Recent studies demonstrate the deficit of employable skills in a large percentage of young African graduates. The historical legacy of grammar-type schools in many African countries has led to a surfeit of graduates with a lot of theory-based knowledge to the detriment of the competences and skills urgently needed by the rapidly expanding African economy. Several African governments are taking steps to redress this educational gap. In the Netherlands, Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) provide technical and vocation education and training (TVET) driven by the competences and skills needed by the professional labour market. More recently, in addition to this education mandate, UAS are increasingly engaging in practice-oriented research in collaboration with business and public sector entities that has a high social impact. This Panel will explore emerging best practices but also challenges of effective collaboration between business communities and TVET educational institutions in the areas of competence-based education and practice-oriented research. What lessons can we learn from the experience in the Netherlands and Africa? [Initiated by De Haagse Hogeschool and with input from NABC and NUFFIC, IXA Innovation Exchange, and from Africa in Motion, Youths and Young People Mobilization for Africa’s Development, FON & NFTI, JR Farms Limited].