In TVET policy, there is often an assumption that expanded TVET training results in increased employment. However, if enterprise is not expanding, new jobs are not created.
Equally, if enterprise is expanding through the use of new technology for productivity improvement, employment can actually shrink.
In these circumstances, training provided for the existing workforce can lead to enhanced productivity, but unless there is data showing that enterprise expansion is being limited by a shortage of skilled labor, expanding TVET in schools will not be an immediately effective employment creation strategy.
In some countries, the Government keeps borrowing money to expand skills delivery in TVET but if these institutions are not even concerned why they don’t have students, these loans are not going to deliver the skills the economy needs.
Planners in government are concerned about providing better skills to industry so the country can attract more investment but TVET institutions missed the point.
Experience in Sri Lanka and the Philippines suggests that improving the skills base of those working in other countries has a direct impact on remittance payments and advantages labor in the international market.
It makes the country attractive to international recruiters.
In such case, with remittances now representing a bigger percentage of GDP in labor exporting countries, involving companies who export labor in TVET planning makes sense.
So, before developing any strategy for training expansion, it is best to identify your direct target market and plan according to the demands of those markets.