The Department was established in January 2007 as one of the Technical Departments of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The Department was assigned mandates of Revitalization and refurbishment of Youth Polytechnics. This mandate has since been assigned to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology vide Executive Order No.2/2013. The specific functions of the Department are:
To develop the National Policy of Youth Polytechnics and Vocational Sector;Develop, implement and review the National Vocational Certificate in Education and Training (NVCET) curriculum;Equip youth with technical, vocational, life skills and entrepreneurial skills;Construction, rehabilitation, equipping and expansion of Youth Polytechnics;Empower youth with ICT skills;Facilitate training and preparation of the youth for Nation building through leadership training;Coordinate youth organisations in the country to facilitate Youth Training Agenda through structured organisations, collaborations and networking;Management and development of staff and Instructors;Management of the Subsidized Youth Polytechnic Tuition (SYPT); andManagement of Top-up-Grants to Instructors employed by the Board of Governors (BOG) in registered public Youth Polytechnics.