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Formal Apprenticeship Programme
 
Background
 
The Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training (TEVET) Authority  is a regulatory body that was established in 1999 by an Act of Parliament with the mandate to promote and regulate sustainable acquisition of quality technical, entrepreneurial and vocational training for Malawian workforce in a socially responsible manner.
 
Introduction
 
One of the programmes regulated and facilitated by the TEVET Authority is Formal Apprenticeship. The Formal Apprenticeship Programme is a modular competency based training delivered through registered TEVET institutions and industrial attachment. The training programme certification is done at levels One to Four of achievements, where trainees acquire practical and theoretical knowledge in the occupation of their choice. Trainees under this programme are called apprentices.
 
Purpose
 
The purpose of the Formal Apprenticeship Programme is to generate qualified and competent artisans and technicians for existing and prospective industry, thereby creating both wage and self-employment.
 
Apprentice
 
An apprentice is a person who is learning an occupation by practical experience under a skilled worker.
 
Accessibility
 
To be eligible for formal apprenticeship one should have a Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) and/or its equivalent. Credit passes in English, Mathematics and a Science subject is an added advantage. A recruitment process for the Formal Apprenticeship Programme follows an advertisement, application, shortlisting, entrance examination (aptitude test) and ultimate selection of successful candidates into registered TEVET Institutions. The adverts for recruitment of apprentices are placed in the media. Application forms are distributed once a year in TEVET Regional Service Centre offices, District Assemblies, Traditional Authorities, Teacher Development Centres and through the TEVET Authority website. Females are strongly encouraged to apply. Selected candidates are notified through the print and electronic media.
 
Occupations
 
Based on the labour market demand, occupations in the Apprenticeship Programme, among others, include; Carpentry and Joinery, Automobile Mechanics, Electrical Installation and Electronics, Plumbing, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics, Bricklaying, Tailoring and Fashion Design, Painting and Decoration, General Fitting, Vehicle Body Repairing and Refinishing, Printing, Wood Work Machining, Food Production and Professional Driving.
 
Fees and training costs
 
The Apprenticeship Training Programme operates on a cost sharing basis. The apprentices pay prescribed fees directly to the training institutions, while as the TEVET Authority pays a subsidy for the cost of training material at the TEVET institutions.
 
Benefits of Formal Apprenticeship
 
Acquisition of knowledge and skills for employment
Exposure to industry life and ethics of the work place.
Training under the supervision of well qualified trainers and experienced supervisors.
Acquisition of a competitive and recognised TEVET qualification.
Generation of skilled manpower for the existing employers and prospective investors.
 
Overall, the Apprenticeship Programme helps to increase equitable access to quality and relevance of technical, entrepreneurial and vocational Education and training in line with the social and economic development in Malawi.