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Vocational Education

Edukans has developed EDUworks. This comprehensive approach sustainably links youth, training institutes and business to ensure employment and economic development.

Triangle for employment, empowerment and economic development

Economic development is intrinsically linked to employment and a well-trained, empowered workforce. Businesses need skilled personnel, young future labour force (youth) need good education and opportunities to gain practical experience, and training institutes need to adapt to labour market demands in order to stay relevant and help youth into employment.

Disconnected triangle

However, in many developing countries the corners of triangle for youth employment and economic development is not connected. Training programmes do not match labour market demands, youth do not acquire the necessary skills and job training and therefore business cannot find the right personnel. This is the so-called skills gap. Disconnection leads to high (youth) unemployment rates.

Closing the skills gap

Key to closing this skills gap is (re)connecting the triangle. Edukans does exactly that; our EDUworks approach, engages all stakeholders of the triangle: training institutes, trainees and employers/entrepreneurs. Based on that, we developed the 7-steps to WORK to guide our work. We build on the knowledge and experience from our Learn4Work Programme (2008-2018).

Ideally, Edukans starts with an EDUworks assessment to identify the actual skills gap. In 7-steps we take this analyses from labour market research to accurate job profiles and matching curricula. We develop lessons, train the trainers and track the results, so we can continuously innovate and reach out. If necessary we take up an active role as trainer (of youth and/or master), or temporary labour market mediator. We aim to operate on a sector or branch level, so we can upscale and root our approach to the benefit of many more labour market stakeholders.

Lobby for Skills

In the framework of Dialogue and Dissent, Edukans is strengthening the capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) to lobby and advocate and hold their government and the private sector to account. Edukans is a member of Strategic Partnership the Civic Engagement Alliance (CEA) with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. CEA is a consortium of Icco (lead), CNV Internationaal, coPrisma, Kerk in Actie, Wilde Ganzen and Edukans. The programme focus is strengthening CSOs on their capacity and skills to lobby and advocate for societal, economic and political change and by doing so countering the trend of shrinking civic space. CEA cooperates with a broad range of CSOs varying from faith-based organisations (FBOs), trade unions, education organisations, NGOs, CBOs and youth movements. The programme has four key priorities/pathways:

  • 1: Political space for civil society organizations;
  • 2: The Right to adequate food;
  • 3: Small producer empowerment and inclusive markets;
  • 4: Towards a sustainable private sector;

The role of Edukans is to strengthen the lobby and advocacy capacity of CSOs for better access to markets for smallholder-farmers and access to skills education and training for (young) farmers. The external mid-term evaluation showed that Edukans ‘has a clear niche focus on skills’ in the CEA programme and ‘the combination of skills needs assessments with subsequent lobby for improvement works well in several countries’[2]. Edukans is strengthening CSOs in Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Benin and Bolivia in CEA.



How we work

With over 12 years of experience, we built a solid theory of change that is guiding our work on quality vocational training.


Our goal? In 2020 15,000 youth jobs secured by training 20,000 young African people in market relevant skills!