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Technical and Vocational Education and Training system will support the efforts of Ethiopia’s transformation into a middle income country; it was stated at the second International TVET Conference held in Addis Ababa last week.

The conference that focused on the theme “relevance of technical and vocational education and training system for the social and economic development of countries and best practices for improvements,” was attended by government officials and other experts from different countries.

“It is proven that technical and vocational education and training is vital for economic and social development in any country worldwide. It is viewed as a tool for productivity enhancement and poverty reduction. It gives individuals the skills to live, learn and work as a productive citizen in a global society,” Minister of Education Dr. Tilae Gete said stated in his opening remarks.

Germany has been committed to supporting the development of vocational training in Ethiopia to meet the demand of the country’s rapid growing economy. So far, over 50 TVET collages have been supported by Germany.

“From the perspective of the private sector, vocational training prepares the workforce that the private companies require, giving people the skills demanded by the labor market. TVET and a well trained workforce boost the competitiveness of companies and increase their productivity,” stated Niels Breyer, Germen Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Head of East Africa Division.

The government of Ethiopia continues to work with development partners to build appropriate TVET centers at woreda levels especially in support of to support agricultural transformation in the country.

The TVET system has gone through a reform in Ethiopia with the aim to adjust the system so that it would become capable to respond properly to economic needs. “This should be achieved by providing qualified human resources to the markets, to support the creation of self-employment opportunities by capacitating young talented students to operate micro and small enterprises and to play a vital role in adapting and converting international technology standards to the national industrial environment,”  stated Teshome Lemma, State Minister of Education for TVET.

It was further stated that after almost two decades, the TVET system in Ethiopia has stabilized itself as a key provider for medium and low level trained workforce. However, the economic growth in the country now requires for highly skilled workforce.