At high school students can choose from general, technical or combined training. Enrolment in technical is still low compared to technical but is gaining momentum.

In Brazil the TVET landscape includes any training action aimed at improving the knowledge and abilities desired for work. In this landscape TVET is provided by a number of private and public players who cater for both the formal and informal sectors of the economy. 

The Initial or continued formation courses (FIC) aim to provide an initial qualification to those whose education levels are low or who have no practical training or experience enabling low qualified people to enter the labour market. 

These courses are generally short term courses that don’t grant any educational level but focus on practical careers such as hair dresser or receptionists. Technical courses provide professional training to students both those enrolled in secondary school and secondary school graduates. Technological courses are tertiary level courses that are equivalent to a university degree and as such are only available to students who have competed secondary school.


The public TVET is administered and managed by the Federal Government and the States. The private sector can be involved at any educational level given the approval and evaluation of the government. 

Overall the Ministry of Education in cooperation with the National Council for Education is in charge of establishing National Education Plans; providing technical and financial assistance to the states, federal district and municipalities for development of their respective school systems. The Ministry also supports a network of federal schools, comprising universities, institutions of higher education, technical and agro-technical schools and technological education centres.

The Ministry of Education works together with the Ministry of Labour in order to define vocational training policy, which is executed by technical and agro-technical schools; Federal Centres for Technological Education (CEFET); and System S, a group of institutions financed by means of levies paid by participating companies each belonging to different category and therefore contributing to a respective institution. Organisations that are a part of the system are:

SENAC- National Service for Commercial Training

SESC- National Service for Business Training

SENAI- National Service for Industrial Training

SESI- Social Service for the Industry

SENAR- National Service for Rural Training

SENAT- National Service for Transport Training

SEST- Social Service for the Transport sector

SEBRAE- Brazilian Services for Assistance to Micro and Small Companies

SESCOOP- National Service for cooperative learning


Since the 1940s the TVET system has been funded by compulsory contributions, as a percentage of payroll, and since the 1990s the Worker Support Fund (FAT) has added to the increasing impact of Government spending on Vocational Training via establishment of adequate infrastructure, development of teachers, tools and methodologies for training and the creation of a TVET culture within organisations that has spread to society as a whole. Known as the S-System the various service organisations receive payroll contributions which vary according to the specific industries. Importantly, companies in the S-System must allocate two thirds of their revenue from levies to provision education.

The organisations in the S-system are private organisations that work in collaboration with Government, Labour and Business to ensure that both national developmental goals and business training needs are met. It is estimated that institutions within the S-System train over 43% of students enrolled in programs in Brazil.

The following points are key to the success of the Brazilian model:

Private sector management of the training levy. The huge advantage of the private sector managing the levy and the training is that it there is better alignment of the skills programmes with private sector needs. Industry and institution partnerships allow relevant regional training programmes. The quality of training provided is equivalent or better than training in private institutions at lower costs. Institutions are also encouraged to find alternative sources of funding, e.g. one TVET consults to the construction industry in testing of concrete structures for professional fees.

Relevance of skills training for the labour market. Under the SENAI model, the private sector takes the lead role in managing skills development which ensures better alignment of supply and demand of skills. SENAI determines the training programs to be offered and the number of students to be admitted strictly based on industry demand. Such active management results in 80 percent of graduates finding employment within six months after graduation.

Active strategies to ensure inclusion. TVET is seen to have a critical role in including the poor and marginalized and facilitating socio-economic transformation. In addition to funding access to the system for poor students a number of Initial or continued formation courses facilitates the entry or re-entry of people into the labour market.

Whilst no system is directly translatable from one country to another, there is definitely opportunity to learn from some of the key successes in the Brazilian Post school education training model in South Africa.

B Bulunga