VET Africa 4.0
Vocational Education and Training (VET) in South Africa and Uganda: reducing inequality and enhancing sustainability through skills development
The aim of VET Africa 4.0 is to explore recent theoretical innovations and emergent practical approaches to skills for development in Africa. The orthodox model of how to support VET system reform does not work in theory or practice. Moreover, the broader vision of Agenda 2030 and the SDGs make it irrelevant for the future. We will examine the evidence regarding whether new approaches to African VET offer a better way forward for theory, policy and practice.
Policy and practice on VET in Africa have gone through three main post-independence phases, reflecting wider developmental orthodoxies of modernisation, basic needs and neoliberalism. With the latter’s decline as both political ideology and development theory, McGrath (2012) argued that we needed a new theory of skills for development, anticipating the emergence of the SDGs. This research draws together major theoretical strands that have emerged as possible components of such a new theoretical orthodoxy whilst also considering potential new practical approaches to skills for development, which together may constitute a fourth phase: VET Africa 4.0. This reflects the new SDG agenda and the UNESCO drive to ensure that VET strategies consider not only economic aspects but also equity and environmental sustainability.