Support for Vocational Education and Training

Project description

Title: Support for Vocational Education and Training in the Republic of Kazakhstan
Commissioned by: European Union
Country: Kazakhstan
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Education and Science
Overall term: 2010 to 2013


The Kazakh economy has been growing steadily for years. Economic development also increases the demand for qualified expert staff, but Kazakhstan’s vocational education and training (VET) system is not sufficiently flexible to adapt to this growing demand. Despite a consistently high unemployment rate in the country, there is often a need to employ foreign experts. This reveals the core problem that most of the qualifications offered by the current VET system are neither relevant to the job market nor future-oriented. The Kazakh Government has understood these problems, and in 2010 it launched two programmes to promote education and economic development. These are the ‘State Programme for the Development of the Education System 2011 – 2020’, and the ‘State Programme on the Acceleration of the Industrial-Innovative Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan 2010-2014’.

To meet the growing demands of Kazakhstan’s private and state-owned industry, a number of challenges must still be overcome. These include reforming the VET system, gaining recognition for its qualifications, assuring quality in the system and establishing national and sector-based qualification frameworks.

The primary goal of the Kazakh Government is to align the VET system with international standards in order to meet the demands for a modern and practice-oriented, qualified work force.


The Kazakh Government’s programmes to promote education and economic development have been implemented.


The project consists of six components:

  • Support for the National VET Council and selected regional councils in implementing the state programmes
  • Development of sector-based qualification frameworks for the oil and gas sectors, as well as mechanical engineering and agriculture
  • Development and implementation of an independent certification system
  • Development of curricula
  • Improving the quality of VET school management
  • Internships for VET managers and teachers

The project takes a systematic multi-level approach. To meet the need for sustainability the project’s activities are participatory in nature, ensuring the involvement of all relevant national and international stakeholders in both informal and formal forums. Important decisions are made by the Steering Committee, and the results are then shared in national and regional forums and workshops.

Implementing the different project components will improve the employability of graduates and increase their employment opportunities. In turn, this will improve incomes, especially for the younger population, and help to improve the country’s international competitiveness.

The basis for all of the project measures is the cooperative VET model developed by the previous project. The option to provide training based on this model was incorporated into the Kazakhstan’s VET legislation in mid 2011.

Further information