Lessons and recommendations from promoting quality apprenticeships in Burkina Faso

01 April 2021

Quality apprenticeships are an effective means of achieving a smooth school-to-work transition for young people by making it possible for them to acquire work experience along with technical and professional training. They also promote greater coordination between education and the world of work by allowing trainers from TVET institutions to better understand the skills and knowledge in demand in the labour market.

The ILO promotes Quality Apprenticeships as a top priority, since they not only help young people to move into decent jobs but also enterprises to find the workers they need for the future. The ILO is committed to enhancing knowledge of what works and how, by providing technical assistance and building capacity at the national level.

Under the aegis of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, the “Support for the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth in the Sahel Region”, funded by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, aims to improve the creation of and access to decent employment for young people in the Sahel region. In Burkina Faso, the project focuses mainly on the promotion of quality apprenticeship characterized by dual training in TVET centres and in companies.

The ILO's quality apprenticeship system model is based on six essential and interrelated building blocks: 1) Meaningful social dialogue; 2) a robust regulatory framework; 3) equitable funding arrangements; 4) clear roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders; 5) relevance to the labour market ; and 6) inclusiveness.

To advocate for quality apprenticeships in Burkina Faso, the ILO has undertaken complementary actions related to the six building blocks listed above. Six studies were carried out to better understand the current system, define the strengths and weaknesses about each building block, as well as make clear recommendations for improvement.

These studies made it possible, on the one hand, to take stock of the situation by identifying the strengths and weaknesses and, on the other hand, to formulate recommendations and conclusions to improve quality apprenticeship systems in Burkina Faso.

Main recommendations were formulated for an efficient implementation of quality apprenticeships in Burkina Faso. They are addressed primarily to the government, employers and workers organisations.

The recommendations are as follows:

  1. Continue and deepen prospective studies of economic development of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Development to anticipate the skills needs of the national economy in collaboration with those other relevant ministries;
  2. Update the studies carried out by the national employment observatory of the Youth Ministry on sectors with job-growth potential per region;
  3. Prioritize strengthening the regulatory framework to provide a legal basis for all other key elements of quality apprenticeships;
  4. Develop a national strategy for quality apprenticeships in consultation with all stakeholders, particularly social partners and professional organisations;
  5. Produce training programs based on existing or future training and certification standards with progress plans in companies, on the one hand, and progress plans in complementary training structures, on the other hand, in collaboration with companies, POs and social partners;
  6. Create two national networks, one for training companies and the other for vocational training structures, covering the entire national territory;
  7. Promote closer collaboration between training companies and training structures responsible for apprentices;
  8. Facilitate communication between teachers of TVET centres and in-company trainers to ensure stronger technical-pedagogical monitoring of the learning of apprentices;
  9. Strengthen advocacy with professional organisations for the recognition of certification in collective agreements;
  10. Consider social dialogue, gender equity and inclusiveness as permanent priorities for a successful quality apprenticeships system.

These six studies were developed through a strong collaboration between the ILO and the Youth Ministry and other structures involved in education, technical and vocational training. Representatives of technical and financial partners, professional organizations, trade unions, consular chambers, companies, training centres, apprentices and their families also made a significant contribution to the studies.

The ILO wishes to raise awareness of quality apprenticeship systems in order to contribute to the initiatives developed by the government of Burkina Faso to promote decent employment for young people.

The original blog was publihsed in French here. 


Josée-Anne Larue

Youth Employment Project Manager, ILO 

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Year of publication

01 April 2021