Forum “Building Vocational Education”: Best Practices of the EdUP Project

Upskilling and Reskilling
On May 2nd in Kyiv, the EdUP project hosted the forum “Building Vocational Education: Best Practices,” which served as a platform to spread information about contemporary trends in the development of the VET system.

The forum organized by the EdUP project became a key event for highlighting modern tendencies in the development of professional education and exchanging experiences regarding successful practices implemented within this project.

"The aim of the forum is to create synergy between the private sector, particularly construction companies, and the 29 vocational training institutions that the project collaborates with. It also serves as an opportunity to discuss best practices to facilitate effective collaboration between businesses and vocational training. Many manufacturers and employers already support vocational education institutions, and we hope that EdUP will act as a catalyst to strengthen the relationships between these institutions and the private sector, particularly in terms of workforce entry for skilled workers, which are currently in high demand in Ukraine."
Poshan KS, Director of Swisscontact in Ukraine
Poshan KS, Director of Swisscontact in Ukraine

Speakers, including representatives from the Ministry of Education, regional authorities, and businesses, discussed key changes for employers under the new vocational education law, the need for skilled workers in the construction industry, and examples of effective collaboration between government, private sector, and educational institutions in updating the VET system. 

"We are investing significantly this year in vocational education. Our goal is to enhance cooperation between educators and entrepreneurs. The vocational sector primarily requires expertise and experience, as well as opportunities for internships at companies, both for educators and learners. Businesses focus on financial metrics; they value results. The ability to plan outcomes is also essential for the VET."
Dmytro Zavgorodniy, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine for Digital Development, Digital Transformations, and Digitization
Dmytro Zavgorodniy, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine for Digital Development, Digital Transformations, and Digitization (left) and Oleksandr Chervak, executive director of the Confederation of Builders of Ukraine

Representative of the Swiss Embassy participated in the forum, assuring complete and ongoing support for Ukraine, particularly regarding the vocational and technical education sector.

"We support initiatives in vocational education in Ukraine, and our assistance is only increasing. We have decided to expand the funding of the EdUP project, particularly its infrastructure component, which involves covering 10 vocational training institutions in the eastern and southern regions. Swiss support for Ukraine is planned for the next 12 years, with the next four years focused specifically on developing vocational and technical education."
Viktor Shutkevych, Deputy Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Ukraine
Viktor Shutkevych, Deputy Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Ukraine

Business representatives who participated in the forum emphasized the critical need for qualified workers – builders.

"There is a demand for skilled workers in the construction industry in Ukraine, so we need to educate the youth in new technologies and introduce them to new materials that will last a long time. If we succeed in this, we can rebuild the country and bring innovations to every household, every yard."
Oleksandr Panchenko, Director of Sika Ukraine, a donor to the EdUP project

The forum analyzed current trends in the VET sector. During the discussion, the best practices developed by the EdUP project were presented, including: 

  • A model for upgrading the qualifications of teachers through scientific-practical conferences;  
  • Results of in-depth research on the needs for new teaching methods and educational materials in vocational education;  
  • The Junior platform for interactions between vocational education graduates and employers;  
  • The concept of “Modern Head of a Vocational Education Institution.” 

Participants of the forum “Building Vocational Education: Best Practices” focused on the necessity of collaboration between educational institutions, the government, and the private sector to ensure the implementation of educational programs that meet market needs. The support and increased funding from the Swiss government demonstrated strong support for vocational education in Ukraine, marking an important step in preparing skilled workers capable of implementing the latest technologies and methodologies in construction. 

Initial vocational education and training
Public Private Partnership to Improved Professional Education in Ukraine
The EdUP project, including its Scale UP initiative, is playing a crucial role in addressing the serious challenges faced by Ukraine's vocational education and training (VET) sector during wartime. The war has destroyed many VET schools and exacerbated a skills shortage that affects several sectors, despite employers' willingness to offer competitive wages and resources. EdUP aims to rebuild and improve vocational schools and break stereotypes about vocational graduates. By decentralising training and aligning it with local economic needs, the project will improve the quality of vocational training, attract additional resources, work with the private sector, and modernise education to equip Ukraine's workforce for today's demands.