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Vocational Education, On-the-Job Training and Labour Market Integration of Young Workers in Urban West Africa

Listed author(s):
  • Christophe Nordman


    (IRD, UMR 225 DIAL)

  • Laure Pasquier-Doumer


    (IRD, UMR 225 DIAL)

(english) Young people in Africa are confronted with many difficulties when it comes to their integration in the labour markets and their research for decent and productive jobs. Research on the links between formal education and vocational training and their economic returns are especially crucial in understanding inadequacy between labour supply and demand for young people. This paper aims to contribute to this needed diagnosis by presenting some evidence based on the 1-2-3 Surveys conducted in seven African countries, which provides a consistent and comparable picture of the situation of youth employment in urban labour markets in these countries. We provide some evidence that vocational education might be a good instrument for integrating the formal sector and that it is often more profitable than general education in terms of earnings and firm performance, especially at higher levels of schooling. Overall, young workers without any formal vocational education and training are the more disadvantaged in terms of working conditions, while workers who benefited from a traditional apprenticeship in a small firm occupy an intermediate position. _________________________________ (français) Les jeunes africains se heurtent à de nombreux obstacles au moment de leur entrée sur le marché du travail, en particulier dans leur recherche d’un emploi décent et productif. Pour mieux comprendre les déséquilibres entre offre et demande d’emploi pour ces jeunes, cet article vise à apporter un nouvel éclairage sur le lien entre l’éducation formelle, la formation technique et professionnelle et les caractéristiques de l’insertion des jeunes sur le marché du travail, à partir des enquêtes 1-2-3 menées dans sept pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest. La parfaite comparabilité de ces enquêtes permet de mieux appréhender la situation des jeunes sur le marché du travail urbain en Afrique de l’Ouest. Cet article montre que la formation professionnelle favorise l’accès au secteur formel et procure souvent de meilleurs revenus que l’éducation générale, en particulier à des niveaux d’éducation élevés. Il montre aussi que les travailleurs sans aucune formation technique ou professionnelle ont les moins bonnes conditions de travail, alors que les travailleurs ayant effectué un apprentissage traditionnel, occupent une position intermédiaire.

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Paper provided by DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation) in its series Working Papers with number DT/2012/13.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt201213
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  1. Paul Schultz, T., 2002. "Why Governments Should Invest More to Educate Girls," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 207-225, February.
  2. Bocquier, Philippe & Nordman, Christophe J. & Vescovo, Aude, 2010. "Employment Vulnerability and Earnings in Urban West Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1297-1314, September.
  3. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4294 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Christophe J. NORDMAN & François-Charles WOLFF, 2012. "On-The-Job Learning And Earnings: Comparative Evidence From Morocco And Senegal," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 35, pages 151-176.
  5. Kuepie, Mathias & Nordman, Christophe J. & Roubaud, François, 2009. "Education and earnings in urban West Africa," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 491-515, September.
  6. Harminder Battu & Clive R. Belfield & Peter J. Sloane, 2003. "Human Capital Spillovers within the Workplace: Evidence for Great Britain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(5), pages 575-594, December.
  7. Christophe J. Nordman & François Roubaud, 2009. "Reassessing the Gender Wage Gap in Madagascar: Does Labor Force Attachment Really Matter?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 785-808, 07.
  8. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4400 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Calves, Anne-Emmanuele & Schoumaker, Bruno, 2004. "Deteriorating Economic Context and Changing Patterns of Youth Employment in Urban Burkina Faso: 1980-2000," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1341-1354, August.
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