Regional workshop

Strengthening apprenticeship systems in the informal economy in Africa to promote quality, innovation and transitions to formality

Workshop objectives

This workshop supported policy dialogue and contribute technical reflections on how to preserve and upgrade existing apprenticeship systems in the informal economy to promote quality, innovation, economic development, social justice, and transitions to formality. More effective apprenticeship systems, capacity and innovation at local level will trigger a process of structural transformation leading to more inclusive development.

The workshop took place in Benin, in collaboration with ADET (the Agency for the Development of Technical Education), the French Development Agency (AFD), the World Bank, the Swiss Development and Cooperation Department (SDC), the Network for International Policy and Cooperation in Education and Training (NORRAG) and the International Labor Organization (ILO). It showcased the advances made in Benin, fostered collaboration with other countries, established Benin as a knowledge hub on the inclusion of apprenticeship within national training systems in Africa, and stimulated dialogue in other countries through knowledge sharing and exchange of experience.

More specifically, the workshop aimed at
  • Sharing knowledge and experience of policies and practices from Benin and beyond to strengthen apprenticeship systems in the informal economy in the African region, identify decent work deficits and avenues to address them
  • Reflecting on recent research and studies on understanding apprenticeship systems and assessing the impact of interventions and policies
  • Comparing innovative approaches and lessons learnt of partnerships between crafts and business associations, parents and workers’ associations, governments and non-governmental actors aiming to promote quality and dynamism in informal apprenticeship systems and transitions to formality
  • Informing about a new global Recommendation on Apprenticeships discussed at the International Labour Conference in June 2023
  • Identifying areas and topics for further research at national and sector level to analyse trends, assess policy impacts, and explore potential for system strengthening, enterprise and sector development and the role of apprenticeships in structural transformations
  • Making Benin a hub in the sub-region for planning a multi-country program to strengthen apprenticeship systems in the informal economy for a better future of work

The outcomes of the workshop were
  • A selection of good practices from the region on the modernisation of informal apprenticeship and its integration into national training and skills development systems.
  • Evidence-based recommendations in line with the AU Agenda 2063.
  • Thematic research questions and topics of interest to several countries to inform a regional agenda.


The workshop brought together experts, representatives of governments, employers and workers’ organizations, crafts associations and their federations from selected countries in Africa, other international skills development experts and interested development partners.


The workshop was held in both English and French.