The 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 urbanization, high youth unemployment, and a skills gap. We first discuss relevant features of the SENAI and associated training systems as they developed over time. Subsequently, we show that 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. We then study 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.
Villalobos Barría, C.; Klasen, S. IRIBA Working Paper 05: The Impact of SENAI’s Vocational Training Programme on Employment, Wages, and Mobility in Brazil: What Lessons for Sub Saharan Africa? International Research Initiative on Brazil and Africa (IRIBA), University of Manchester, Manchester, UK (2014) 56 pp.