The Vocational Skills Development Program (VSDP) aims to improve the access of women and men from disadvantaged groups to quality vocational skills development (VSD) programs which results in employment or self-employment opportunities in the world of work.
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. In order to support its economy, 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 public-private partnerships in VSD are essential for implementing policies and skills development related initiatives that address existing labour market needs.
To tackle these challenges, VSDP contributes to improve the VSD system and to make it more inclusive and relevant in Myanmar. It works closely with the private and public sectors and targets learners in ways which ensure high relevance of training to labour market demands.
VSDP promotes employment and income opportunities through market-oriented vocational training and improved labour market access in partnership with over 150 private sector partners and related Government organisations.
To contribute to improved livelihood opportunities for women and men in targeted areas and occupations in Myanmar.
VSDP 1 was implemented from February 2014 to April 2018. Implementation of VSDP 2 started in May 2018 and will last until April 2022. Intervention Areas are:
Skills for semi-urban and rural areas
The Program targets learners from disadvantaged backgrounds in targeted areas and provides them with skills development opportunities in occupations of demand which include tailor, sales clerk, house wirer, beautician, mason, plumber and rural mechanic. It works in partnership with government ministries and training institutes for the implementation of short technical and life skills courses. Post-training support, such as counselling, employers’ days and job fairs is also provided by the Program to facilitate access to employment and self-employment opportunities.
In the same geographic areas, the Program also provides selected entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs with the opportunity to gain improved entrepreneurial skills.
Skills for Hospitality sector
In areas with high tourist numbers, the Program focuses on providing skills development in selected hospitality occupations. The Program strengthens the capacity of hotel supervisors at partner hotels to deliver training to line staff and learners from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Program is working with the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism (MoHT) to support its capacity for vocational skills development within Myanmar as well as its integration of hospitality professionals into ASEAN.
Dual Apprenticeship training
The Program implements dual apprenticeship training initially for cooks and agricultural machinery mechanics based on the Swiss dual training approach. Apprentices receive a wage from the companies and are trained for 18 months on- and off-the-job. The apprenticeship training integrates core and advanced technical skills, as well as other essential competencies, such as life skills. Additionally, the Program builds capacity of workplace supervisors at partner private sector companies and of the government officials in technical training schools.
Policy and stakeholder engagement
The Program provides technical support and inputs to government stakeholders on VSD related policies and implementation approaches. It also engages with public and private stakeholders in selected states and regions to encourage coordination on skills development activities, as well as to gather information on the local labour market to identify skills development priorities. The Program works directly with the National Skills Standards Authority (NSSA) to support the development and realisation of a national system for skills testing and certification.