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Informal Sector Skills Development Programme

TEVET Authority acknowledges skills training that take place in the informal sector. Both TEVET Authority’s policy and Act support implementation of informal sector initiatives that promote wage and self employment through the acquisition of technical and entrepreneur skills.

The informal sector in Malawi covers a spectrum of economic activities in commerce, agriculture, construction, transportation and service provision. It absorbs more than 80% of the labor force in both the rural and urban areas. Through the informal Sector Training programme, the TEVET Authority strives to develop quality skills training that equip the youths and other disadvantaged groups with skills that will enable them become employable through wage or self employment.


The programme aims at improving the standards of technical and entrepreneurial skills of people living and working in the informal sector. This broacher provides information on various initiatives that are implemented under the Informal Sector Skills Development Programme (ISSDP) and how they can be accessed.

Training Initiatives

Informal Sector Programmes offer training opportunities under the following initiatives:

Description of ISSDP Initiatives

1. Skills Training with Partners (STP)

Skills Development with Partners are technical, entrepreneurial and life skills training initiatives implemented in collaboration with partners such as Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and Faith Based Organisations (FBOs). SDP aims at providing technical assistance and capacity building opportunities to organisations that are involved in the provision of TEVET opportunities in the rural and peri-urban areas.

2. Micro and Small Enterprise Development Initiatives (MSED)

Micro and Small Enterprise Development interventions (MSED) initiatives aim at developing entrepreneurial, business and technical skills in existing community based micro and small enterprise groups formed by various Governmental and Non-governmental agencies in the rural and peri-urban areas.

3. Informal Apprenticeship/On Job Training (IAP/OJT)

Informal Apprenticeship training involves the transfer of knowledge and skills from a Master Craftsperson to an apprentice taking place on the job within an enterprise or workplace. IAP/OJT aims at providing hands on experiential training that allows an apprentice to learn technical as well as business skills from the Authority’s registered Master Craft’s person.

4. Establishing Informal Sector Market

Community Skills Development Centres (CSDC)

Community Skills Development Centres (CSDC) are TEVET Authority listed community owned institutions with specified infrastructure that provide TEVET and are recognised by the local assembly. CSDCs aim to provide TEVET at a local informal TEVET institution focusing on training that is relevant to the locality with a view to promote self employment and economic empowerment of the local masses.

Informal TEVET Providers

Informal TEVET providers are institutions registered by the TEVET Authority and have capacity to offer courses leading to Level 1 and 2 of TEVET certificate. Informal TEVET providers feed into formal technical colleges that offer higher levels of TEVET thereby linking informal and formal TEVET provision.

ISSDP interventions
1. Appropriate technology & Small Rural Industry
2. Capacity Building
3. Agricultural TEVET
4. Artisanal Mining
5. Tourism
6. Informal Sector Groupings Associations

How to access ISSD Initiatives

Individuals, organisations and small business groups in both rural and urban areas are encouraged to demand training opportunities from the TEVET Authority through its service centres or District TEVET Desk Officers. To ensure consistent and equitable increased access to TEVET the TEVET Authority works with all District and City Assemblies alongside Informal Sector TEVET Provider Association (ISTPAs) whose members are Master Craft’s Persons involved in Informal Apprenticeship provision.

Target Groups
• Unemployed and
• Out of school youths.
• Vulnerable,
• Master craftsmen
• Artisans
• Micro-entrepreneurs
• Traditional apprentices
• Marginalized and disadvantages groups including women and orphans

Benefits of Informal Sector Skills Development Programmes
• Skills upgrading opportunities
• Access to internationally recognised certification
• Quality Assurance service
• Courses stream lined with entrepreneurship and business training