As its name says, PEVOT, the Programme for the Promotion of Employment Oriented Vocational and Technical Education and Training, is about employment. Both in quantity and quality, productivity, employment and economic growth are the driving factors for poverty reduction. Noticing this, and as a reaction to the many problems confronting the existing system, the Ugandan and German governments agreed that one of their areas for cooperation would be vocational training. PEVOT was born out of this agreement, and now all contributions to vocational training by the various German organizations working in Uganda are coordinated by the GTZ in the PEVOT framework.
The fields of PEVOT’s activities are many and varied, as the enormous task of reforming vocational education and training requires action at many levels. But all our measures have one thing in common: they should increase employment by enhancing the employability of Ugandans.
One major component of the programme is to reform the technical vocational education and training system (in Uganda called a ‘Business TVET’ - BTVET), to such an extend that it will be able to address the needs of the labour market. It takes into account the interests of the trainees, and promotes changes to the institutional framework for training, such as capacity building for training providers and instructor training.
To this end, the PEVOT programme is involved in the design and implementation of a Ugandan vocational qualification framework (UVQF) that offers qualifications based on practical competencies and experiences gleaned from the contemporary situation. Establishing the UVQF is a major reform on the part of the Ugandan Government. It aims to bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world of work. PEVOT assists the restructured Directorate of Industrial Training in producing assessment and training packages, which include occupational profiles and a database of test items for the occupations, such as bricklayers bricklayers and beauticians. These packages establish a standard, and are developed with inputs from relevant experts, so they reflect what the labour market really needs. They will lead to shorter and more flexible training courses, which are affordable and employment-oriented. The testing process continuously devises new concepts and models of training.
The programme also supports the Ugandan Association of Private Vocational Institutions (UGAPRIVI), a nationwide group whose objective is to improve the quality and image of private training providers. Alongside these concrete measures, the programme also plays a pivotal role in dialogue at the macro level through its involvement in various relevant forums.
Creating stronger links with the private sector remains one of the most important challenges for vocational training in the future. It will be essential for the widespread and sustainable implementation of the new framework; to help achieve it, PEVOT already started to intensify its use of public-private partnerships as an instrument of development.
In an attempt to encourage young people to take a second look at craftsmanship as a first career choice, together with the Ministry of Education and Sports and the German Development Bank, PEVOT developed a TV soap opera “Hand in Hand”, which has been aired on national TV. Following the popular soap, end of last year PEVOT engaged in a media campaign to reach the community with information on vocational Training that demonstrates the perspectives of vocational and technical education for the youth. Short, informative, interesting and easy-to-understand radio spots and weekly radio talk shows as well as attractive comics in local newspapers set the mind thinking in the direction of giving vocational training a real chance.