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Implementing Partnership for Upgrading Informal Apprenticeships Training Systems
International Labour Organization





 City: Khartoum
 Deadline: 06 May 2021

Terms of Reference

Implementing Partnership for Upgrading Informal Apprenticeships Training Systems



PROSPECTS partnership

  • Under “Partnership for Improving Prospects for Forcibly Displaced Persons and Host Communities” (PROSPECTS) project supported by the Government of the Netherlands, the ILO also partners with UNICEF, UNHCR, WB and IFC to develop a joint and fully integrated approach to respond to the forced displacement situation. In Sudan, the Partnership, focuses on delivering change within the South Sudanese refugee and host community populations in East Darfur, specifically Assalayaa settlement and El Nimir camp and West Kordofan, specifically along the Keilak Kharasana corridor and in the remote El Meiram settlements.



The development challenges facing Sudan are numerous, but at the heart of the problem is how to sustain and accelerate economic growth, and translate that growth into improved opportunities for the vast majority of the country’s population living under extreme conditions of informality. In Sudan, the formal labour market accommodates only a small and decreasing portion of the economically active population. Salaried jobs offer no answer to the growing demand for more and more jobs. Unemployment among youth, between 15 and 24 years of age (more than 60% of the population) is particularly high and increased by two percentage points between 2009 and 2014 (WB, 2020, see figure below). In the PROSPECTS targeted states of East Darfur and West Kordofan, extreme informality creates some of thehighest reported unemployment rates in the country, only preceded by larger urban centres.


It has increasingly becoming obvious that in PROSPECTS operational locations, a majority of the working age FDP and HC population - and especially youth -will obtain income/revenue from engagement in the informal economy. Informal self-employment and/or informal wage employment have been confirmed in recent baseline data assessments; as well as the pervasiveness of informal enterprises; operating in a large and growing informal economy.

Skills enhancement for more women and men can help countries move to a virtuous circle of higher productivity, employment, income growth and development. Yet, the current TVET system has tended to cater for those who have graduated from formal general education system and as such there are significant barriers to the majority of the population; especially for those that have an incomplete secondary education. Many young working age Sudanese face additional barriers to access technical and trades based training opportunities due to living far away from one of the few operational training centres in East Darfur or West Kordofan states.

Where vocational training programmes do exist, the quality of training has been sub-optimal and slow to adapt to changes in the market.  For these reasons, informal skills acquisition trainings – specifically informal apprenticeships –have widespread use in Sudan. In the PROSPECTS target states, skills-related data sampling in PROSPECTS locations strongly suggest that the informal apprenticeship training systemaccounts for over 80% of the responsesas to where skills were obtained. The ILOs PROSPECTS interventions have been designed around identifying what embryonic informal apprenticeship training-related assets exists at the local operational level and to look for points of entry to strengthen that training system via the introduction of productivity enhancing technologies, product-oriented production and learning techniques, conditions required for training benchmarks, workshop level occupational safety and health commitments, and other ‘quality improvements’ to the instructional process.


ILO PROSPECTS Baseline Survey Results for Where Were Skills Acquired

Q D21: What skills do you possess?



If not "none"



Q D23: Where have you acquired these skills? (n=730)



West Kordofan (n=234)

East Darfur (n=496)


8% (n=18)

2% (n=8)

Technical or vocational trade school

0% (n=0)

2% (n=10)

Mobile training unit

4% (n=10)

0% (n=1)

Government extension services

2% (n=4)

1% (n=3)

Farmer field school

1% (n=2)

0% (n=0)

Private education centre

6% (n=15)

2% (n=8)

Local NGO

0% (n=1)

1% (n=3)

International NGO / UN Agency

1% (n=2)

1% (n=4)

Family / relatives / friends

72% (n=169)

83% (n=608)

Business association / cooperative

0% (n=0)

0% (n=2)

On-the-job training (including mentorships and apprenticeships)

3% (n=6)

4% (n=26)


3% (n=7)

1% (n=8)

(Source: PROSPECTS baseline survey)

Efforts made to strengthen the existing uncoordinated informal apprenticeship training system in PROSPECTS locationsAND to improve the learning/working conditions that are typically found at the workshop level will help the ILO to introduce new technologies, equipment, production practices, and product design options that will result in improved market product options and potential income/revenue streams. However, in order to obtain the benefits expected from this approach, a number of operational constraints need to be addressed.

It is important to emphasize that under the ILO’s PROSPECTS project, the Organization has committed to working in a number of deep field locations in East Darfur and West Kordodan. In these remote locations a number of parameters shape intervention design considerations. First, the skeletal profile of potential Mastercraft Trainers and workshops that are appropriate locations restricts the pool of relevant workshops that are expected to have the necessary technology/equipment profile, reliable power supply, access to inputs and suppliers, market/display space will be small.

At the workshop level itself, size and physical layout will provide additional limits to instructional outreach opportunities under the informal apprenticeship window. An additional concern is that in some operational locations social frictions between FDP and HC further restricts opportunities for the equitable provision of skills upgrading and on-the-job training sessions. Finally, efforts made by international partners working in faraway locales, may be successful, at the national level, in introducing core referent documents and policy changes aimed at improving formal apprenticeship systems, but in PROSPECTS locations the expected impact from working towards including local artisans, workshops, craftpersons into national systems (including certification) would be expected to be negligible.

As a result, the ILOs PROSPECTS programme seeks to work with local trades and business associations, Chambers of Commerce, and local administrations to jointly develop the community action plan(s) that will identify the trade-based occupational competencies that are recognized by the ILO and its partner local associations for self-employment or wage employment with one of the many informal enterprises in PROSPECTS locations. For the apprentices, that will be engaged under the ILOs informal apprenticeship component, it will mean that significant efforts will also be directed at improving the quality and conditions of the apprenticeship; however, these efforts will focus initially on a small number of marketable trades. 

Preliminary analyses in West Kordofan and East Darfur and extensive analysis in neighbouring North Kordofan and White Nile states, reveal that the incidence of informal apprenticeships is highest in the following three occupations (see Informal Apprenticeship Upgrading Report, ILO, 2019):

  • Automotive Repair
  • Construction Carpentry
  • Metalwork (Welding and Blacksmith)



  • The Objective of the present assignment is to support the International Labour Organization in the implementation of its “Upgrading Informal Apprenticeship Training System Approach”. This approach will emphasize improving planning, coordination, and outcomes producedby stakeholders involved in the local informal training system in East Darfur (Nimir Camp and Assalayaa Settlement) and West Kordofan (Keilak/Kharasana corridor and El Meiram settlement), while at the same time focus onimproving  the quality and conditions of the apprenticeship training and learning experience at the local workshop level.

Key Deliverables: 

Estimated targets (min.)

  1. Inception report detailing refined project work plan and other management arrangements.

1 Report

  1. Rapid market assessment/site recces to identify and map potential Mastercraft Trainers and workshops in PROSPECTS target localities[3]in the aforementioned occupations.

100 MCs across 4 localities

  1. Undertake an initial assessment of Mastercraft Trainers and potential workshops and conduct follow up workshop surveys to develop the list of Mastercraft Trainers and workshops that will be endorsed by the ILO and relevant Local Economic Development Committees. Vetting measures include location, size of productive space, technology profile, occupational safety and health (OSH) risks, environment and waste management considerations, and willingness of the Mastercraft Trainer to provide apprenticeship opportunities to 1-2 apprentices including those from the refugee community;

100 workshops across 4 localities


(and a commitment by local MCs to train 100-200 Apprentices

  1. Conduct a series of Assessments of individual MC Workshops to identifyMastercrafts Occupational Competency requirements by apprenticeship trade. These assessments are to sketch out the profile of the commercial products and services provided by local trades craftspersons, potential areas for production or service upgrading, and the required skills, knowledge, and competencies that are required by the local light industrial, commercial, production operators in the PROSPECTS locations. Outputs from these assessments will feed into or compliment follow up training and instructional skills gaps and the identification of relevant training content packages and/or training streams.

Ca. 40assessments of individual Workshop across 4 locations. Focus on 1.Metalworking

2.Auto Repair


  1. Design instruments for and conduct a “Training Need Assessments” (TNA) based on adapting existing and relevant training curricula (Sudan and/or international training content) to local commercial and trades practices. Assessments should measure Mastercraft (MC) Trainer competencies and knowledge against agreed upon local production practices and trade-specific occupational competency requirements exercised in PROSPECTS locations These TNAs  should identify
    1. Practical skills and tasks that MCs are not able to perform;
    2. Technical knowledge that they lack; and
    3. Preference for  workplace training pedagogy;
    4. Knowledge of workplace practices including OSH 
    5. Equipment and technology needs to expand productive capacity and/or better meet  customer demand. 

3 (one per occupation)

  1. Propose a scheme to raise awareness about (importance/role of) informal apprenticeships among host and forcibly displaced communities, as well as key messages that resonate with the target audience

1 scheme

  1. Through the awareness raising activity, identify a potential pool of apprentices to be tested, verified, and taken on by MCs (as part of the MCs requirement for participation in the upgrading intervention)

100-200from HC and FDP in 4 localities

  1. Engage Arabic speaking subject matter experts (local, Khartoum-based, or international) in the aforementioned occupations to design and conduct a “skills upgrading training programme” for endorsed Mastercraft trainers that includes technical skills and instructional skills training, knowledge of occupational competencies and benchmarks, equipment-specific certification, awareness of national occupational safety and health standards, and induction into the ILOs modality for improving informal apprenticeship conditions and agreements.

3 subject matter experts

  1. Work with local LEDC representatives to work with local trade association and/or administrations to design a mechanism to monitor apprentices learning against stated occupational competencies as well as the extent that these competencies led to self or waged employment in an informal enterprise or commercial sector.

1 mechanism for all apprentices

  1. Monitor learning outcomes in accordance with designed mechanism and provide progress reports on (MCs and apprentices) participating and completing the activity. Efforts will also need to be made to link training with changes in employment or number of working hours worked by graduates from a PROSPECTS Mastercraft workshop/enterprise.


  1. Arrange and administer a transparent process to distribute occupation-specific equipment kits to MCs who have completed the training programme, based on expressed equipment needs by the MCs

1 final report

  1. Conduct post-training surveys with MCs and apprentices, including on experiences working with members of the other communities.


  1. Upon project completion, submit a final implementation report, detailing relevant information (e.g. no of beneficiaries, challenges faced, lessons learned) and detailed spending to-date as agreed with the ILO. Furthermore, the final report should provide suggestions for an “adaptation” of the aforementioned guide to the local context in Sudan.

100 kits (tailored to individual needs)



Reporting lines

The selected implementing partner will work under the direct supervision of the PROSPECTS team in Khartoum Sudan. This includes regular planning and progress meetings, joint discussions and agreement on best approaches and regular progress reports. TheSkills for Employment Policy Brief on Upgrading Informal Apprenticeship Systems serves as the main guideline for this Terms of Reference.  The selected implementing partner will agree with the PROSPECTS teams on aspects of the methodology that have to be adjusted in the context of Sudan.


Submission of Proposals and Selection Criteria for Shortlist

The interested implementing partner should submit a technical and financial proposal no later than 06 May2021, 4pm [CAT].

The financial proposal is to include a cost breakdown indicating staff and activity costs by deliverable in USD. The financial offer is to exclude the procurement equipment kits, as these will be procured by the ILO based on the results reported under deliverable 4 (equipment needs analysis) and should only indicate the administrative cost of supervising the equipment distribution process at the various target locations. Furthermore, the financial proposal should not include any financial incentives for the beneficiaries for participation in the apprenticeship training scheme.

The technical proposal should lay out, in detail, the comparative advantage of the organization in implementing the aforementioned deliverable and provide a detailed implementation work plan respecting the project end date of June 30 2023. The ILO will not consider incomplete submissions. All responses and supporting documentation received will be treated as strictly confidential and will not be made available for the public.

The selection process shall take into consideration the followings:

  1. Demonstrated understanding of the TORs;
  1. Institutional capacity to carry out the activities and/or produce the outputs, and manage the funds entrusted to them; including:
  • Technical expertise of key project staff.
  • Internal logistical infrastructure/ arrangement.
  1. Soundness of the proposed work-plan and timeline(s);
  1. Proposed project management arrangements ;
  1. Proposed reporting framework; and
  1. The financial proposal


Both the technical and financial proposals should reflect planning to mitigate against relevant risks.

Note: For organizations without an office in both target states, the proposal should further clarify how they intend to bridge distances between target localities.

All interested organization can send questions to Abdelmonaim Ahmed to the ILO until 15April 2021. Questions will be answered and shared with the interested organizations by Close of Business on21April 2021.



  • 1st payment will be 10% of the total budget and to be disbursed once a detailed inception report is provided.
  • 2nd payment will be 50% of the total budget and will be disbursed on completion and submission of deliverables 2-6.
  • 3rd payment will be 30% of the budget which is to be disbursed upon satisfactory progress on deliverables 7-13.
  • 4th payment of 10% is to be disbursed upon the submission of the final project report.

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