International Journal of
Vocational and Technical Education

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Voc. Tech. Educ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-534X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJVTE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 110

Full Length Research Paper

An analysis of the technical and vocational skills gaps in the manufacturing industry in Malawi

Andrew Chimpololo
  • Andrew Chimpololo
  • University of Malawi, Malawi.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 09 August 2016
  •  Accepted: 01 March 2017
  •  Published: 31 March 2017


This study presents the findings of skills scoping study for the manufacturing industry in Malawi. The study analyse the skills gaps in the sector to inform the development and review processes of technical and vocational education programmes in the country to help balance the demand and supply of skills equilibrium. Currently, research indicates a mismatch between the range of programmes in training institutions and needs of the industry due to weak linkages. The study used interviews, questionnaire and document analysis to investigate the skills situation. While most of the required skills are readily available on the local market, the results reveal a scarcity of expertise in certain critical areas within the beverages, agro-processing, plastics and packaging as well as assembly sectors. There are also quality and quantity shortfalls affecting the supply of technical and vocational skills. The depth of course content is low in fields such as automobile engineering (designing and assembling). The results further indicated that the industry is lacking multi-skilled technicians capable of performing multiple functions within their areas of expertise. Furthermore, a majority of the technical personnel in all the four sectors of the manufacturing industry possess limited supervisory and communication skills.

Key words: Technical, entrepreneurial and vocational education and training (TEVET), skills gaps, manufacturing industry, Malawi.