Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Project description

Title: Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lead executing agencies: Ministry of Education, Youth, Science, Culture and Sport of Canton Bosna-Podrinje Goražde; Ministry of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska; Ministry of Education, Science and Youth of Canton Sarajevo, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of the Zenica-Doboj Canton and their subordinate institutions
Overall term: 2017 to 2023


The vocational system in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is regarded as one of the weakest in the Balkans. Young people in BiH are unable to find adequate education and training. Not sufficiently qualified, means they cannot access high-quality or well-paid jobs. The causes lie in an outdated, highly fragmented and inefficient vocational education and training sector and in the limited progress achieved in relation to the education reform. Processes of implementing strategies for Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) proceed slowly due to a lack of consensus of the stakeholders and limited cooperation willingness among numerous government authorities.

As a result, unemployment, underemployment and poverty risks increase. The economy, on the other hand, suffers from an acute shortage of skilled workers. The situation has further deteriorated due to the massive exodus of skilled workers and it hinders the competitiveness of local companies.


Dual vocational education and training is embedded in the structures and processes of TVET actors.


The project supports the exchange between public and private structures in the further development of framework conditions for dual vocational education and training. In addition to this, support is provided to selected vocational schools, formal economy, pedagogical institutes, and ministries of education in the improvement of the exercise of their roles in the planning and implementation of dual vocational education and training.

The political partner of the project is the Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina (MoCA).

Implementation partners are ministries of education at the entity and canton levels, pedagogical institutes, vocational schools, chambers of commerce and associations, associations of employers, companies and TVET councils at the entity, cantonal and local levels.


To date, the project has achieved the following results:

It implemented six new or reformed pilot dual vocational education and training programmes at five schools (three in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and two in Republika Srpska).

As a result of the development of occupational standards for three professions in the wood and metal processing sector together with the private sector representatives and based on the resulting curricula, labour market needs can be found for the first time in a well-structured and current manner in TVET learning outcomes.

The platform for enhancement of dual TVET with regular meetings between partner schools and companies in Bosnian Podrinje Canton Goražde (BPK Goražde) was established. Also, consultancy services were provided to BPK Goražde in relation to the development of an obligatory regulation on practical training at schools and companiesThis has led to a higher share of practical training at companies for students in the construction, metal, textile and plastic industries. It also resulted in the introduction of allowances for students attending practical training, mentors for students, an obligatory training plan and a reliable cooperation between schools and companies. Promotional material (video clips, brochures, flyers, etc.) were produced in order to promote specific TVET professions, for example by telling success stories. Two tracer studies were published with the main objective to provide information on BiH TVET school graduates’ job search methods, current employment status, employment conditions, as well as the quality of the received secondary education. Two parental surveys (Parental Opinions and Attitudes Towards Technical Vocational Education and Training) were conducted and published. Different exchange processes (study visits to Germany and Serbia) were organised with the aim to familiarise partner institutions with dual TVET systems.

Training, Teaching and Learning Materials (TTLM) for the mechanical engineering sector were developed. The peer-to-peer programme ”My knowledge - your future profession” was established. Its aim was to encourage pupils from elementary schools to choose one of the numerous professions which are provided by secondary TVET schools.

Additional information