Workshop on Quality Apprenticeships held in West Africa

This three-day workshop, organized as part of the Global Initiative for Decent Youth Employment, examined the challenges and opportunities for a quality apprenticeship system in the six West African countries participating in the event.

Abidjan (Ivory Coast) - In West Africa, as in many countries in the world where the informal economy is dominant, apprenticeships, recognized as a key element to deal with the youth unemployment crisis, often remain poorly structured. Against this backdrop, there is an urgent need to improve these learning systems and strengthen their links to the private sector in order to align with labour market demands.

Under the auspices of the Global Initiative for Decent Youth Employment and with the financial support of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, this workshop promoted the sharing of experiences of partners who are committed to developing work-based training systems with the aim of better integrating young people into the labour market in the region. Representatives of tripartite delegations (Governments, Employers, Workers) from Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger and Togo, selected members from UN agencies, and representatives of the private sector and civil society shared their knowledge and best practices in formal learning systems.

This interactive workshop, which took place from 2 to 4 April, was an opportunity to share knowledge about learning systems and to discuss different key aspects, among them: the roles and responsibilities of public and private institutions for the establishment of a successful learning system and the benefits afforded by such a system, the regulatory framework needed and funding requirements. The role of social dialogue in learning, the importance of labour market suitability and the inclusion of disadvantaged groups were also analyzed. Finally, the improvement of informal learning was discussed as well as the importance of regional cooperation.

The workshop was facilitated by ILO experts in skills development and youth employment.