Strategic contributions to support the process of vocational education reform

Project description

Title: Strategic contributions to support the process of vocational education reform
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Paraguay
Lead executing agency: Paraguayan Ministry of Education and Science
Overall term: 2014 to 2018


Despite the generally positive development of Paraguay’s economy in recent years, this predominantly agricultural country remains one of the poorest in South America. The pace of development in the trade and industrial sectors has been slow. Foreign direct investment is increasing, however, driving demand for skilled workers, but Paraguay’s vocational education system is unable to meet the demand for skilled labour in terms of either quality or quantity.

The ‘Continuing training for the labour market’ reform launched by the Government has instigated a new type of cooperation between the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Justice and Labour. The two ministries are now planning joint initiatives that also involve key stakeholders from civil society and the private sector – a radical innovation for the private sector in Paraguay, which is now taking greater responsibility. 


The curriculum, personnel and organisational prerequisites for cooperative, needs-oriented vocational education in the mechatronics sector are established.


The project is supporting the Government of Paraguay in introducing skills-based vocational training. A cooperative training model based on the dual model of vocational training and tailored to local circumstances is being developed and piloted. The project supports this process in close cooperation with the private sector in both Paraguay and Germany.

Pilot trials are illustrating the feasibility and advantages of cooperative vocational education. The results and experience gained are being processed and fed into political dialogue on reforming the vocational education system. 


Paraguay’s first dual, skills-based vocational education course will be accredited in early 2018. The results of the pilot trial have convinced key state agencies to promote the cooperative model of vocational education and to roll it out to other occupations. The Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Justice and Labour are now moving forward together and cooperating with Germany’s Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB).

The success of the measure is motivating industry and businesses to step up their own efforts and investments in vocational education and training with the aim of boosting their competitiveness. A total of 47 lecturers at three vocational schools and 15 in-company trainers are applying their skills to the project, and 57 young people are currently studying at vocational schools.