Vocational Skills Development Project

The project provides skills development opportunities to learners from disadvantaged background to enhance employment and self-employment opportunities and establishes access for MSMEs to finance, advisory and business development services to improve their overall business performance and to become more resilient. 
Mawalamyine, Myanmar
yangon, myanmar
Project duration
2014 - 2027
Financed by
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC

The significant lack of an appropriately skilled workforce in Myanmar, particularly for vocational occupations, is seen as a major factor restraining the economy’s potential for growth. Myanmar needs a committed, experienced and skilled workforce. To achieve this, there is a need to improve the quality, access and relevance of vocational skills development (VSD), especially for those with limited education and economic opportunities. Strengthened collaboration and engagement with different stakeholders in VSD are essential for implementing skills development related initiatives that address existing labour market needs.

The Project

The Program provides skills development opportunities to learners from disadvantaged background and integrates employment support services (ESS) as part of the training delivery or post-training support to enhance employment and self-employment opportunities. Access to finance, advisory and business development services will be established for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to improve their overall business performance and support of mentoring and coaching will be provided for them to become more resilient.

The Program is comprised of three components:

  • Agriculture
  • Traditional Textiles
  • and Infrastructure maintenance.

Swisscontact is working closely with private training providers, non-governmental partners and companies to ensure they have the capacity to provide effective training and support to learners and MSMEs in targeted areas.

Project Partner

INVOLAS (Institute for Vocational Education and Training, Labour Market and Social Policy)

Project Goals

  1. Vocational Skills Development (VSD) in key labour markets (semi-urban and rural areas)
    The Program targets learners from disadvantaged backgrounds in targeted areas and provides them with skills development opportunities in demand-driven occupations under the components of Agriculture, Traditional Textile, and Infrastructure Maintenance. It works with established CSOs or private training providers to implement training, assessment, and certification.
  2. Employment Support Service (ESS)
    With the aim to increase chances of employment after training completion, employment support services (ESS) are integrated as part of the training delivery or as post-training support. During the training, soft skills and entrepreneurial skills are woven into trainings enabling learners to become better at presenting themselves to potentials employers, writing applications or CVs and/or to incentivize some learners to start their own business. ESS activities include finding work-based learning opportunities, organizing job fairs where local businesses present themselves to prospective workers, job matching service or linking graduates with vacancies in enterprises. The Program works with partners in the provision of employer support service.
  3. Business development services for MSMEs
    To address the skills challenges of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and strengthen their overall business performance, the Program provides support to the MSMEs in finding access to services for finance, advisory and other business development services (e.g. market access). The Program works with private service providers to create access and establish linkages between MSMEs and finance and business development services.
  4. Coordination and Learning
    Private sector, civil society stakeholders and development partners are brought together with the aim to establish alliance beyond the project silos and to enhance collaboration and learning in the selected labour markets and economy. Joint learning on specific topics and joint interventions are undertaken through this collaboration and learning spaces.


Expected Results Phase 3 (2023 - 2027):

  • 15,000 women and men from disadvantaged backgrounds are empowered and benefit from improved livelihood opportunities.
  • Partner training providers (private training centres and CSOs) have the capacity to effectively manage and deliver market-relevant vocational trainings in target areas.
  • MSMEs are engaged in vocational skills training and safeguard employment.
  • Private sectors companies implement work-based training.
  • Labour market-relevant occupational standards, curricula and training materials are available for targeted occupational profiles in Agriculture, Traditional Textiles, and Infrastructure Maintenance.
  • Stakeholders are engaged in vocational skills training and adopt or adapt key documents or recommendations from VSDP into their training.


Swisscontact Promotes Inclusive Economic Development
The Vocational Skills Development Program (VSDP) aims to improve livelihood opportunities for women and men from disadvantaged backgrounds in targeted areas and occupations in Myanmar.
Pa-O Ethnic Affairs Minister shares her perspective on partnering with the VSDP
Pa-O, Ethnic Affairs Minister, Daw San Wint Khine, reflects on her journey partnering with Swisscontact and how it led to local, regional and institutional impacts.
A Day in the life of a VSDP Graduate (Sales clerk)
In this video, Nan Kay Kay Kyaw talks about how she pursued her ambition to become a sales clerk after she received VSDP skills training.
Introduction to the National Skills Standards Authority
The National Skills Standards Authority NSSA helps to bring together the needs of jobseekers and employers.
Swisscontact Report: Apprenticeship in Asia
The report looks at existing apprenticeships systems in select Asian countries with varying contexts and highlights what the success factors of creating these systems are.


Initial vocational education and training
Ensuring equal participation of women and men in vocational skills development
The Vocational Skills Development Programme in Myamar implements various measures to ensure that women and men from disadvantaged groups have equal access to training opportunities.
Sustainable tourism
Cooking in quarantine: 
VSDP Cook apprentices learn valuable skills 
Cook apprentices of the Vocational Skills Development Program (VSDP) in Myanmar have shown that even in the face of extreme adversity there lies opportunity. Whilst thousands of jobs have been lost and every economic sector affected by the COVID-19 virus, the tourism and hospitality sector has arguably been the worst hit. Hotels, bars and restaurants have been forced to close and as a result thousands of people have lost their jobs.
VSDP Supports COVID-19 Response in Kayin and Mon States
COVID-19 response programs and quarantine centres, especially those targeting semi-urban and rural communities in Myanmar, where the majority of vulnerable segments of society reside, need support to continue their preventive and curative measures in response to the virus.