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Vocational Skills Development Project (VSDP)

Myanmar is undergoing an important transition and the sweeping and far-reaching reforms that have taken place in recent years are transforming the political, economic, social, and human rights landscape. As part of this transformation, the country is opening up for international cooperation, trade, investment and tourism.

Regional integration through the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 will pave the way for further economic development, with the Myanmar government targeting annual GDP growth of 9.1% for the 2014-2015 period. One of the consequences arising from this rapid growth is an increasingly severe shortage of skilled and semi-skilled labour.

The Project

The Vocational Skills Development Program (VSDP) is financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). It is implemented in Myanmar by a consortium which is led by Swisscontact (the Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation) and includes the German company INBAS (Institute for Vocational Training, Labour Market and Social Policy).

The ongoing First Main Phase of the Program has three components:

The Hotel Training Initiative (HTI Component) facilitates the increase of skilled men and women in the hospitality industry. The HTI Component’s target is to train 3,000 persons with disadvantaged background in selected hospitality occupations in cooperation with hotels in Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay and Bagan as well as with the relevant industry associations of the sector. In addition to skills development courses the Component uses a cascading system of Training of Trainers (ToT) courses as well as activities that focus on assuring the financial self-sustainability of skills development in the Myanmar hospitality industry.

The Local Vocational Training (LVT Component) improves competencies of disadvantaged women and men in the South-East of Myanmar according to labour market demand. The LVT Component is being implemented in Mon State and Kayin State, where socio-economic development was delayed until recently by decades of conflict. Economic sectors and occupations have been identified that provide employment, self-employment and income for disadvantaged women and men. The LVT Component’s target is to train 3,000 of these persons in order to provide the needed vocational competencies and life skills. Local vocational practitioners attend Training of Trainers (ToT) courses, so that they have the competencies to deliver this training.

The NSSA Component complements these efforts by promoting the development of a credible system of skills testing and certification through support to the National Skills Standards Authority (NSSA), a government organisation under the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population (MOLIP). Activities include the provision of technical assistance in the development of relevant regulations and guidelines, facilitation of assessor training, test item development, a test item database and support in the establishment of regional NSSA structures in the South East (including equipment for regional NSSA offices). The component also provides a fund that allows training providers to acquire equipment needed for becoming assessment centres. All activities in this Component are closely aligned with the contributions of other Development Partners that support NSSA.


The Program's overall goal is: “Gainful and market demand-driven employment or self-employment and better income for disadvantaged women and men in targeted areas of Myanmar.”

Targeted outcomes of the programme:

  • A significant increase in skilled persons in the hospitality market is facilitated;
  • An industry-led system and financing of on-the-job training is set-up;
  • Disadvantaged women and men in targeted areas of the South East have improved competencies to address market demand in priority occupations;
  • Non-Formal TVET approaches upgraded, expanded and regulated in a provider-friendly way, on the basis of new legislation;
  • Skills testing and certification is available for an increasing number of men and women in line with the legislation.

Program Highlights

An important feature of the Program is that training activities are implemented in close cooperation with local training providers. These include training institutions (schools, colleges, private training centres etc.) but also companies (including hotels) that provide training expertise, on-the-job coaching, apprenticeships and employment. The predominant role of these enterprises is one of the strengths of the Program – experience with the Swiss and German "Dual System" of vocational education enables the Consortium to transfer best practice from Europe. This element assures that the training is practical, the related skills are relevant to the needs of employers and the participants find gainful employment or self-employment opportunities after the training.

Other important features of the Program are the focus on disadvantaged women and men and the intention to facilitate access to NSSA certification for the graduates.

Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.org