Many countries face significant unemployment or underemployment. Young men and women transitioning from school to work are particularly affected. On one hand there is an increasing number of young people who are neither in education nor in employment. On the other, enterprises complain about a lack of skilled staff which limits their overall performance and competitiveness.
There are several reasons for these challenges, such as poor funding of vocational education, weak involvement of the private sector in design and implementation, poorly trained instructors who do not have industry experience and who have outdated curricula and equipment at hand to train. Due to these challenges, it is difficult to deliver relevant quality training. On top of this, the training offer is often not adapted to the local or national social and economic realities.
Swisscontact builds capacities of stakeholders like the government, training providers, private sector associations and enterprises. Together, we design and implement relevant and tailored schemes for vocational education, including apprenticeships or dualised vocational education and training, and open opportunities for sustainable and relevant training offers.
A strong vocational education and training system is fundamental for a country, the private sector as well as its citizens. Improved and relevant vocational education and training:
Our project interventions cater to all young men and women who are about to enter the world of work. We implement projects that improve access to training and employment opportunities for a broad range of people, from secondary school and college or university graduates to school dropouts and other disadvantaged groups.
We put a particular emphasis on the engagement of the private sector in our activities and make sure that the private sector takes ownership and, where possible, even drives vocational training at all stages of the process.
We assume the role of a facilitator and capacity builder in all projects. We catalyse innovations and bring together the relevant actors of the vocational education system to embrace change and ownership for delivering better and more relevant services, which include higher employability and employment and self-employment outcomes.
Our vocational education projects contribute to the transformation of existing systems to be more responsive to market needs. We often start interventions locally together with our partners, including enterprises and associations, before scaling up and creating a sustainable system impact. Parallel, we are in close dialogue with the national stakeholders to build ownership and to align and anchor the interventions in the system. To improve the initial vocational education and training, we strengthen a large variety of services. As for examples we: