Apprenticeship Training in Asia: an overview of systems and success factors

Global experiences show that strong public-private partnerships increase the relevance and quality of vocational education and training. It is in this context that many Asian countries are introducing dual apprenticeship training in which the workplace is the key learning location. This on-the-job training is complemented by training modules in a Government training institution. In the Apprenticeship Training in Asia report, Swisscontact describes the apprenticeship practices of different Asian countries and discusses good practice, lessons learnt and constraints.

Across the globe, the concept of apprenticeship training is becoming increasingly popular. In light of youth unemployment, the strategies for developing vocational education and training have focused on strengthening workplace-based learning, in particular apprenticeship training, in order to facilitate a good start for young people in the professional world.

Inspired by positive labour market development results in long-established apprenticeship systems, countries without a strong apprenticeship culture are now researching the possibilities of strengthening their vocational education and training systems through increased and better apprenticeship training. Many European and Asian countries have either begun to introduce apprenticeship training in accordance with dual training principles or to modernise it.

Analysis of success factors for effective apprenticeship practices

The Apprenticeship Training in Asia report investigates existing apprenticeship systems in select Asian countries each presenting unique framework conditions. It highlights the key attributes of these systems and the factors for developing them. The perspectives of governments, employers, and apprentices in relation to their involvement in apprenticeship training feature in the report, as do the opportunities and limitations inherent in implementing this form of training.

The example of Myanmar: practical skills are lacking

Swisscontact is currently working on introducing dual apprenticeship training in Myanmar. To this end, the local team there has compiled the "Apprenticeship Training in Asia" report. It serves as the basis for understanding how apprenticeship training can become part of the mainstream vocational education system of a country.

In Myanmar, many of the skills demanded by the labour market are not available. This constitutes a considerable barrier to the country’s economic development and hampers productivity. The purpose of the Vocational Skills Development Program (VSDP) is to improve livelihood opportunities through vocational education and training and skills certification, particularly for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The dual apprenticeship training introduced by the Program comprises 18-month on- and off-the-job training, following an agreed training plan. To date, the Program implements cook and agricultural machinery mechanic apprenticeships in partnership with select hotels and companies.

VSDP is a project of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Swisscontact.