How did TVET get into the position that forces administrators of government funded institutions to learn the business skills of revenue generation and the development of a dynamic leadership role?
Basically, most governments simply cannot afford the total cost of trade and technician institutions for the future. TVET is VERY expensive. Allowing institutions to simply decay is the usual result of government insistence on control.
Those working in international development have watched with broken hearts as this process of gradual destruction has inevitably followed badly planned assistance. Institutions earning revenue is the most common alternative to decay.
Experience in revenue generation, gradually built up over many years, underlines some key lessons:
- Effective leadership is the most important single input to TVET revenue generation
- Learning and market operations can be integrated especially in places where self -employment is more likely than a traditional job.
- Given government funding to TVET in many countries, an institution without a significant non-government revenue stream is going to cease skills trining operations in any real sense.
- To create this new revenue stream, usually the institution must have a service or product it can sell and a ready market available.
- To convince staff to develop this product or service, there must be incentives. Directives will NOT work. Transparently sharing revenue is essential.
- To sell the service or product, there must be a buyer who is a customer or client and/or a student.
- It is the institution’s challenge to find the customer, determine exactly what service or product they wish to buy and then supply the service or product to the customer’s standards.
- It is the institution’s obligation to make certain that each customer is so happy and satisfied about the experience of working with or learning in the institution, that they will not only ask for more services, but will recommend it to their friends and associates.
- It is the Governments obligation to give the Senior Administrator sufficient freedom to act, so he or she can respond to the market with the services and products that the market wants. A Board Governance structure can be helpful over time. The employer may be private sector partners as well.
- It is also important that Governments leave most of the income in the institution so that it can be used to achieve the institution’s goals. Maintenance, new equipment and marketing expanses must be key targets.For Senior Administrators who feel that responding to the needs of customers is not the responsibility of TVET institutions, some suggest seeking a transfer to another branch of education.
Waiting for Government to find all the resources needed has little point or hope. Earning revenue in TVET is not an optional activity. Rather, it is a precondition for survival as an effective part of economic growth.