The Economic Benefits of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the Kingdom of Swaziland: A Case of the National Handicraft Training Centre (NHTC)

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Swaziland is key for employment and self-employment opportunities which result in economic growth. TVET has proven to be an educational pathway that can be used to significantly reduce the unemployment rate by 2022. TVET graduates acquire skills that empower them to be immediately absorbed by the labour market and/or be self-employed. About 73.1% of the graduates are in productive employment after graduating from NHTC; with 47.6% formally employed, 25.5% self-employed, while 26.2% were unemployed in the period 1995 - 2015. The Benefit-Cost Ratio of NHTC, based on the Government of Swaziland and the Republic of China on Taiwan’s investment in NHTC, is 1:4.66. This means for every E1 invested in NHTC, the economy realises E4.66 through the income generating activities of graduates. The positive return on investment in NHTC indicates that if Government can increase funding to TVET institutions, the economic return can make significant contributions to skills development and GDP growth in the country. Though NHTC graduates are productively employed after training, the level of selfemployment/entrepreneurship is still very low (25.5%). To increase the number of TVET skilled youth who create jobs in the economy of Swaziland, linkages with financial institutions are needed to support graduates to start their own businesses and in turn employ other young people for further transfer of skills. There are opportunities to channel more unemployed youth into the TVET system, and the Government, development partners, and private businesses can assist in providing tuition and start-up capital for TVET enterprises to develop practical skills and talents for economic growth and industrialisation in the country.