - 2017


  • Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

Working area


Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97