Upskilling and Reskilling
The cooperation between the private sector and vocational education schools is an important area of the EdUP project, and events like the forum are a vivid example of how businesses can engage young people, interest them in a profession, and motivate them to build a professional career in Ukraine.

Businesses have turned to vocational education in search of professionals. In Ivano-Frankivsk, entrepreneurs organized a youth forum for students of technical professions and specialties. 

The forum was attended by students and teachers from 8 vocational education institutions, participants of the EdUP project. They came from Odesa, Kamianets-Podilskyi, Svaliava, Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv, Chernivtsi, Kharkiv, and Ivano-Frankivsk. 

The goals of the forum organizers, representatives of the construction business, were: 

📌 To introduce young people to leading Ukrainian companies where they can find employment and earn well from the start. 

📌 To inspire vocational education students with bright and simple success stories and initiate effective communication between students, teachers, and businesses. 

📌 To give an additional impetus to the reform of vocational education. 

"At the forum, we want to tell vocational education graduates that there are businesses waiting for them and ready to hire them. And most importantly, we want to make it clear to the children that success can be achieved in Ukraine."
Oleh Matviychuk, representative of Kapitel Development, co-organizer of the forum 

The youth forum "VIBE" has become an example of how business can engage young people in cooperation, interest them in a profession, and motivate them to build a professional career in Ukraine.

"We are pleased that this forum includes representatives from the South, North, West, and East of Ukraine. We want the forum to become large-scale and unite the entire country. For our project, it is important to engage in dialogue with young people."
Yuliia Yepifanova, head of the "Private Sector Engagement" direction of the EdUP project 
Yuliia Yepifanova, head of the "Private Sector Engagement" direction of the EdUP project 

During the interaction with youth, the importance of vocational professions and a conscious approach to one's professional development were discussed. Forum participants shared their thoughts on studying in vocational education institutions and openly talked about what could be improved to enhance the educational process. 

"Vocational education prepares the workforce for our businesses and enterprises, so we need feedback from businesses: what their expectations and vision are, what kind of specialist they want to get for their company without the need for retraining. The specialist should be able to work on the same equipment both at the vocational school and at the enterprise. The forum is a communication bridge between students and employers for the development of Ukraine."
Viktor Kimakovych, Director of the Department of Education, Science, and Youth Policy of the Ivano-Frankivsk Regional State Administration 

The forum hosted a job fair: company booths were set up where students could apply for internships, or even join a company as employees. 

"The day before, my graduates received their diplomas. And today they are participating in an event where even a beginner can find a job and earn a decent salary. Here they see the prospect of getting a good job in Ukraine instead of going abroad. Many of our former students work at Kapitel, the co-organizer of the forum, and their example shows how one can become a successful specialist after graduating from a vocational school."
Olha Huzar, Director of the Ivano-Frankivsk Vocational Construction Lyceum 
Olha Huzar, Director of the Ivano-Frankivsk Vocational Construction Lyceum (on the right)

The "VIBE" forum became an important event for establishing cooperation between businesses and vocational education institutions. It demonstrated how the interaction between students, teachers, and employers can contribute to the development of young people's professional careers in Ukraine. The job fair, discussions about the prospects of vocational education, opportunities for dual education, and addressing the issue of workforce emigration created favorable conditions for dialogue and the further development of partnerships between the private sector and vocational education. 

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.