Skills for Jobs (S4J)

Skills for Jobs (S4J) is a project of Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) and is implemented by Swisscontact. The project is part of the Economic Development and Employment Domain of the Swiss Cooperation and Strategy for Albania, with specific focus on employability. The main goal of ‘Skills for Jobs’ (S4J) project is to offer young people in Albania the best vocational education and training.
Project duration
2019 - 2023
Financed by
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC

The project

‘Skills for Jobs’ (S4J) was designed to address main Vocational Education and Training (VET) challenges, such as: low quality and status, insufficient financing, weak labour market orientation, and poor private sector engagement. Moreover, there has long been a traditional schooling system with lack of digital and interactive teaching materials, limited digital and pedagogical skills, no virtual learning environment and lack of infrastructure. Thus, the Albanian VET system struggles in meeting market demands for professional skills and in adopting technological innovations.

The project focuses on ensuring systemic change, capacity development and empowerment of key actors. Based on this approach, S4J Phase II supports partner VET providers in Albania in terms of:

  • Employers’ and partners relations,
  • Diversification of VET offer,
  • New ways of inclusive and learning and quality,
  • Work-based learning in cooperation with employers, and
  • Organisational development.

Work-based learning, the use of technology in the classroom, blended and individualized learning, making the VET offer relevant for students, trainings on industry standards and the application of a business mindset in in the management of VET institutions are at the core of ‘Skills for Jobs’ (S4J) implementation.

Ten providers in six selected regions benefit from the project:

During the second phase, two more VET providers will join the project (in the third year). More public providers will benefit from the initiatives that the project has piloted in partner schools during the first phase. The project will focus on creating better training and employment opportunities for Albanian women and men, including special needs groups. 

Project partner

  • Ministry of Finance and Economy

Expected Results

  • Improved quality and relevance of the vocational skills development (VSD) so more young women and men are adequately trained for the labour market.
  • Increased participation of the private sector – in quantity and quality – in designing and delivering VSD in selected economy sectors in selected regions of Albania.
  • Facilitated matching between demand and supply in the labour market, focusing on young people.


Initial vocational education and training
Innovations in vocational education
What accounts for innovation in vocational education? - Prof. Dr Dieter Euler, Professor Emeritus of Educational Management and Business Education at the University of St.Gallen, Fation Dragoshi and Dr Erka Çaro of the Skills for Jobs project in Albania have taken the surprising answer of ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot, as a starting point to develop an understanding of what innovation in Vocational Education and Training means. To this end, they have put forward four theses.
Initial vocational education and training
First steps towards digitalization of VET system in Albania
“Skills for Jobs” (S4J) project hosted the roundtable “Achievement and challenges: VET during and after the pandemic” on the 6th of December 2021 to kick off the discussion on the digitalization of VET system in Albania.
Initial vocational education and training
“Girls Club” – A New Space of Freedom and Empowerment in Albanian Vocational Schools
Being a teenage girl can be hard. And studying in a vocational school complicates matters more, because you need many life and professional skills to navigate both learning in the class and at the company. In addition to curricular activities designed to help students grow into functioning and confident adults, studies show that initiatives such as “Girls Clubs” can be useful to empower girls in vocational schools. That’s why, Skills for Jobs (S4J) is supporting the establishment of such space starting in the technical school “Gjergj Canco” in Tirana, where there are currently only 17 girls and more than 800 boys.