The Artisanal Vocational Training Support Project (PAFPA)

In 2001, Benin launched a reform of its policy of Technical and Professional Training (ETFP) to strengthen the educational system’s capacity to increase the number of available qualified trained workers. The reform also aims to improve the quality of formal and informal training offered to those workers by upgrading programmes to reflect the socio-economic environment. The ultimate aim of this reform is to generate a workforce in Benin capable of overcoming the challenges presented by a new globalised economy based on knowledge and information.

Out of this ETFP reform came the dual apprenticeship-based vocational training system. This training system takes place both in the workshops of master artisans who have enrolled their apprentices into this mechanism and at vocational training centres accredited by the state. It allows trained artisan apprentices to earn the Certificat de Qualification Professionnelle (certificate of professional qualification) upon completion of a national exam organised by state institutions in collaboration with the private sector.

From 2002 to 2016, Swisscontact in Benin made substantial contributions to developing this training mechanism by providing training curricula, training of trainers (ToT), advanced training of master artisans, and miscellaneous institutional support to build the capacity for stakeholders, which include Professional Training Centres as well as the public and private sectors, to design and implement programmes.

The PAFPA initiative has come at the right moment to improve the professional training system in Benin, a country that lacks a basic ToT system for the ETFP subsector. Furthermore, advanced professional trainings in Benin are ineffective, both at the ETFP administrative level as well as at the National Institute of Engineering Training and Capacity Building of Trainers (INIFRCF), the latter not yet even operational.

Finally, in terms of the role played by professional artisans’ associations in dual apprenticeship-based vocational training, the project will strengthen these structures on both a technical and organisational level. It will help local associations to provide better and higher value services to their members, ensuring member loyalty as well as helping further the development of their respective trades.

The Project

The project aims to improve the quality of dual apprenticeship-based vocational by enhancing the professional skills of trainers at training centres and at artisanal workshops.
More specifically, the program will:

  1. support the development and implementation of a sustainable training of trainers (ToT) mechanism for dual apprenticeship-based training;
  2. build the institutional capacities of public and private sector stakeholders involved in dual apprenticeship-based training.

The general programme implementation strategy of PAFPA II is composed of the following components:

  • supporting the Ministry and professional artisans’ associations to implement the ToT mechanism;
  • carrying out a pilot project with just nine key training centres for specific trades (tailoring, hairdressing, and bicycle/motorcycle mechanics) with progressive upscaling to ten other trades that are awarded a Certificat de Qualification Professionnelle;
  • supporting training of trainers at the centres;
  • supporting the field of engineering training;
  • analysing the needs of trainers and master artisans, training plans, implementation, and evaluation;
  • supporting local artisan associations specifically involved in target trades; and
  • identifying synergy and complementarity with other Swisscontact projects as well as those of other NGOs.


Expected results:

  • The framework of the ToT mechanism will be in place and operational (i.e. key training centres and certified workshops; a pool of trainers of trainers, a training needs analysis, and a training plan)
  • The pool of trainers of trainers at key training centres will be offering technical and classroom trainings that measure up to quality for the benefit of the trainers and training centres
  • Trainers at professional training centres as well as master artisans at workshops will ensure they provide higher quality trainings to their trainees and apprentices
  • Technical directors at the Ministry of Secondary Education and Technical and Professional Training (MESTFP) will ensure  better coordination and piloting of the ToT mechanism in partnership with the private sector
  • Target artisans’ associations will ensure that they are providing higher value services to their members (by strengthening their technical and business skills, providing advisory services for market and credit access, etc.)

Project countries

  • Benin

Project duration

2017 - 2020


  • SDC

Working area


Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

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