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Human Resources Development Council of Botswana

The National Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) is the HR Planning agency for Botswana. They are responsible for the development of national apprenticeship training and student internship policy and plans, as well as the management of the Botswana Human Resource Development Fund. The HRDC commissioned the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) to develop policy and guidelines for a reformed work-based learning system within Botswana. COL then engaged Skills Consulting Group to undertake the project – this was because Skills Consulting Group has the expertise in labour market research, workforce development planning and programme policy.

As a demographically young middle-income nation, Bostwana has some challenges. These challenges include developing a workforce which has the skills to compete in a globalised knowledge-based environment and building an education system that can address the growing educational needs of its youth.

For HRDC (as the lead organisation in Policy Advice) and Botswana, solving this problem began with helping the country transition from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy.

Botswana’s current training system

If we take a look at Botswana’s current training system, it is essentially a work-based learning system that has been built around an employer-based training levy and two formal Vocational Education Training (TVET) programmes. These are:


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Apprenticeship Training – a trades-based traditional apprenticeship scheme.
Student Internship
Student Internships – a system that provides students with workplace attachments pre-graduation.

What has become apparent is that the existing Apprenticeship Training scheme has become less relevant over time. This has occured even though there is still strong demand from the mining, engineering, construction and other industries, with a number of shadow apprenticeship schemes still taking place in these sectors. And at the same time, there is also a clear demand for modern apprenticeships in industries such as Tourism and Hospitality, and Catering.

Given that there is still continued demand for Apprenticeship Training, what Skills Consulting Group believes is that a focus on building more resource into the programmes and, at the same time, putting in place stronger coordination systems will revitalise the programmes.

Skills Consulting Group’s Process

To begin the project, Skills Consulting Group was brought in to deliver on six key stages. The first three of these have already been successfully delivered:

  1. An inception report which focuses on localising and developing an effective project plan.
  2. A research-based situational analysis to establish the evidence base for the development of policy around Work-based Learning.
  3. A detailed policy statement for Work-based Learning in Botswana.
  4. Framework of apprenticeship Training and Student internship for Botswana
  5. An implementation plan with integrated monitoring and evaluation framework.
  6. An employer database.

The outcomes achieved

The first three of the six key stages have already been successfully delivered, including the situational analysis, the policy statements and the policy for work-based learning.

The situational analysis forms the base of evidence for the project and is built around a comprehensive research process that included an extensive literature review and focus groups.

To do this, a set of policy statements was developed which we used for testing with stakeholder focus groups. From that, we were able to identify the following  policy objectives:

  1. Improve the participation of youth and vulnerable groups in national Work-based Learning programmes.
  2. Develop high-quality work-based qualifications, programmes and delivery arrangements.
  3. Build Work-based Learning governance arrangements which would provide for the collaborative development of coherent and integrated Work-based Learning policy across government and the primary stakeholders.
  4. Develop more effective Work-based Learning management and coordination arrangements.
  5. Develop Education Training Provider’s capacity and ability to deliver high-quality Work-based Learning.
  6. Develop a more effective funding system for Apprenticeship Training and Student Internships, which would in turn provide the appropriate incentives to participation and performance in the Work-based Learning system.

The policy objectives were developed into a detailed policy document which has been approved by HRDC. The next stages of the project will involve the development of a detailed framework,  guidelines and an implementation plan with clear evaluation metrics. This work is due to be completed in September 2020.

About Commonwealth of Learning (COL):

Created by Commonwealth Heads of Government in 1987, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) helps Member States and institutions to harness the potential of distance learning and technologies to expand access to education and training and address the education challenges of today. For COL, learning is the key to sustainable development and must lead to opportunities for economic growth, social inclusion and environmental conservation. Visit for more details.

About Skills Consulting Group

Based in New Zealand, Skills Consulting Group works with clients around the world in vocational education and workforce development consulting. We have significant experience in the design, review and implementation of competency frameworks, qualifications and workplace-based learning and assessment. We have worked with government agencies, training providers and key industry players throughout the Asia Pacific region, Africa and North America.

As a leader in vocational education, Skills Consulting Group uses its expertise to develop practical solutions for clients, helping organisations enhance performance, individuals gain better career prospects and countries to improve their economic prosperity.

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