Dual vocational education and training, a key instrument for development cooperation

Bern, Press release, 14.04.2016

Today in Lucerne, in order to enhance its work in vocational education and training – always a priority of Swiss aid – Switzerland, through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), created a donor committee with Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. The four countries will pool their expertise and support projects in developing countries to improve economic prospects for young people and enable them to access local labour markets.

The SDC has always worked in the area of promoting vocational education and training.
The SDC has always worked in the area of promoting vocational education and training. © DEZA

Developing countries are home to 90% of the global youth population, two thirds of which are underemployed. In Africa alone, 10 million young people enter the job market each year. By 2030, the international community has set itself the goal of achieving the promotion of "sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all" (no. 8 of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals). In many countries, however, a lack of skilled labour hampers economic development and the creation of jobs. 

Today in Lucerne, Switzerland is launching a donor committee to join forces with those of Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. The committee's objectives include strengthening the implementation of dual vocational education and training – in partner countries and at the international level – and improving the effectiveness of projects in this area. "The focus is on practical learning in the workplace and the role of the private sector in the management, implementation and financing of vocational training", said Thomas Greminger, deputy director of the SDC, at the founding ceremony. He went on to explain how the dual vocational education and training systems in place in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein are held up as models. "These German-speaking countries in particular are therefore receiving greater recognition because our system produces custom-fit and highly qualified young professionals". Today, many developing countries are embarking on reforms of their vocational training systems to ensure that the need of their young people to have work prospects is met.

The SDC has planned to contribute CHF 1.55 million to the activities of the committee and its secretariat, which will be responsible for project implementation, over a period of eight years until 2022. A network of experts in vocational education and training will be set up between the four partner countries, and include countries where Swiss, German, Austrian and Liechtenstein cooperation agencies are working.

The SDC has always worked in the area of promoting vocational education and training. It is not only committed to expanding access to vocational training courses, but also to improving the quality and relevance of training to the private sector. Swiss cooperation aims to ensure that technical education systems and vocational education and training are flexible in their operation, but also sustainable in their funding. Currently the SDC is supporting 30 projects in this area. In Myanmar, for example, more than 2,200 young Burmese have benefited to date from dual training that integrates theory and practice in the workplace in various sectors such as hairdressing, mechanical engineering and the hospitality sector.

Further information:

Basic education and vocational training
Project example: Quality apprenticeships for disadvantaged populations in Myanmar
Brochure: SDC engagement in vocational skills development
Video: Example Myanmar
Video: Ejemplo Myanmar (es)

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47
E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs