EDUCATION

VOCATIONAL & SKILLS TRAINING

While the PAC-DBIA's recommendations for Vocational and Skills Training largely focused on the role that the United States and African governments can play to help align workforce training with the needs of the market, we at ECM3D strongly believe that there is a huge opportunity for and a critical role to be played by partnerships between private enterprise and institutions of higher education. The workforce challenges of the Diaspora in Sub-Sahara Africa and the United States as characterized by inadequate primary and secondary education and high under/unemployment are strikingly similar. Consequently, we believe that new models of training/education, paired with on-the-job, paid apprenticeships must be developed and deployed on both continents in order to leap-frog those underrepresented in the labor force to sustainable employment status without burdening them with the high cost or time commitment of a typical four-year diploma. Likewise, the partnership between private enterprise and institutions of higher education would ensure that training was focused on current market requirements and anticipated technological advances for a given industry/sector. We do agree with the PAC-DBIA's recommendation that focus industries should include, "...agriculture, transportation, health care, supply chain management, etc."