DAPP sees it as a contribution to the general development efforts to keep on training youth in vocational skills in corporation with the Government of Malawi and TEVETA. The DAPP Vocational School in Mikolongwe in the district of Chiradzulu has an immediate effect on the person who gets trained as he or she acquires skills, which will make it possible to get employment or to create self employment.
The Vocational School aims at training a new generation of young people, who are able to master their own lives and become a resource with a passion to contribute to the development of their own country. The idea is to offer young people (18-25 years old) a 1-2 year vocational training program in a number of demanding theoretical and practical subjects such as agriculture, community development, financial accounting, tailoring and construction. The students are taught numerous skills – thus building their human and intellectual capacity to obtain formal employment or create self-employment upon graduation. The companies participating in this part of the program are true partners of the school, as they provide hands-on-training. The Vocational School also offers services to the local community by implementing short courses in simple and viable agricultural farming methods, construction, tailoring and other subjects.
The Mikolongwe Vocational School was established in February 1997 and has by now graduated more than 3,000 young Malawians in various skills. A survey made in 2006 revealed that 75% of the graduates have entered the formal or informal job market, while 15% continued studies after graduation. Over the years the school has increased its number of courses and is currently offering Bricklaying & Plastering, Carpentry, Tailoring, Agriculture, Community Development, Welding and Fabrication and Financial Accounting. The School has over the years carried out various skills training programs for orphans and vulnerable youth in close corporation with partners such as UNICEF, Self Help Development International, Playing for Life, Oxfam, ADRA, NAPHAM, The Ministry of Youth and the Ministry of Local Government.
Financial Accounting and Communication: Young Malawians are being trained in the business and financial management field which includes understanding the country’s economic patterns, legal systems, market structure, consumer behaviour, taste and preferences. Upon completion of the course, the students will be equipped with requisite skills that enable them to competently operate business ventures and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
Carpentry and Joinery: The course s designed to meet the ever growing demand for trained carpenters across Malawi and tailored to assist aspirant and untrained carpenters in the planning and construction of carpentry product including furniture as well as entrepreneurship training which will enable them become self employed.
Brick-laying: The course provides the youth opportunity to acquire building and construction skills, elements covered in the training include building calculations, technical drawing, building science and building practices.
Tailoring: The students are trained in tailoring and textile designing, the course contents include garment construction, cutting and designing. Students are also trained in entrepreneurship in order to use their acquired skills holistically for income generation.
Welding and Fabrication: Students participating in this course will be equipped with skills to become competent in metal fabrication and production of metal and steel products. The students are responsible for the maintenance of steel ware within the school thereby providing them with room to learn, practice and sharpen their skills.
Certificate of Agriculture: The course’s objective is to contribute towards food security through training in modern agricultural practices, introducing agricultural production as a sustainable business to support, advance the students’ livelihoods and the communities around the nation at large.
Community Development: The school believes that the youth have the potential to become change agents in society if equipped with the right knowledge, skills and values. It is in this respect that students are trained with skills that will help the community understand and appreciate the challenges faced and together come up with solutions to address and overcome those challenges.
Beauty and Hairdressing: The course aims at training young Malawians to launch careers as hairdressers, barbers and salon managers. It equips students with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills in beauty therapy and hairdressing.