The ILO Accel Africa supports Improved apprenticeship in dual education system through transition from school to work training.

The Dual Education System (DES) is a unique 3-year governmental technical vocational education system that combines on-the-job training and off-the-job learning. After the 3 years, apprentices earn a technical education diploma, in addition to a local certificate from the investors' association or the authority supervising on-the-job training, which facilitates the apprentices' professional career. Apprenticeship contracts did not specify the hours of training at the company level. In addition, the rights and responsibilities of apprentices in the workplace are not known, which can lead to them performing hazardous work and experiencing the worst forms of child labor.

Article | 21 April 2022
As part of the ILO's ACCEL Africa Egypt project activities to ensure that boys and girls in vulnerable communities have access to quality education and vocational training, including support for the transition from school to work, a dialogue was initiated in 2020 with the Enhancement of the Egyptian Dual System (EEDS) project implemented by GIZ.

The partnership aimed to join forces to improve the EEDS through a three-fold approach, first by revising all existing EEDS ministerial decrees. As a result, the Ministry of Education and Technical Education (MOETE) issued Decree 111/2021 regarding regulations and standards that interface with DES service providers.

This decree is based on a policy recommendation, taking into account child protection, drafted and validated through a multi-level dialogue with stakeholders to improve the Egyptian DES. The decree ensures a balance of rights and duties between the service provider, the company, the school and the students. It includes articles on limiting training hours to 6 hours and on insurance against injuries.

Second, the ILO's ACCEL Africa project provided training to 28 training counselors (14 men and 14 women) from the Regional Dual System Units (RUDS) in the four target governorates on basic principles and the right to work, with an emphasis on child labor, occupational safety and health.

In addition, the rights and duties of apprentices in accordance with national legislation and the new ministerial decree mentioned above. In addition, the types of work-related hazards, risk assessments, and how to avoid exposure to work-related hazards by using appropriate personal protective equipment.

Third, the ILO ACCEL Africa project, in collaboration with the GIZ EEDS project, provided training to 300 DES apprentices (285 girls and 15 boys) working in the industrial part of the cotton supply chain in the 4 targeted governorates, namely: Fayoum, Sharkia, Beheira and Alexandria on the above-mentioned topics, in addition to relevant interpersonal skills at the workplace.

As a result, the 28 trained RUDS training counselors replicated the training to 515 apprentices without being limited to the cotton supply chain, as it included other sectors. In addition, following the training of the DES apprentices and based on the identified problems they face in the workplace, a circular was issued by RUDS in Behira governorate requesting companies to commit to 6 hours of training per day, including a break of at least 1 hour after a maximum of 4 hours of training.

The circular also stressed that the trainees must record their activities in the report book, which must be signed by the training supervisor in the company, the RUDS supervisor and the DES school. It also states that, in accordance with the apprentices' training contract, apprentices are not to visit the company during non-work training days, which are to be attended at the school.

This measure is seen as a positive step forward by students and the administration of DES schools. Replication of training is supported within RUDS and will be replicated regularly throughout the school year.

At first, I hated the idea of joining dual education system as I wanted to go to a regular high school. However, after joining the DES and attended ILO training, I understood how a unique student I am. I do not only study the regular curriculum, but also have the privilege of learning a profession and will gain experience to have better job opportunity in the labour market immediately after graduation and contribute in revitalizing the garment industry. Moreover, I have a stable monthly income, which helps me reducing the financial burden on my parents and be financially independent at this young age.

After attending ILO ACCEL Africa training on transition to work, I am aware of my rights and duties at work and I will not allow anyone to exploit me or take away my rights. I will not work extra hours or on the holidays. In addition, I will take care of my occupational safety and health and will avoid being engaged in hazardous works. My dream is to become an engineer and I thought dual system education will hinder this, but now I insist on working hard to reach my dream.."

Shahd Ahmed Galal, 16 years old, AL Baidaa High school for Technical and Dual System Education, Egypt.

After carrying out trainings for apprentices of DES on rights and duties at work, I can see that the training developed their communication skills, confidence, and courage to express any issue they face at the training enterprise. By the end of the 2-day training, there was a smile, a look of hope and optimism about their future, which were not there at the beginning of the training.

On a personal level, I became proud of myself because, I was able to simply communicate to apprentices their rights and duties and convince them that they can be the main source of change. My master’s thesis will be on combating child labour and the efforts made by local, national and international organizations like ILO and to improve the situation of apprentices and working children. I would like to thank ILO for giving me this opportunity."

Doaa Mohamed AlSayed, Child Protection Facilitator