STEP hints on reviving the TEVET Advisory Committees in Malawi

Stakeholders in the TEVET sector in Malawi have agreed on the need to improve the way Trade Advisory Committees –TACs and Sector Advisory Committees – SACs operate in the country for them to bring the desired change to the sector.

This has been established on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development offices, during a presentation of findings that STEP Consultant Mr. Alistair Machin made after a study he has been conducting for the past month.

Machin was assigned to assess the role, performance, and effectiveness of TACs and SACs in Malawi.

One of the important objectives of STEP is to ‘Improve the quality and relevance of TEVET’.  Supporting the linkage between the government and industry is a key element of this objective and SACs and TACs play an essential role in this important relationship.  These are platforms of cooperation where sectoral partners, TEVET providers and other stakeholders work together to channel labour market input to education and training policies.

Mr Alistair Machin

In his assignment, Machin did not only meet the representatives from the existing committees with a focus on construction for them to share their experiences, but he also met other stakeholders to give their views on the committees.

“The findings show that there is a lot of work to be done on the committees, they need to be active and meet frequently or depending on the need so that they support the TEVET sector,” said Machin.

In his study, he found that both committees meet infrequently and that there is not a clear delineation between the two different types of committees.

Machin suggested that as the industry/employer is involved mostly in reviewing the standards and training providers review the curricula, there is a need for increased interaction between the two sides.

The participants discussed a number of options to reactivate the committees’ functions as advisory structures in the TEVET sector.

Participants at the meeting, convened by the Director of the Department of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (DTVT) Mr. Aubrey Matemba, included TEVET Authority officials, staff members from the DTVT, TEVETA, ESCOM, Lilongwe Water board and training providers from technical colleges.

The study has been done as part of the STEP initiative in empowering the TEVET sector in Malawi.