145 youth in the 1st intake of apprenticeship training under the Workplace Learning Support Programme, have completed three months in 4 pilot TVET schools for theoretical learning and basic practices. Before starting the practical learning in companies; a workshop between the trainers from all 13 TVET Schools identified to collaborate with the programme and 100 in-company trainers; was held on this 22nd January 2019 to jointly prepare the three months learning in companies.

Participants in the workshop (Photo: APEFE)

Representatives from different professional chambers and associations under the Private Sector Federation (PSF) and the officials from the Ministry of Public Service and Labor (MIFOTRA) together with APEFE; participated in this workshop to facilitate an efficient partnership between the private sector and apprenticeship training providers in youth employability skills development.

TVET trainers presented the level of acquired skills in school and in-company trainers appreciated this occasion through which they are aware of where to start the in-company training.

“This workshop with TVET Schools Trainers is very important. They informed us on the level of skills acquired by apprentices and we undoubtedly know where the in-company training will focus to make the theoretical skills acquired at school be more practical and meet labour market needs. This will give the apprenticeship training a more logical continuity from TVET to companies. This training system is the much-awaited solution to the skills gap we have been facing.”, says HAKIZAYEZU Berisheba, in-company trainer from Technology of Making Skin Iwacu (TMSI) which does leather products in Nyagatare District.

This workshop served as the opportunity to reflect on the apprentices’ progress and challenges after three months in TVET schools in order to define the mechanisms and tools to be used for a successful in-company training as well as the monitoring and evaluation approach.

Participants in group discussion (Photo: APEFE)

Apart from the trainers, it is planned a specific workshop for both TVET School and Company Managers to strengthen the collaboration between schools and companies in the implementation of apprenticeship training in Rwanda.

The Workplace Learning Policy was initiated after it was observed that graduates from the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system and from higher education, lack practical skills responding to customer needs and a business environment. Under the support of Belgium Directorate General for Development Cooperation (DGD) through APEFE, the Workplace Learning Support Programme – IGIRA KU MURIMO, which is the pilot phase of the policy; works with the Private Sector Federation (PSF) and the Ministry of Public Service and Labor (MIFOTRA) to support the role of the private sector and training providers in the implementation of the apprenticeship training in Rwanda to ensure that youth employability skills are boosted.