Cameroun - Emploi. Law No 2018 - 010 of 11 July 2018 governing vocational training in Cameroon

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The Parliament deliberated and adopted, the President of the Republic hereby enacts the law set out below:


CHAPTER I
GENERAL PROVISIONS

SECTION 1 : (1) This law lays down the general legal framework as well as the basic guidelines for vocational training in Cameroon.

(2) The scope of vocational training shall comprise all post-basic education training provided either by government or private institutions approved by the State. It shall be aimed at imparting to trainees and apprentices the knowledge, skills and competences required to practise a trade and/or gain access to a job.

SECTION 2: (1) The State shall grant vocational training a national priority status.

(2) It shall organize and supervise vocational training.

SECTION 3 : Private partners shall contribute towards providing vocational training.

SECTION 4 : The State shall guarantee equal access to vocational training in the two official languages to any Cameroonian national who fulfils the required conditions.

SECTION 5 : This law shall promote and develop:
- a vocational training system that enables individuals to achieve professional and personal fulfilment and to integrate the society, particularly in the labour market, while making them fit and willing to show professional flexibility and remain in the labour market;
- a vocational training system  that promotes corporate competitiveness;
- equal training opportunities for all;
- gender equality, as well as elimination of inequalities inhibiting persons with disabilities in vocational training;
- permeability of training types and fields within vocational training, as well as between vocational training and other sectors of the educational system;
- transparency in the vocational training system.

SECTION 6 : For the purpose of this law, the following definitions shall apply:

Apprentice: trainee in an enterprise or workshop within the context of a long-term training process;
Apprenticeship: long-duration dual training method, a good part of which takes place in an enterprise, but is also supplemented in a training establishment, aimed at on-the-job transfer from a skilled person, referred to as the “apprenticeship supervisor” to a person referred to as the “apprentice”, of a recognized initial professional skill, enabling the latter to practise a trade;
Apprenticeship contract: contract whereby the manager of an industrial, commercial or agricultural establishment or a craftsman undertakes to provide or ensure, under his/her responsibility, methodical and comprehensive vocational training to a person, and whereby the latter undertakes in return to follow the instructions he/she will receive and carry out his/her assignment  for apprenticeship purposes;
Career guidance: activity aimed at enabling a person seeking employment or professional advancement, to resolve problems of the choices relating thereto, considering their profile with regard to available job opportunities;
Certification: issuance by an official authority of a document to authenticate the skills and know-how of a candidate as against a benchmark standard matching a qualification or certificate;
Competence: ability to efficiently practise a trade, perform a duty or some specific tasks, with all the qualifications required to that effect;
Further training: additional training enabling competence upgrade or capacity building in a given branch of activity;
Professional qualification: a combination of acquired skills, knowledge, qualifications and experiences enabling the practice of a specific occupation or trade;
Retraining: training aimed at rebuilding partly forgotten or lost practical skills and knowledge needed for a job or profession;
Short-cycle vocational training: professional skills acquisition training spanning   24 (twenty-four) months or less;
Validation of Acquired Experience (VAE): assessing someone’s work experience for purposes of a matching certification;
Vocational training: training consisting in imparting knowledge, skills and competences with a view to ensuring a qualified labour force, and based on    the qualitative and quantitative needs of employers and workers.
SECTION 7: (1) The State shall prepare, implement and monitor public vocational training and career guidance policies, in partnership with local and regional authorities, professional organizations, enterprises and other relevant national stakeholders.
(2) It shall as much as possible offer sufficient vocational training opportunities, particularly in the promising sectors. In this regard, it shall promote vocational training development by supporting research and putting in place appropriate structures in the new vocational training fields.

SECTION 8 : (1) Vocational training shall be based on the principles of the State, Employer and Worker tripartism, decentralization, secularism, public-private partnership, democracy, social equity, labour market access, dual training, apprenticeship and State-Enterprise-Worker joint-financing.
(2) The State shall seek to match the vocational training system to the expressed needs of the socio-professional sectors, with a view to curbing the training-employment mismatch.

SECTION 9 : The vocational training stakeholders’ community shall comprise the following:
- local and regional authorities;
- private vocational training promoters or guidance entities;
- instructors, administrative and supervisory staff;
- trainees;
- Socio-professional partners.

SECTION 10: (1) Vocational training shall comprise:
- initial vocational training;
- continuing vocational training; and
- apprenticeship.
(2) The vocational training policy shall be implemented in entities within the purview of government authorities, public and semi-public sector enterprises or at centres established by natural persons or corporate bodies.

SECTION 11 : Separate mechanisms shall be put in place for the vocational training of persons with disabilities.

CHAPTER II
VOCATIONAL TRAINING POLICY GUIDELINES

I- PROVISIONS COMMON TO VOCATIONAL TRAINING ENTITIE

SECTION 12 : (1) The State shall lay down the general guidelines on vocational training, as well as ensure its promotion and organization.

(2) The State shall also ensure its development, particularly through appropriate incentives and encouragement, in accordance with national priorities.
Accordingly, the State shall:
- direct training towards meeting the needs of the labour market and the economy;
- rationalize and optimize vocational training management, access, equity, quality, organization and financing; and
- establish financing mechanisms with the support of the private sector and technical and financial partners.
(3) The national vocational training system shall comprise approved public and private vocational training entities.

SECTION 13 : Public vocational training entities shall be set up and organized under conditions laid down by regulation.

SECTION 14 : (1) Private vocational training entities shall be set up by natural persons or corporate bodies. They shall operate in accordance with the laws and regulations in force.
(2) Subject to international, regional or community agreements or rules, or any other specific law, private vocational training entities may not operate unless approved by the minister in charge of vocational training, under conditions laid down by regulation.
SECTION 15: (1) The State shall have technical supervisory authority over private vocational training entities. To this end, it shall exercise pedagogic and administrative control, notably by verifying compliance with standards set by the government, facilities, training, as well as training programmes and methods.
(2) The terms and conditions for exercising the State’s supervisory authority over vocational training entities shall be laid down by regulation.

SECTION 16: Subsidies, donations and special tax incentives may be granted to vocational training entities under conditions laid down by regulation.

II - ORGANIZATION OF VOCATIONAL TRAINING

(I) - INITIAL VOCATIONAL TRAINING

SECTION 17: (1) Initial vocational training shall be aimed at imparting the skills, knowledge and know-how essential for carrying out a professional activity.
(2) It shall enable the trainee to acquire, in particular :
- the specific qualifications enabling him/her to carry out a professional activity competently and safely;
- the basic general knowledge he/she requires  to access and remain in - the world of work, and for social integration;
- the economic, ecological, social and cultural knowledge and skills enabling him/her to contribute to sustainable development;
- the capacity and readiness for lifelong learning, critical judgement and decision-making.

Section 18 : (1) The State shall, where necessary, ensure that preliminary or preparatory courses are provided to upgrade persons not eligible for direct access to the said training.
(2) To the extent possible, it may take time-bound measures to correct any imbalances arising or potentially arising in the domain of ??initial vocational training.

Section 19: Initial vocational training shall include:
- theoretical training for skills acquisition, comprising two parts, one devoted to general knowledge and the other specific to the profession, - the objective being skills acquisition;
- practical training through internships in companies, aimed at developing skills in the work environment;
- additional training, professional practice and theoretical training, where necessary.
 
(II) - CONTINUING VOCATIONAL TRAINING

Section 20 : (1) Continuing training shall be aimed at providing further training or retraining to professionals. It may be carried out within a vocational training entity or a company.
(2) It shall be aimed at fostering professional integration, reintegration and mobility on the one hand and, on the other hand, upgrading workers’ capacities to meet technical, technological and trade-related developments.

SECTION 21: Where a worker benefits from employer-sponsored vocational or further training, it may be agreed that the worker continues to serve the employer for a specified period based on the vocational or further training cost.

(III) - APPRENTICESHIP

SECTION 22: Apprenticeship shall be subject to a written contract between the apprenticeship supervisor and the apprentice or his legal representative.

SECTION 23 : (1) No person aged below 14 (fourteen) years shall be engaged under an apprenticeship contract.
(2) The apprenticeship manager must be aged no less than 21 (twenty-one) years and must never have been convicted for any crime, offences against public morals or on any other grounds leading to imprisonment.
(3) The terms and conditions for organizing apprenticeship, as well as the substantive and formal requirements of apprenticeship contracts, the effects and consequences of their termination and measures to control the execution thereof shall be laid down by regulation.

 (IV) - DUAL  AND DISTANCE TRAINING

SECTION 24: Dual training shall involve workplace situations and learning and training activities within an institution.
It shall aim to:
- help the trainee with such status to develop his business plan and raise his level of motivation;
- enhance and update knowledge and know-how through the use of new or different equipment and the development of behaviours inherent in the world of work;
- familiarize trainees with their future socio-professional environment;
- help the trainee obtain a recognized qualification;
- facilitate the trainee’s maiden entry into the labour market;
- create an environment conducive to self-employment and income-generating activities.

SECTION 25 : (1) Dual training shall be subject to a specific contract signed between the training institution and an enterprise or network of enterprises engaged in the trades taught at the training centre.
(2) The State and one or several competent professional organizations may sign agreements to promote vocational training.
SECTION 26 : (1) The enterprise where the dual training is conducted must:
- impart professional skills and knowledge;
- promote the development of entrepreneurship, business acumen, a sense of responsibility and autonomy;
- provide the trainees the requisite information, advice and resources for executing the work assigned them.
(2) The terms and conditions of dual training shall be laid down by regulation.
SECTION 27 : Distance initial or continuing vocational training may be undertaken according to terms and conditions laid down by regulation.

III - CAREER INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE

SECTION 28 : (1) In conjunction with the relevant entities, the State shall ensure that accessible, comprehensive and diversified information is constantly made available to all persons seeking training, their families and enterprises.
(2) The information referred to in sub-section (1) above shall relate to training fields, trades targeted by the training, vocational integration prospects and life-long training opportunities, according to the aspirations and abilities of candidates.

SECTION 29: Career information and guidance activities shall be practised by specialized vocational guidance entities. Such activities shall consist in proposing to any person a set of services enabling him/her to:
- obtain comprehensive and objective information on trades and the required skills and qualifications for practising such trades, training and certification arrangements, as well as training institutions and their quality brands;
- receive customized advice and services to make informed choices of trades, training courses or certifications suited to their aspirations, abilities and professional prospects on the basis of society’s predictable needs.

SECTION 30 : The State shall set up public career information and guidance entities, as and when necessary, under the terms and conditions laid down by regulation.

SECTION 31 : No private career information and guidance entity set up by a natural person or corporate body may operate without an authorization duly granted by the minister in charge of vocational training.

SECTION 32 : Services or bodies responsible for career information and guidance shall be bound to prepare any useful documentation relating to training fields, trades and professions, as well as their development prospects.

SECTION 33 : (1) The State shall guarantee equal career information and guidance access to all persons who fulfil the requisite conditions, depending on the in-take capacity of each entity.
(2) The State may, as and when necessary, according to the priorities identified in high-potential areas, award vocational training scholarships and grants.

SECTION 34 : Conditions for admission to government vocational training entities, the conduct of internships, conditions for the issuance of vocational training certificates and qualifications shall be laid down by regulation.

CHAPTER III
STANDARDS, ASSESSMENT AND CERTIFICATION

I – VOCATIONAL TRAINING STANDARDS

SECTION 35 : (1) The State shall lay down vocational training standards.
(2) Such standards shall relate, in particular, to the training goals, methods and modules, profile of instructors, characteristics of infrastructure and facilities, period and hours of theoretical training, and period and duration of practical training.
(3) For the development or amendment of the standards referred to in sub-section (1) above, the specific characteristics of each sector of activity, the training benchmarks, the opinion of experts in the fields concerned and the skills needs of enterprises shall be taken into account.

SECTION 36 : The nomenclatures of the vocational training branches, sectors and specialties, the nomenclatures of technical and teaching equipment, as well as the nomenclatures of vocational training manuals shall be laid down by regulation.

II – ASSESSMENT AND CERTIFICATION

SECTION 37: (1) Assessment at the end of vocational training shall be organized or supervised by the ministry in charge of vocational training, in conjunction with the relevant sector ministries, under the terms and conditions laid down by regulation.
(2) The list of trades concerned as well as the terms and conditions of organization and conduct of the assessment shall be laid down by regulation.
SECTION 38 : (1) Validation of Acquired Experience shall constitute an entitlement for  anyone with vocational skills acquired from  work experience.
(2) The terms and conditions for organizing and implementing Validation of Acquired Experience shall be laid down by regulation.

III – APPROVAL OF PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

SECTION 39 : (1) The purpose of approving national and foreign attestations, certificates, diplomas and other professional qualifications is to permit the professional branch concerned and the State, to establish the validity of the qualifications obtained in relation to the jobs defined in the national job classification table.
The purpose of approval shall be:
- to situate the qualifications obtained vis-à-vis the jobs specified in the standard national classification of jobs;
- to establish equivalence with qualifications issued by educational and training establishments;
- to enable holders of vocational training qualifications to meet the conditions for accessing public jobs and furthering their studies or training.
(2) The terms and conditions for approving professional qualifications   shall be laid down by regulation.

SECTION 40 : The State may conclude international agreements to foster international cooperation and mobility in the area of vocational training.

CHAPTER IV
ROLE OF VOCATIONAL TRAINING STAKEHOLDERS

SECTION 41 : Vocational training stakeholders shall be involved, as and when necessary, in the consultation and management bodies set up in training entities, as well as at each level of consultation organized by local and regional authorities or by national vocational training coordination and career guidance bodies.

SECTION 42 : (1) The National Council for Career Guidance and Vocational Training shall assist the State in developing and implementing the vocational training policy.
(2) The organization and functioning of the National Council for Career Guidance and Vocational Training shall be laid down by regulation.

I - INSTRUCTORS

SECTION 43 : The State shall grant accreditation to instructors of vocational training entities under conditions laid down by regulation.

SECTION 44 : The State shall set up instructor training and curriculum development entities under conditions laid down by regulation.

II – SOCIO-PROFESSIONAL PARTNERS

SECTION 45 : (1) Socio-professional partners shall be involved, through their recognized organizations, in the development, validation and implementation of the vocational training and career guidance policy and strategies.
(2) They shall include, in particular:
- associations of vocational training entity promoters, as well as professional information and career guidance associations;
- local and regional authorities;
- public and private corporations;
- professional organizations;
- consular chambers;
- trades chambers;
- non-governmental organizations;
- universities and specialized academic  institutions;
- social partners.

SECTION 46 : (1) Internship contracts may be signed by the partners referred to in Section 45 above to validate the vocational training received by trainees or students in their institutions.
(2) Such contracts must be concluded prior to the trainee’s admission to the enterprise and shall be exempt from stamp duty and registration fees.

CHAPTER V
COORDINATION, MONITORING AND FINANCING
OF VOCATIONAL TRAINING

I - COORDINATION AND MONITORING

SECTION 47: The State shall ensure coherence in the organization of vocational training as regards planning at the national or regional levels.
As such, it shall:
- lay down the rules governing the organization and functioning of public vocational training entities, taking into account their respective specificities;
- specify the terms and conditions for the creation, opening and functioning of private vocational training entities and supervise them;
- make available to the public information on training opportunities as well as information on the qualification requirements in the various sectors of the national economy;
- periodically update the vocational training map, in conjunction with local and regional authorities and socio-economic partners;
- ensure the relevance, quality and constant adaptation of vocational training to national economic, social and cultural realities, as well as the international context;
- lay down common rules applicable to the development of training curriculums, obtainment, recognition, equivalence, categorization and approval of vocational training diplomas and qualifications;
- exercise permanent control over the pedagogic activities of vocational training entities, in particular  the quality of the vocational training, examinations and other qualification procedures, as well as compliance with the apprenticeship contract.

SECTION 48 : The vocational training mechanism and all its components shall be subject to periodic internal and external assessment by the ministry in charge of vocational training, in conjunction with all relevant government services.

II - FINANCING OF VOCATIONAL TRAINING

SECTION 49 : (1) The State shall finance vocational training, in partnership with other vocational training stakeholders.
(2) Funding for vocational training shall be derived from:
- budgetary allocations and special grants;
- support from local and regional authorities;
- own resources of the training entities, obtained through income generating activities and applicable training fees;
- sundry contributions;
- any other resources provided by law.
(3) The terms and conditions for the collection and management of the financial resources provided for in sub-section (2) above shall be laid down by regulation.

CHAPTER VI
PROVISIONAL MEASURES, ADMINISTRATIVE AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES

SECTION 50 : (1) Any breach in the implementation of the laws and regulations by private vocational training entities shall be punished either with total or partial closure of the entity, on a temporary or permanent basis, or temporary or permanent ban on the suspected official or staff to exercise training activity, according to the nature and seriousness of the offence.
(2) In the event of a serious operational failing, any private vocational training entity may be placed in receivership to secure the interests of trainees.

SECTION 51 : (1) Without prejudice to the administrative penalties provided for in Section 50 (1) and (2) above, promoters of private career guidance and vocational training entities shall be liable to the penalties provided for in the Penal Code regarding offenses governed by the said Code.
(2) Penalties provided for in Section 321 (c) of the Penal Code shall be imposed on promoters of private vocational training entities found guilty of one of the following offenses:
- opening of a career guidance or vocational training entity without authorization;
- operating a permanently or temporarily closed career guidance or vocational training entity;
- closure of a private vocational training entity in the course of the training cycle, without the prior express authorization of the competent supervisory authority.

CHAPTER VII
MISCELLANEOUS, TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

SECTION 52 : Public and private information and career guidance entities, as well as vocational training entities that do not fulfil the conditions set forth in this law shall have a period of 6 (six) months to comply with these provisions.

SECTION 53 : Regulatory instruments shall be signed, as and when necessary, for the implementation of this law.

SECTION 54 : All previous provisions, in particular Law No. 76/12 of 8 July 1976 organizing intensive vocational training, are hereby repealed.

SECTION 55 : This law shall be registered, published according to the procedure of urgency and inserted in the Official Gazette in English and French.

Yaounde, 11 July 2018
President of the Republic
Paul BIYA

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