ICEP pushes vocational training in East Africa

Evaluation shows that know-how transfer between Vocational Training Centres works.

The challenge of vocational training in East Africa

In Uganda and Kenya, approximately 60% of the population is under the age of 24. Comprehensive primary education is available in both countries, but the provision of vocational training is totally inadequate. Therefore, East Africa suffers from a massive shortage of skilled workers and especially young people often have only limited opportunities for employment or occupational advancement.

SWEAR: Skills and Work are East Africa’s Resource

ICEP has been working in the field of vocational training in East Africa for over 10 years. Through the SWEAR program, which is co-financed by the Austrian Development Agency, ICEP has been supporting eight selected vocational training centres in Nairobi and Kampala since the beginning of 2015. The objective is to get the VTCs to revise their training programs and to align training to market demand. The program includes the improvement of didactic and educational structures, the integration of life skills into the curriculum and the expansion of collaboration with companies and the public administration. ICEP is also facilitating a know-how exchange between training centres in order to ensure the quality of vocational training in the region for the longer term.

Vocational training in Kenya and Uganda

New or improved training courses

Youth trained in 2016

vocational trainers being trained in 2016


Reduction of drop-out rate during training

Program Evaluation

In August 2017, ICEP’s vocational training approach for Kenya and Uganda and the results achieved so far were evaluated by the consulting firm Forcier Consulting, a specialist in international development projects. The 80-page final evaluation report was presented to the Austrian Development Agency on the 13th of September.

The evaluators highlighted the relevance of the approach and the effectiveness and efficiency of SWEAR. It considered the formation of a network of leading local vocational training centres to promote the exchange of know-how, joint lobbying at ministries and to improve co-operation with private companies to be paqrticularly positive. The main final recommendation of the evaluators: A continuation of SWEAR at least until the end of 2020!

SWEAR helped us to focus on the institutional development plan. We were pushed to write clearly the mission and the vision. We also did a market survey, which helped us to redesign courses. We learned from entrepreneurs and plant managers that soft skills are missing.

Guiseppe Valerio

Advisor, St. Kizito Kenya

One of our teachers has been to Nairobi three times. She was able to show us what she has learnt. ICEP has also always emphasised the collaboration with enterprises and they keep spreading the gospel, so I know in future we will have even more collaboration with the private sector.

Guinqo Hilaire

Principal, SYC Uganda

The SWEAR project brings together various institutions, which work in the same field and have the same goals for our beneficiaries. We make visits of other vocational training centers and exchange experiences and learn from each other. For me that’s the big win with SWEAR.

Austine Omeno

Principal, ECT Kenya

Partner for development

ICEP works in developing countries in close cooperation with organizations that are rooted in the respective region. In the case of the SWEAR program, ICEP has formed a network of 8 training centres in Uganda and Kenya, which it supports individually and as a network.

When selecting partners, ICEP always follows two criteria: trustworthiness and professionalism. Both are equally important for ICEP. Every collaboration is based on trust. But good intentions alone are not enough. All 8 SWEAR partners not only have a vision for a better future, a real commitment and a sense of responsibility, but also the organizational prerequisites and the technical know-how to sustainably promote vocational training.


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ICEP and ocupational training

ICEP provides youths in developing countries with better opportunities for employment and income through vocational training.

Orientating training along market demand

This is mainly about strengthening the capacities of vocational training centres, orienting the training they provide on market demand and improving the cooperation with companies and the public sector. The integration of international companies into local vocational education and training systems is a particularly effective lever for ICEP to achieve more and better employment in a region.

Training for men and women in the informal sector

A second objective of the work of ICEP is to provide affordable qualification services for men and women who need to secure their livelihoods in the informal sector, which is usually dominant in developing countries.

One of the difficulties of many vocational training centres in developing countries is that graduates often have only very poor perspectives for employment after training. Partly because there are only few positions available. Partly because the quality of the training is inadequate. Because of economic development in the region, an increasing number of companies in Nairobi and Kampala are seeking skilled labour. It is very satisfying to see how the vocational training centres of the SWEAR program continuously improve the quality of their training by adapting it to the needs of the market. This provides many young people with a real perspective for a better future.

Benedikt Metternich

ICEP development program

Our funding partner

We are also grateful to all our private donors
who support our development program!


Capacity Development

Capacity development of partner organisations is part of the work of ICEP. We support our local partner to improve their management and their structures and help them to build up networks with other local partners. Our capacity development apporach aims at strengthening the organisational and financial independence of the partners and to enhance the sustainability of the development work.

Organisational development: ICEP provides strategic counselling and supports collaborators or partner institutions through further training.

Partizipative Implementation: Collaborative planning and implementation of projects generate an important added value for the partner organisations. In this way, a collaboration with ICEP encourages institutional learning processes, develops joint expertise and helps building long-term sustainable structures.

Know-how Transfer: ICEP identifies similar problems in different regions, connects partners through South-South cooperation or institutionalized exchanges and let them apply their know-how in new projects.


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