VSDP - Vocational Skills Development Programme

COVID-19 and the military coup had a negative impact on the availability of jobs, economic resilience and access to training in Myanmar. This last phase of the VSDP project aims to provide an alternative for women and youth to get relevant training and (self-) employment while supporting micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises to improve their income, contribute to learning and create jobs. The project builds on Switzerland’s strategic position and experience in the vocational training sector.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Employment & economic development
Vocational training
Employment creation
Vocational training
SME development
01.04.2023 - 31.07.2028
CHF  9’977’000
Background Myanmar's economy has suffered enormously since the covid pandemic and the military coup. 40% of the population live below the poverty line with more than a million people who lost their jobs. All this is happening in a context of conflict that also affects the education sector, preventing millions of children from accessing education. Engagement with the Ministries involved in Technical and Vocational Educational and Training is no longer possible as per Swiss/UN engagement principles. Nevertheless, after an intense reorientation exercise following the coup, the last phase of VSDP aims to provide an alternative for young people to get relevant training and (self-) employment while supporting micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises to improve their own income, contribute to learning through practical work and create jobs. Switzerland/SDC with Swisscontact has a comparative advantage thanks to our thematic expertise and knowledge of the Myanmar context after already 9 years of activity in this sector.

The overall goal is to contribute to better livelihood opportunities and increased economic resilience for women and men in target areas.

The geographic focus is southern Shan, the southeast (Mon & Kayin) and Yangon.

Selected sectors: Agriculture, traditional textiles and infrastructure maintenance were selected for their economic potential and resilience in the current context.

Target groups

-    15’000 direct beneficiaries (with minimum 50% women), such as agricultural workers (in particular women and youth); MSMEs (in particular women-owned), women artisans, single mothers, women with disabilities, women who lost jobs in the ready-made garment sector, domestic migrant workers, IDPs, people whose education was disrupted due to the coup.

-    50’000 indirect beneficiaries.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1)    Women and men have relevant skills to find employment or self employment.

Outcome 2)    Micro-, Small and Medium Enterprises are more resilient and able to generate and safeguard employment opportunities.

Outcome 3)    Key stakeholders collaborate to contribute to more resilient local labor markets, employment numbers and economies.


Expected results:  

Output 1.1)    Skills of unemployed and working people in selected labour markets are strengthened.

Output 1.2)    Employment Support Services are strengthened.

Output 2.1)    Linkages of MSMEs to finance and Business Development Services are established.

Output 3.1)    Collaboration and learning spaces are established and functional.

Results from previous phases:  

-    9’000 people have been trained and around 22’500 indirectly benefited people;

-    64% of graduates found a job and 59% improved their income, yet only 44% of women graduates. Specific support to women graduates is thus needed to improve their employability and income;

-    Support to the demand side is also required to improve the employment results; 

-    Partnering with private training providers has proved to be a more sustainable way of delivering vocational training while keeping a lower profile. 

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • Swisscontact

Other partners
Mandate implemented by the consortium Swisscontact / INBAS 
Coordination with other projects and actors

The project will especially coordinate with the portfolio under Skills & Market Development Domain (FOSTER, LIFT, Biotrade Project), but will also have links with the Humanitarian Direct Action.

The project does not provide technical or direct financial assistance to government bodies, but will have to sign two Memoranda of Understanding to be able to implement its activities.

Swisscontact will coordinate with other projects in the TVET sectors such as the ones implemented by LIFT, GIZ, the EU and NORAD.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    9’977’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    4’369’340 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF   42’339’000 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   52’316’000
Project phases Phase 3 01.04.2023 - 31.07.2028   (Current phase) Phase 2 01.05.2018 - 31.03.2023   (Completed) Phase 1 01.12.2013 - 30.04.2018   (Completed)