Up to 10,000 Georgian teenagers have received vocational training as a part of their secondary school education under the initiative “Vocational Skills in Schools,” implemented by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia.
A pilot stage of the programme was launched in 2017, with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Switzerland, covering four public colleges and six schools in four regions of Georgia – Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Kakheti and Mtskheta-Mtianeti.
After the successful completion of the pilot stage, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia has scaled up the programme to 259 schools and 21 public and 11 private colleges and universities across the country, benefitting up to 10,000 young Georgians in 8th and 9th grades. UNDP and SDC continued working hand in hand with the Ministry to support monitoring and evaluation of this national initiative.
“The programme has already yielded positive results,” said Irine Abuladze, Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia, on 25 February 2019, at the public presentation of the programme results. “It has deepened cooperation between colleges and schools and helped develop infrastructure needed for vocational training in a secondary school environment. The programme has provided up to 10,000 secondary school pupils with the opportunity to receive hands-on skills in different vocational professions. The Ministry plans to expand the scale of the programme this year to offer it to 10th – 12thgraders.”
The Vocational Skills in Schools programme is part of the wider support provided by the Swiss Government and UNDP to the ongoing reform of vocational educational and training in Georgia.
“Switzerland is one fo the leading countries in vocational education and training. We are happy to share this successful experience with Georgia,” said Beka Tagauri, Head of the Economic Development Program at the Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus.
“Quality vocational training can help narrow the gap we now see between education and employment,” said Giorgi Nanobashvili, UNDP Economic Development Team Leader in Georgia. “The sooner young people can get a taste of a future career, the shorter their transition to gainful employment and all the opportunities that an income can provide. With skilled labour still in short supply, employers also benefit from a deeper pool of job candidates.”