We work in partnership with leading European agencies to promote demand-driven and inclusive vocational education and training. 

Short-term technical assistance

The short-term interventions are demand-led and are based on support requests submitted by a range of institutions, including governmental agencies, ministries, employer associations and training centres in eligible countries. This request-based approach helps the ownership to lie with local institutions and increases their commitment, which also promises a higher level of impact. 

Our interventions have supported change at a systems level in each of the countries we have worked with and have delivered benefit to the UK, through creating business opportunities and building the capacity and networks of organisations and individuals. 

In response to COVID-19 related restrictions, interventions have been adapted to provide distance support through mixed teams of national and international consultants. 

Sharing knowledge and tools

We facilitate knowledge exchange among the global VET community by developing high quality tools and organising events. 

In December 2019, the British Council hosted an EU VET Toolbox seminar in Nepal on Private Sector Engagement in Skills Development in South Asia. Bringing together 60 employers, policy makers, representatives from sector skills organisations, education leaders and EU representatives from Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as well as Europe and Africa, the seminar focused on exploring shared challenges and practical solutions to engaging employers in skills development. 

Following this successful event, a major VET Toolbox seminar, ‘How can TVET work effectively with the private sector in fast-changing economies?’ was delivered by the British Council in November 2021. The online event combined expert panel sessions, interactive workshops and thought-provoking and sometimes provocative presentations, and brought together TVET experts, policymakers, lead educators, employers, and representatives from NGOs and training agencies from around the world. Over 300 international delegates engaged with the seminar.  

As part of the VET Toolbox project, to date, the British Council has produced the following tools: 

  • Self-Assessment Tool for Training Institutions on Quality Assurance
  • Guide for Developing and Implementing Qualifications
  • Self-Assessment Tool for Training Institutions on Inclusion of Refugees
  • Soft Skills Project Design and Delivery Toolkit

Three further tools are currently being developed and will be available shortly. 

Visit the Toolbox e-library

Supporting the positive effects of European investments

In the fourth pillar of the programme, the VET Toolbox services European investments to help address skills gaps and improve local benefits, including local job creation. The fourth pillar is being delivered in 11 sub-Saharan African countries, with the British Council delivering the programme in two of these, Ghana and Malawi. The work of the programme focuses on three interlinked areas: 

  • Facilitating public-private dialogue and the development of public-private partnerships
  • Supporting vocational training institutes to deliver training in line with investment needs
  • Stimulating VET reform through capturing lessons learned and promoting good practice models

‘The British Council is delighted to be delivering VET Toolbox Pilar IV in Ghana and Malawi. The programme places strong emphasis on evidencing the potential impact prior to the identification of investment driven changes in demand in the labour market that inform the design and delivery of projects in the countries with which we work. This helps to ensure we can maximise local benefit, in particular in the creation of decent jobs and in the skilling up of the local workforce to do those jobs.’ Alex Abel, Principal Consultant, British Council

The implementation of the fourth pillar of the VET Toolbox programme in Ghana and Malawi is scheduled to run from June 2022 to June 2024.

Mentoring partnerships

British Council is the primary implementing partner delivering the international mentoring partnership strand of the VET Toolbox. 

Following a successful piloting of the partnership model between Vietnam and the UK in 2019-2020, this year the British Council is facilitating seven international ‘mentoring partnerships’, which will run until September 2022. Two of these, with Botswana and Mauritius, were initiated in September 2020, while the remaining five, with Ghana, Malawi, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa, began in September 2021. Each mentoring partnership brings together a lead UK training institution (selected through a competitive process) with clusters of training institutions in the partner county. The focus is on provision of expertise and tools to deliver sustainable on-the-ground change. The thematic focus is on employer engagement and quality in VET. The emphasis is on identifying and addressing key challenges at the local level and partnerships typically include the development of tools and processes and the building of local capacity.