Skills and Technical Education Programme in Malawi (STEP)




Skills are vital for poverty reduction, economic recovery and sustainable development.

The UNESCO project Skills and Technical Education Programme (STEP) strengthens the governance structures of Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) in Malawi. TVET comprises formal, non-formal and informal learning for the world of work. Young people, women and men learn knowledge and skills from basic to advanced levels across a wide range of institutional and work settings and in diverse socio-economic contexts.

"I learned brick-laying on the job. If I could earn a certificate without going back to school, I would enjoy a high recognition on the labour market", local tradesman.

The project aims to tackle specific challenges of TVET.

First, as TVET is limited at the post-secondary level and that female students are particularly disadvantaged, STEP places high importance on the promotion of equitable and gender-based access to TVET. "Women in the construction trades make reliable workers. We want to hire more", Construction association member.

Second, the project explores innovative financing systems to address the lack of resources for the sector.

Finally, STEP works towards the establishment of clear governance structures for TVET in order to enable all stakeholders to participate fully and to ensure that all parties are accountable for reaching the objectives of quality and inclusive TVET.



2016- 2020

5% Complete




STEP contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals:

  • SDG 4 Quality education: STEP helps increase the number of qualified TVET teachers/instructors, reduce teacher-student ratio, and increase TVET completion rates.
  • SDG 5 Gender equality: STEP promotes TVET as an option for girls as part of career and guidance programmes that will be established in schools. 600 scholarships will be provided to girls who want to take up training in construction trades.
  • SDG 8 Decent work and economic growth: The Malawi National Export Strategy highlights the importance of demand-driven skills development opportunities in relation to Malawi’s social and economic growth. STEP is helping to respond to this demand.



This project is funded by the European Union's Direcorate-General for Development and Cooperation (DG DEVCO).


Additional Resources

UNESCO Office in Harare