Public Private Partnership to Improved Professional Education in Ukraine 

Due to the war's impact and technological advancements, Ukraine faces a shortage of skilled labor across sectors, causing concern among companies. Employers are ready to provide competitive wages and modern resources but face challenges due to stereotypes about vocational school graduates. In response, the government has initiated vocational education reforms, emphasizing decentralized vocational education and training to align skills with local economic needs. The Ministry of Education and Science collaborates with businesses and organizations to enhance professional training quality, attract additional resources, and modernize education.
kiew, ukraine
Project duration
2020 - 2027
Financed by
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC
  • Geberit
  • Sika

The project

The “Public Private Partnership to Improved Professional Education” is a project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in partnership with Geberit Trading LLC, Sika Ukraine LLC implemented by Swisscontact with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.

The overall objective of the project is to create better employment and income opportunities for construction professionals graduating from Ukrainian VET schools. It promotes VET as a worldwide competitive career choice, by introducing international industry standards and close collaboration with businesses in the framework of the dual VET system. 

The project facilitates the transformation of 29 local VET schools across Ukraine towards active skills development and labor market actors, by improving their education and training programs, establishing sustainable practices for better school management, and building long-term partnerships with private sector companies. A better environment for VET means better skilled graduates, leading to more and better jobs and an increased income  

The project supports schools with capacity building activities for teachers and school staff, in-school investments, the establishment of sustainable support systems and business platform, etc. Under the project’s support, VET providers are capacitated to undertake activities on their own, thus ensuring the sustainability.  

Project Goals (2020 - 2023)

  1. Strengthening training institutes and training young adults in plumbing:
    Making plumbing education internationally competitive, introducing New Ways of Learning and applying international industry standards. Swisscontact helps local training institutions to upgrade their training curricula and teaching methodologies, as well as to structure their management more efficiently while fostering active exchange with local and national plumbing experts.
  2. Promoting private sector engagement in VET:
    The project aims at bringing businesses into schools and schools into businesses, by establishing long-term apprenticeships and committed businesses, assuring a truly dual learning approach that meets the needs of businesses.
  3. Market development for local skilled plumbers:
    Raising the employability of (former) VET-students in plumbing and jobseekers by making (life-long) learning relevant and attractive and by extending career guidance.

Project Goals (2023 - 2027)

The primary goal of the Project is to develop the vocational education system in construction professions with the support of the private sector. This will enable young people and adults, including war veterans, internally displaced persons, and Ukrainians returning from abroad, to acquire skills tailored to the needs of the labor market and earn more money. The project aims to provide women and men with equal access to professional training in the construction sector.

Students will receive training in six different professions at 29 vocational education institutions in Ukraine, including plumbers, facade insulators, welders, electricians, tilers, and concrete workers.

  • VET system recovery in line with the economic and labour market needs.
  • Ensuring that the content and quality of VET are in line with the modern needs of the labor market.
  • VET is a prestigious and popular educational trajectory.
  • Granting of real financial autonomy to VET institutions.

Project partner

Expected Outcomes

  1. Women and men have access to a performing, labour market-oriented education and training offer in the construction sector.
  2. The private sector takes responsibility in the definition, provision and financing of VET in the construction sector at the provider level.

Planned Intervention Areas - Skills for Recovery

  • Diversification of offer: innovative curricula design and implementation, including recognition of prior learnings RPL, upskilling and retraining of adults
  • New ways of Learning: enabling infrastructure, learning materials and teacher trainings
  • Private Sector Engagement: strengthening business relations on provider level, high-quality work-based learning, strengthening the platform for business participation in VET governance
  • Organisational Development: VET school management, image campaign for VET (heroes of reconstruction), labour market insertion measures (such as career orientation and guidance, support for self-employment)



Main achievements of Phase 2 (2020 - 2023)

  • A total of 2444 students enrolled in the plumbing professions, including 18 females. Since project start, more than 3400 plumbing students have benefitted from Improved Plumbing Education. The number of females has increased from 0 in Phase 1 to 18 in Phase 2.
  • To  support e-learning in VET schools, the EdUP project has developed 4 interactive textbooks “Pipes &  Fittings”, “Heating”, “Water Supply”, and “Water Sewage” in the form of mobile applications to be used by students, experts, and the public. Private sector companies contributed their video tutorials and provided expert support. The applications are available for free.
  • The Academy of Directors, offering advanced training for VET school managers resulted in the development of 19 business plans for VET schools to meet the new challenges of future recovery.
  • In 2021 and 2023 a plumbing skills competition for students attracted more than 280 participants from 22 VET schools all over Ukraine. The contest became a strong motivation for freshmen to learn and choose plumbing as their professional path.
  • Twice a year, teachers and masters of industrial training updated their knowledge of modern technologies at the Innovation in Modern Plumbing Education Conference series. In total, 4 events were held equaling 13 training days and attracting 18 companies as speakers and presenters. In total, 80+ teachers benefited from such upskilling.
  • As a crisis response, the project adapted its activities and directed efforts to support VET schools. Since the start of the war, all 25 VET schools received consumables for the education process, while 10 VET schools hosting IDPs received additional sanitary installations and consumables. In total, 700+ IDPs benefited from this support.    

Similar projects in other countries

Initial vocational education and training, Sustainable tourism
Skills for Jobs (S4J)
‘Skills for Jobs’ (S4J) is a project mandated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Swisscontact Albania. It is part of the Economic Development Domain of the Swiss Cooperation Strategy for Albania (2018-2021), with specific focus on promotion of employment opportunities and skills development.


Upskilling and Reskilling
"Empowering Educators: EdUP's Conferences on Modern Tiling and Electrical Technologies Forge Pathways for Future Professionals"
On May 21-22, 2024, the EdUP project held two educational-practical conferences, "Modern Technologies in Tiling" and "Modern Technologies in Electricity. The events, supported by the League of Masters, aimed to enhance the qualifications of vocational education teachers so they can prepare graduates who are competitive and meet the demands of modern employers. 
Initial vocational education and training
A Solid Foundation: Promoting Vocational Education in the Ukrainian Construction Sector
Since March 2020, Swisscontact has been supporting the construction sector in Ukraine, in order to train qualified technicians. EdUP (Public-Private Partnership to Improved Professional Education in Ukraine) is designed to align the private-sector led vocational education system to the needs of the labour market, upgrading the training of tradespeople in the construction industry to meet EU standards.
Upskilling and Reskilling
The EdUP project expands to include the new infrastructure component
The “Public-Private Partnership to Improved Vocational Education in Ukraine” (EdUP) at its recent Steering Committee presented a comprehensive report detailing the progress of the project for the period of November 2023 to April 2024. The report, introduced by the Project Manager, Sonja Loosli, was discussed at length and subsequently approved.