Building on USAID’s relationships with the Egyptian Ministry of Education and Technical Education (MoETE), Ministry of Industry and Trade, and Ministry of Local Development, the Workforce Improvement and Skill Enhancement (WISE) project works with schools, the private sector, and other stakeholders to upgrade the country’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system, enhance connections between employers and technical schools, and create local partnerships for economic development.
Our approach engages local organizations and workforce development networks, strengthens schools and governorate-level structures, and builds the capacity of institutions and individuals—strengthening local capacity for long-term transformation.
Better TVET schools
The project is strengthening the capacity of technical secondary schools and teachers to prepare students for the needs of the job market. Using a transition-to-employment model, WISE has established school-based units that operate like in-house career centers, providing students with workreadiness training, career guidance and direct links to in-company internships and employment for graduates.
- More than 1,000 teachers from 60 technical schools have participated in training to enhance their capacity to support students and connect them to employment opportunities.
- More than 15,000 students have received career counseling and participated in enhanced technical and soft skills training.
- More than 25,000 students from WISE program schools have been placed in jobs or on-the-job training programs.
- A gender-inclusive approach is improving employment prospects for female students.
- Leadership training for principals and senior managers is strengthening school oversight and management.
- WISE established 24 innovation clubs and 10 state-of-the-art fabrication labs in participating schools and has supported multiple innovation competitions for technical school students.
Demand driven technical training
WISE conducted a labor market survey and developed a business plan for a state-of-the-art vocational training and employment center that was designed by the Alexandria Business Association to model demand-driven technical training services for the Alexandria area of Egypt. This privately-run center will enhance the regional economic outlook for both young people and industry, creating a model for the private sector to replicate in other regions of the country.
WISE developed and launched the first Logistics and Renewable Energy diploma programs for Egypt’s technical schools using a competency-based education framework. These programs were designed with input from industry, include on-the-job training, and are preparing students for immediate employment.
Improved capacity of private sector
WISE is improving the performance of the private sector through in-house training and improved human resource strategies that develop skills of current workers, enhance productive capacity, and reduce worker turnover. Through formal agreements with more than 40 companies, WISE conducts a variety of assessments, guides teams in developing improvement plans, and supports the implementation of these plans.
Support for job seekers reduces gaps between job seekers’ skills and employers’ needs, increasing retention and leading to better products and services that enhance Egypt’s global competitiveness. WISE provides out of school, unemployed young people ages 18 to 30 with market-relevant life skills and work-readiness training, and connects them with self-employment opportunities and factory-based training and jobs. Private sector partners guarantee employment for all of these job seekers who successfully complete on-the-job training.
Public-private partnerships for effective change
WISE is introducing a model for public-private partnerships at the governorate level that decentralizes the role of promoting economic and social development and public dialogue. The governorates will work with schools, local governments, and the private sector to maintain labor market information databases, understand and address industry needs, connect workforce stakeholders, and advocate for policy change to support positive workforce development.
Technical school students are at the heart of Egypt’s economic revival
Egyptian youth are facing an exorbitant unemployment rate of 26.7%, according to Egypt’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics. Unemployment is especially severe for young technical school graduates—getting these almost 2 million unemployed technical school graduates to work would transform their lives and catapult Egypt’s economic growth. Egypt’s future depends on connecting youth to safe, productive work and building a skilled labor force that will increase the nation’s productivity and reduce poverty.
MTC is the recognized leader in U.S. technical and vocational training operations with more than 30 years of experience developing curricula, providing technical training, and capacity building. A U.S. government contractor with more than 8,400 employees and holding 62 government contracts, MTC has provided more than 2 million disadvantaged young people with employability training to prepare them for high quality, long-term jobs in the United States, Iraq, Pakistan, Tunisia, and the West Bank.
AMIDEAST— major subcontractor—is a U.S. NGO that has operated in Egypt for 50 years, with expertise in women’s empowerment, entrepreneurship, institutional strengthening, and public administration reform.
Egyptian National Competitiveness Council (ENCC)— subcontractor—is the premier Egyptian NGO engaged in research and national policy advocacy to effect significant changes in the welfare of all Egyptians.