Albania: Building a future at home thanks to vocational training

Modern curricula, a focus on job market demands and lots of practice: A vocational training school’s high quality teaching is carving out good career prospects for its students.

Many Albanians believe they have no future in their home country. Nearly 40 per cent of young people there are out of work. On the one hand, this has to do with the country’s weak economic situation that has seen little growth for a number of years. At the same time, a lot of companies are seeking to recruit skilled workers – without success. This is directly related to the second cause of Albania’s high rate of youth unemployment, poor vocational training. Looking for a way out, many people try to find work abroad.

A vocational training school in Kamza close to the capital city of Tirana is now taking a different approach. Offering five vocational training courses in fields that are in particularly high demand – including nursing, IT and gastronomy – it has geared its curricula to job market requirements in order to give students the best possible chances of finding employment once they graduate. With the support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the school has become a role model for vocational education reform in Albania. Some 1,600 young people aged between 15 and 19 are currently at various stages of their four-year training courses here.

On behalf of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ is also assisting the school in revising its curricula, coaching more than 70 teachers and in developing teaching materials. In today’s world, practical learning counts just as much as theoretical training, so students are sent on internships with private sector businesses. Likewise, the school itself is fitted out with state-of-the-art equipment, such as a new commercial kitchen for apprentice cooks.

Some 65 per cent of all Kamza’s graduates find a job or continue their training – in comparison with other vocational schools in Albania, this represents a major success. Vocational training is thus offering graduates a chance to build a future at home.