Dual Vocational Education and Training (VET)

Project description

Project title: Support to Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the field of Green Economy
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Country: Republic of Moldova
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Education, Culture and Research of the Republic of Moldova (MoECR)
Overall term: 2018 to 2021

Moldova. Fact-finding visit to ARTTEHMET in Orhei, private sector stakeholder in the dual training system (May 2017). © GIZ

Context

In the Republic of Moldova, an average economic growth rate of over 4 per cent has been recorded over the last 10 years. Poverty has been significantly reduced in the country, decreasing between 2000 and 2004 from 68 per cent to 27 per cent, and reaching 11.4 per cent in the year 2014. Irrespective of these developments, Moldova continues to be one of the poorest countries in Europe. Only around 40 per cent of the employable population is employed. Youth unemployment aged from 15 to 34 years reached over 52 per cent in the year 2017. Creation of new jobs is still lagging, prompting many Moldovan citizens to seek employment abroad. At the same time, companies encounter difficulties filling existing vacancies with a Moldovan qualified workforce.
The number of international production companies intending to invest in the Republic of Moldova (RM) is scarce, despite low wages and tax incentives. A substantial barrier to investments is the low productivity originating in a lack of qualified workforce according to labour market needs. This is particularly relevant with regard to qualified specialists for a sustainable economy. However, such specialists are regarded as a key factor for the implementation of national strategic commitments of the Moldovan Government, in compliance with the National Environment Strategy 2014-2023 as well as the Programme for the Promotion of Green Economy 2018 to 2020, to sustain the development process towards a greener economy. 
The process of reforming vocational education and training (VET) with a view to a better orientation towards the labour market demand, through involvement of private sector stakeholders, has been initiated by the Moldovan Government. The reform provides for a wider involvement of bodies representing the economic sector, as well as individual enterprises, in shaping and implementing dual VET.
In January 2018, the Government adopted a decision regulating the organisation of initial VET in the RM. This creates a binding normative basis for dual VET, with clearly defined apprenticeship relations as well as mandates of state, companies and representative bodies of the economic sector. However, institutional structures for public-private cooperation in dual VET are still not sufficiently consolidated. Key stakeholders involved in dual VET do not possess sufficient human resources (HR) and institutional capacities. Moreover, the orientation towards ecological and sustainability aspects in dual VET are currently of low relevance. 
Both state and private stakeholders expressed interest for further consolidating dual VET in Moldova. The adoption of the dual VET Regulation as well as the sustained increase of apprenticeships confirm such interest. 

Objective

The system of demand-oriented dual VET for the promotion of ecological, economic and social development in Moldova is strengthened.

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Approach

The project supports the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, as well as several private sector actors, social partners and training institutions, in identifying common approaches to improving the framework for dual VET. The project provides advisory services and support in the form of capacity building measures.
The most important fields of activity include:

  • Strengthening capacities of state, private and civil society actors to acknowledge and carry out their roles within the dual VET system in Moldova, as defined through the improved and consolidated institutional and normative framework. 
  • Support dual partners to conceptualise and elaborate decision templates to be adopted by competent bodies; demand-oriented consolidation of dialogue and cooperation mechanisms. 
  • Capacity Development measures for strengthening HR and institutional capacities of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of Moldova as both competent body for dual VET and a service provider for companies involved in dual VET or expressing interest in dual cooperation.
  • Measures to enhance dual initial training offers in order to correspond to the quantitative and qualitative requirements of the labour market. State and private actors are being strengthened through HCD measures to agree on a common quality approach and enhance that on the basis of learning experience. 
  • Create the foundations for encouraging green initial dual VET with the scope to promote ecological and sustainable businesses. The process will be initiated through a common strategic competence building and advisory approach, geared towards introducing both state and private stakeholders into the thematic complex “green economy“. This includes the further clarification of the term „green jobs“, the preconditions for their creation, as well as the development of tailored dual VET approaches within a consolidated nationwide concept.  
  • Implementation of a holistic concept to enhance enrolment of target groups into dual VET programmes, as well as their transition into employment upon completion of training. 
  • Dissemination of information and promotion of dual VET with a green orientation will be made by means of image and media campaigns. The establishment of regional support structures will ensure outreach to target groups in remote areas, including disadvantaged groups of the population.

The project is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Results

The current project builds on the intervention “Structural Reform in VET”, implemented from 2015 to 2018. The impact of the previous intervention was the transfer of a number of responsibilities related to VET from the state authorities to the private sector, represented by both dual partner companies and the CCI. Moreover, dual VET was mainstreamed into the existing VET system, as a viable alternative to the traditional, school-based VET.
The intervention supported partner ministries and social partners to define and fulfil their mandates in shaping the framework for demand-oriented dual VET following good practices established in traditional dual systems throughout Europe and adjusted to local conditions. More than 20 social partnership dialogue formats on dual VET, including one within the framework of the Economic Council to the Prime Minister of Moldova, have been initiated with project support. Dialogue partners have initiated and promoted a comprehensive normative and institutional framework regulating dual VET.
The role of private enterprises in driving dual VET has been strengthened. With support from the project, almost 70 companies provided over 1,500 apprenticeship places in the school year 2018-2019 - almost twice as many as in the previous school year.
The employability of young men and women is improved. According to a survey of the companies involved in dual VET, the recruitment rate of graduates remains consistent, at almost 60 per cent, which is considerably higher than in the traditional training system.
The follow-on project empowers political, private and social partners involved in dual VET to further acknowledge and consolidate their roles in compliance with the adjusted institutional, legal and normative framework.
Additionally, the project lays a special focus on promoting trades and specialties in the field of green economy, therefore key actors will be supported and consulted in developing a concept of promoting green jobs and specialties through dual TVET.

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