District Craftsmen's Association initiate second VET partnership in Africa

German vocational education and training (VET) expertise also in demand in Mozambique

"Same same but different" is how the locals in Thailand describe their tourist sites, and this same description might also be applied to the international activities of the Steinfurt-Warendorf District Craftsmen's Association in the area of vocational education and training. The District Craftsmen's Association has been active in Richards Bay in South Africa for four years through its subsidiary company "KH Service- und Wirtschaftsgesellschaft (KH S+W)" with a vocational education and training partnership – now in its second phase of funding – which is supported by the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Here, in cooperation with the local uMfolozi College, the District Craftsmen's Association is introducing training structures in line with the German dual vocational education and training system. Notification of approval has been received from the Ministry for a further education and training partnership in Africa, this time for a project in Mozambique.

"Even though this once again involves a VET partner in Africa, the partners, content and aims of this three-year project are different to those we are already putting into practice successfully in South Africa," explains Frank Tischner, General Manager of the Steinfurt-Warendorf District Craftsmen's Association. He, together with Jan-Niclas Gesenhues, Head of International Affairs at KH S+WI, is currently in Maputo, where the cooperation agreement has been signed with the local VET partners. The language is also different, as due to its colonial past the national language in Mozambique is Portuguese – a new challenge for the District Association General Manager, however not for Jan-Niclas Gesenhues, who has already worked in Mozambique and also speaks Portuguese. He is responsible for the overall coordination of the international training project. At a local level, the vocational education and training partnership will be looked after by Pedro Schünemann Cristófaro Silva, an expert in the field with many years of experience.

The project partners of the District Craftsmen's Association in Mozambique are the Instituto Industrial de Maputo (IIM). This is one of the country's best organised and best equipped vocational education and training organisations offering training courses in the areas of engineering, mechanics, electronics and electrical systems, and construction technology, and has around 1,400 students. The Associação Moçambicana de Energias Renovavais (AMER) is an association of local companies supporting renewable energies and is also a partner.

"Vocational education and training in Mozambique has much less of a practical focus than is the case in Germany," explains Frank Tischner. "The consequence of this is that three quarters of vocational school leavers fail to find a job in the occupation in which they have trained. This is where we as a District Craftsmen's Association with many decades of experience in the area of dual vocational training can provide fresh impetus in terms of the quality of training as well as the private sector involvement in vocational education and training." Jan-Niclas Gesenhues points out one particular aspect of the vocational education and training partnership. "One aim of our corporation is also to implement renewable energy technologies within the training and to do this in consultation and collaboration with companies from this sector." He and District Craftsmen's Association General Manager Frank Tischner are delighted to have the association "energieland2050" available in the Steinfurt district as a contact partner for this topic.

Source: kh-st-waf.de (website of the crafts training centre in Steinfurt-Warendorf), revised by iMOVE, March 2020