The impact of SENAI's vocational training programme on employment, wages, and mobility in Brazil: what lessons for Sub Saharan Africa?

The impact of SENAI's vocational training programme on employment, wages, and mobility in Brazil: what lessons for Sub Saharan Africa?

In Brazil, the National Service for Industrial Training (SENAI) has existed for decades as the main building block of the Brazilian S-system of vocational training. It is a private non-profit organisation, managed and led by industrial associations that have historically been considered the leading institution providing professional skills contributing to improve the school-to-work transition in Brazil.

This paper investigates to what extent the Brazilian SENAI system of vocational training could be a role model for easing the substantial challenges African countries face to tackle rising urbanisation, high youth unemployment, and a skills gap.

First it discusses relevant featuresof the SENAI and associated training systems as they developed over time. The paper shows how the SENAI system offers opportunities for further training across the educational and race distribution as well as how the system does not appear to reach the poorest parts of the population and leaves women under represented.

It goes on to look at the returns of the SENAI and other training systems on labour market outcomes and find that the S-System promotes employment prospects for all groups and the wage premia are substantial for young males, but much lower for older workers, and very low for women. SENAI also appears to promote regional migration.

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