ADPP Vocational School trains young people in academic and technical skills as a way to be integrated, after their graduation, in the different companies established in Guinea Bissau or to start their own business. ADPP Guinea Bissau opened the Vocational School in Bissorã in 1997 and since then 1.288 students have been graduated.
Youth constitutes the greatest opportunity for the productive sector in Guinea Bissau and ADPP believes that youth empowered with technical skills, entrepreneurship attitude and social responsibility understanding and practise, are the most needed capacities to contribute to develop the country. Thus, the training at the Vocational School emphasises these qualities in the following six vocational courses: Building & Construction, Agriculture & Animal Husbandry, Commerce & Business Administration, Solar Energy Technology, Electricity and Plumbing & Water Pump Repairing.
A survey of the college graduates showed that 50 %of the graduates from the college are self-employed and 25 % are employed in the formal and informal sectors of the economy. The graduates create employment for themselves and are creating employment for other people in Guinea Bissau.
During their training the students gain work experience through practises in companies and institutions of their chosen professional area for two weeks in May and one month in September/October, always working under the supervision of the company authorities and their teachers’ visit to assess their performance. Apart from their practices, the School offers HIV/AIDS awareness courses and carries out community campaigns to educate people about epidemics and other diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis.
The school encourages the youth to organize together and create self-employment and supports them with tool kits and post-graduation visits, whenever funding can be found for this.
A successful example of the encouragement is a cooperative created by one graduated group of students from the Vocational School: “Cooperativa Técnica dos Formandos da Construção Civil – COTEFORC” which is integrated currently by 36 members between the ages of 18 and 32 (10 of these members are women who joined recently). While cooperative members were originally construction graduates, over the time students from Agriculture, Trade and Solar Panel Installation have also joined.