Implementing Apprenticeships, Industry Partnerships and TVET in Maldives

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Implementing a National Apprenticeship Framework, strengthening industry and institute linkages, working models of partnerships, youth mentoring, workforce planning and development were all on the agenda for 2 day workshops with the government and stakeholders in Maldives and Bhutan.

STEP program

QUT and Workforce BluePrint

At the invitation of Nelson Salangsang, Manager-International Projects, Office of Commercial Services, Queensland University of Technology, Wendy Perry, Head Workforce Planner, Workforce BluePrint spent a week in Male, Maldives and then in Thimphu, Bhutan working with their respective governments.


Arriving in Male, Maldives on Sunday 27 January 2013, Monday was dedicated to familiarisation, a formal meeting with Hon. Ismail Shafeeu, Aminath Asra and the team, with final customisation of the workshop materials and examples to suit Maldives unique situation.  A country with 1192 coral islands and one of the most geographically dispersed, the capital is Male a 1×2 km island.

The Maldives Public Sector Linkages Program began on Tuesday with a welcome from the Minister and presentation of the Strategic Roadmap for Apprenticeships and Institute Linkages in Maldives.  Participants were drawn from employers and industry, TVET providers, schools and government.

An official signing of Memorandum of Understanding for the “Skills Training and Employment Programme (STEP)” at resorts between the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Human Resources Youth and Sports saw much fanfare with a video presentation, lights, smoke and the local media attending a press conference.

Apprenticeship models including school based were presented by Kath Marnane from Kath Marnane and Associates Pty Ltd who is currently working on a TVET project in Cambodia.

Working models of partnerships and operational issues for apprenticeships were presented by Wendy Perry (introduced as famous although not related to Katy Perry!).  Partnership models included national leadership with the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency, national coordination through Skills Connect, funding via the National Workforce Development Fund and the Industry Skills Councils.  Examples of partnership between schools, institutes and industry covered Agriculture, Building and Construction, Business Services, TVET in Schools, School Based Apprenticeships, Local Government Workforce planning, Regional workforce planning, Small Business, Social Enterprises, Tourism and Hospitality.

Operational issues in apprenticeships included:

  • Agreeing common objectives and understanding stakeholders required outcomes
  • Understanding clearly role of each partner
  • Supervisors on the job training, coaching and mentoring skills
  • Recruiting and matching apprentices
  • Making on/off-the job training meaningful
  • Broker role and facilitation
  • Family support and parents influence

Using the STEP program as a partnership model, participants worked in 3 groups – industry engagement, workforce planning, branding and promotion – identifying strengths, risks, opportunities for improvement and transferability to other industries.

Kath covered the system and administrative components of implementing a National Apprenticeship Framework.

On the second day, Wendy shared mentoring programs for youth including the Australian Youth Mentoring Network, 10 element of mentoring as benchmarks, tips for choosing the right model for a mentoring program, the Australian Apprenticeship Mentoring Program and industry specific mentoring programs from building and construction, restaurants and catering.

A draft mentoring model and program for youth in the Maldives was developed a formed a component of the STEP Forward Action Plan.

An overview of workforce planning and development was very much appreciated by the participants working through Workforce BluePrint’s 5 stage evidence based approach.

Workforce Action Plan

Workforce gaps and issues were identified along with existing workforce development strategies and a number of new strategies to be implemented.

The Australian team (Nelson, Kath and Wendy) facilitated the population of a STEP Forward Plan (Workforce Action Plan) by participants with the following objectives:

  • Engage all of the hospitality establishments towards an established apprenticeship programme using models including school based apprenticeships and TVET in schools
  • To create awareness among parents, school leavers, unemployed youth and industry by the end of 2015
  • To make STEP most preferred mechanism through which youth can get the chance to get into the respective industry
  • Build industry capability in workforce planning and mentoring with workforce plans for critical industry sectors

Socialised with the President’s office, the Minister of Education and his staff via a debrief, the workforce action plan will form the basis for future work and the next steps in capability development in Maldives.

For photos from the workshop, click here.

Written by Wendy Perry, Head Workforce Planner, Workforce BluePrint, February 2012.

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