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

Project description

Title: Vocational Education and Training in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lead executing agencies: Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina (MoCA)
Overall term: 2017 to 2022


The technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is regarded as one of the least developed in the entire Balkan region. Young people in BiH have practically no access to vocational training courses that meet current needs. Consequently, many young people are insufficiently qualified and cannot find high-quality, well paid jobs. The reasons for this situation lie in an outdated, severely fragmented and inefficient TVET system and the fact that previous educational reforms have brought limited results. Progress in implementing TVET strategies is slow due to a lack of consensus among the stakeholders and because the numerous state offices are often insufficiently willing to cooperate with one another.

As a result, unemployment and underemployment are rising, accompanied by an increased risk of poverty. The acute shortage of skilled labour is also holding back economic development. At the same time, the massive exodus of skilled workers is exacerbating the existing shortage and impacting on the competitiveness of domestic businesses.


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


The project encourages exchanges between public and private stakeholders in the ongoing development of framework conditions for dual vocational and technical education and training. In addition, it enables selected vocational schools, the formal economy, school authorities, and the ministries of education, to better plan and deliver dual vocational education and training.

The lead political executing agency is the Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina (MoCA).

Implementation partners include the ministries of education at the entity and canton levels, school authorities, vocational schools, chambers of commerce, industry associations, employers’ associations, companies and TVET councils at the entity, cantonal and local levels.


Results achieved so far:

The project has realised six new or reformed pilot programmes for introducing dual TVET at five schools (three in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and two in Republika Srpska).

It has also defined occupational standards for three professions in the wood and metal-working sectors in cooperation with private companies. The result is that for the first time the current labour market requirements feed into the curricula in a well-structured manner taking account of learning objectives.

A platform for improving dual TVET has been set up in the town of Goražde in Bosnian-Podrinje canton Goražde. It organises regular meetings for representatives of partner schools and businesses. Furthermore, the project has advised both the canton and Goražde on developing a binding regulation for practical training at schools and companies. This has increased the number of work experience placements completed by students in the construction, metal, textile and plastics industries. In addition, remuneration has been introduced for students who have completed a period of work experience. Other results include the deployment of trainers for the students, an obligatory training plan, and reliable cooperation between schools and businesses.

The project has been involved in producing promotional materials such as video clips, brochures, flyers, etc. They highlight TVET in general and also promote specific professions, for example by telling success stories.

The project has also supported two graduate studies whose main aim was to discover how graduates go about finding a job in BiH after completing their vocational training. The studies also examined graduates’ current employment status and conditions, and the quality of the secondary school education.

Furthermore, two surveys on parents’ opinions and attitudes regarding TVET have been conducted and published.

The project has organised several study trips to Germany and Serbia. This has given the partner institutions an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the concept of dual TVET.

In addition, the project has prepared teaching and learning materials for the metal industry.

The peer-to-peer programme ‘Moje znanje – tvoje buduće zvanje’ (‘My knowledge - your future profession’) has been established to encourage pupils from elementary schools to choose one of the numerous occupations offered by secondary TVET schools.

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