Regional experts’ knowledge sharing workshop on upgrading informal apprenticeship

Apprenticeship systems in the informal economy remain a major provider of skills in most countries in Africa. Young women and men acquire the skills for a trade or craft in a micro or small enterprise through learning and working side by side with an experienced practitioner. Consequently, apprentices learn technical skills and are inducted into a business culture and network which makes it easier for them to find jobs or start businesses after completion of their apprenticeship.  The ILO’s work programme on informal apprenticeship raises awareness on the system’s strength and weaknesses, and promotes ways to upgrade it.

The Experts knowledge sharing workshop on upgrading informal apprenticeship was organized in conjunction with the 5th Conference of the International Network on Innovative Apprenticeship (INAP). A special focus session on informal apprenticeship complemented the two-day research conference and featured country experiences and lessons learnt from policies and programmes. The ILO workshop the day before and after the conference provided the platform for focused discussions, exchange of experiences and development of solutions and country action plans.

The workshop was attended by over 50 participants from government ministries, social partners, researchers, practitioners, ILO project staff, and representatives of international organizations including the World Bank and the European Training Foundation. The countries in attendance included: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Summary report of the workshop available in English and French

The INAP Conference proceedings containing all contributions to the conference can be purchased at and is available for download at
Akoojee, S.; Gonon, P.; Hauschildt, U.; Hofmann, C. (Eds). 2013. Apprenticeship in a Globalised World. Premises, Promises and Pitfalls. Reihe Bildung und Arbeitswelt. LIT. Münster.


ILO Workshop Programme

 Monday, 22 April
 8.30 - 9.00 
 9.00 - 10.30Welcome and introduction
Christine Evans-Klock, Director EMP/SKILLS, ILO
Group presentation - icebreaker
Michael Axmann, ILO
Understanding and upgrading informal apprenticeship systems (Eng) (Fre)
Christine Hofmann, ILO
and Ashwani Aggarwal, ILO
10.30 - 11.00 Coffe break
11.30 - 12.30 Identifying major areas of interst and concern
Boubakar Savadogo
12.30 - 13.30Lunch 
 13.30 - 14.00 Introduction to the two groups:
1) Recognition of apprenticeship learning by governments
Ashwani Aggarwal
2) Validation of skills testing guide by small business associations
Validation of skills testing guide by small business associations
Christine Hofmann
 14.00 - 16.00Parallel groups:
Group 1) Validation of skills testing guide by small business associations

Group 2) Recognition of apprenticeship learning by governments: Country cases
Recognition of apprenticeship learning in the Republic of Mauritius
Kaylash Allgoo, Mauritius Qualifications Authority
A Zambian experience and lessons learnt
David Chakonta, TEVETA
Experiences and lessons learned on recognition of apprenticeship learning in Tanzania
Leah Dotto, VETA
16.00 - 16.30 Coffee break
 16.30 - 17.30Recognition of apprenticeship learning and skills testing
Reporting back in plenary

INAP Conference Programme - Special focus session on informal apprenticeship


 Tuesday, 23 April 2013
9.00 - 11.00                                                 Welcome
Prof. Philipp Gonon, INAP Chair
Prof. Ruksana Osman, University of Witswatersrand
Dr. Raymond Patel, merSETA
Mduduzi Manana, Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training

Key notes
Overcoming the work-inexperience gap through quality apprenticeships - The ILO's contribution (Eng) (Fre)
Christine Evans-Klock, ILO
Apprenticeships in global, national and local contexts: Can INAP help bridge the gaps?
Prof. Robert Lerman, American University Washington
The German-South African Cooperation ain Vocational Eudcation and Training
Dr. Horst Freitag
Introduction to the workshop
Prof. Salim Akoojee, University of Witswatersrand
11.00 - 11.15Coffee break
 11.15 - 13.15INAP Workshop II: Enabling learning opportunities in workplaces and informal contexts
To what extent do facets of the learning environment influence apprentices' motivation and learning success?
Annalisa Schitzler, BIBB
Workplace as a learning site: Correlates and predictors of the adolescents' preception of the workplace as a learning site and their social integration in the workgroup.  An analysis of the first three years in apprenticeship
Christof Nägele, SFIVET
Using the holistic problem solving approach in VET: Experiences from the introduction of COMET learning tasks in South Africa
Johan Riekert, Thomas Scholz and Lars Heinemann, ITB and Arcelormittal
Learning in the workplace: The effectiveness of VET apprenticeship through the evaluation of factors
Pilar Pinedar, University of Bareclona
 13.00 - 14.15Lunch 
 14.15 - 16.30INAP Workshop II: Enabling learning opportunities in workplaces and informal contexts
Action research on close cooperation between vocational schools and companies
Kean Zhang and Caifeng Chen, Guangzhou Electromechanical Technician College
Lessons learnt from Informal apprenticeship initiatives in Southern and Eastern Africa (Eng) (Fre)
Ashwani Aggarwal, ILO Pretoria
Improving skills development in the informal sector - Strategies for Sub-Saharan Africa (Eng) (Fre)
Sara Johansson de Silva, World Bank
Linking informal apprenticeship and formal education in South-eastern Nigeria through mechanic village schools (Eng) (Fre)
Benjamin Ogwo, OSWEGO State University of New York
Benin - Experiences with introducing two formal certificates: CQP and CQM (Eng) (Fre)
Roger Adanhounzo, ILO Cotonou
  Wednesday, 24 April 2013
9.00 - 10.00Introduction to the day
Prof. Salim Akoojee, University of Witswatersrand
Rearranging the furniture ? Shifting discourse on skills development and aprenticeship in South Africa
Prof. Valker Wedekind, University of KwaZulu Natal
10.00 - 10.30Coffee break
10.30 - 13.00INAP Workshop II: Enabling learning opportunities in workplaces and informal contexts
Egypt - Off-the-job learning for infromal apprentices. Challenges and solutions
(Eng) (Fre) 
Dr. Mohammed El Fateh, ILO
Policy options for improving informal apprenticeship - Experiences from Ghana (Eng) (Fre)
Dr. Dan Baffour-Awuah, COTVET
Vocational Skills formation in the inforaml economy in Tanzania
Gunilla Höjlund
Informal collaborative learning opportunities at Mozambique's TVE institutions and industry
Brigida O. Singo & Daniel Dinis da Costa
Formalizing informal apprenticeship in Morocco - achievements and challenges (Eng) (Fre)
Dr. Fouad El Amri, Casa Moda Academy
 13.0  - 14.00 Lunch
13.45 - 16.15INAP Workshop IV: Managing transitions
Youths between urbanisation and poverty: livelihood opportunities and challenges of informal apprenticeships in Ghana
(Eng) (Fre)
Dr. Benjamin Schraven, DIE
End-of-apprenticeship exams (EFAT) in Benin: An accelerator for upgrading informal apprenticeship (Eng) (Fre)
Cyr Davodoun, Bureau d'appui aux artisans
The development of apprenticeship in Africa: State of the art in 8 countries in terms of innovation, progress and challenges (Eng) (Fre)
Boubakar Savadogo
Transitions in informal apprenticeship: Results from ILO research in several African countries (Eng) (Fre)
Christine Hofmann and Wendy Okolo, ILO
School-to-work transition: Predictor and explanatory variables for self-employability of hig school pre-vocational agriculture graduates in Swaziland
B. S. Mndebele, University of Swaziland
16.15 - 16.30Coffee break
16.30 - 17.15Plenary talk and INAP Network meeting - TVET Research Current State and Needs

ILO Workshop Programme


 Thursday, 25 April 2013
9.00 - 10.30        Wrap-up from special focus session at INAP conference
Boubakar Savadogo         
10.30 - 11.00Coffee break
11.30 - 13.00World café : How to upgrade informal apprenticeship
13.00 - 14.00Lunch
14.00 - 15.30Upgrading informal apprenticeship - next steps at country level
15.30 - 16.00Presentation of next steps
Wrap up