Vocational skills development – the gateway to the world of work

Quality vocational skills development that enables trainees to gain a foothold in the labour market and to find and keep jobs with decent working conditions can contribute to poverty reduction. The goal is economic development that benefits all. The SDC works with the public authorities and the private sector to develop training programmes tailored to the needs of the market.

Focus of the SDC's activities

The SDC supports a vocational skills development approach that can provide trainees with the skills they need to take part in the labour market and which gives them access to reasonably paid work. The idea is to enable them to acquire the professional skills to take part in the formal or informal labour market either as employees or self-employed workers.

The SDC wants to ensure that young trainees, once trained, can go on to find employment and contribute to productivity growth. The aim is to increase training opportunities and to ensure that all sections of the population – the poor and not so poor, women and men, and urban and rural residents – can benefit from them.

In order to ensure that training programmes are optimally tailored to the needs of trainees and the economy, the SDC makes every effort to involve both the public authorities and the private sector in the planning and implementation stages. The most promising training programmes comprise theoretical and practical instruction – like Switzerland’s dual vocational education and training system.

The SDC is working to improve vocational skills development opportunities, but also encourages the recognition of informal work experience and learning, including self-taught skills, which many professionals can bring to the table.

Depending on the circumstances and contexts, the SDC recommends including introductory modules for certain trades in compulsory school curricula. Career counselling services have proved useful in secondary schools. Ideally, vocational skills development should provide a bridge between basic education and the world of work. With this in mind, the SDC complements vocational skills development programmes with activities to strengthen the private sector and create jobs.

Background

In 2017, some 71 million young people of working age are unemployed. Nearly twice this number are living in poverty, often because they lack education and training and cannot find a decent job. Only 11% of young people in secondary education around the world are enrolled in vocational programmes.

There is a clear need to increase training opportunities to enable young people to prove their potential on the labour market. Vocational skills development, like basic education, is a fundamental condition for economic and social development. It is critically important for vocational skills development to build on high-quality basic education and, if necessary, to close existing knowledge gaps.

Quality vocational skills development only makes sense, however, if those who graduate from vocational skills development programmes find employment opportunities. According to the World Bank, 40 million new jobs are expected to be created annually to absorb the growing number of young people entering the labour market, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Providing a skilled workforce can boost business productivity and competitiveness, which has a positive effect on economic growth and job creation. Offering prospects to the vulnerable and meeting the aspirations of young people is essential to avoid wasting human and economic potential.

Testimonials from beneficiaries

People who have benefited from vocational training talk about their experiences.

Gender and skills development

The SDC integrates respect for gender equality in its projects and ensures that women have access to the job market.

Current Projects

Object 61 – 72 of 99

PROMISE: Poverty Reduction through Safe Migration, Skills Development and Enhanced Job Placement

01.11.2015 - 31.08.2021

Migration to Thailand has increasingly become a poverty reduction strategy for marginalized households. It gives a higher income to the individual and, through remittances supports their community of origin. However migrants are often exposed to precarious labour conditions. PROMISE promotes skills development and safe migration and improves thus the livelihoods of the migrants in Thailand and their communities of origin in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.


Opportunities For Youth Employment

01.07.2015 - 30.09.2019

SDC contributes to the existing project Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) implemented by SNV since September 2013, for its upscaling in Tanzania. OYE aims to improve the livelihoods of young women and men by developing and expanding their set of skills and by matching them with existing rural job markets and opportunities for self-employment in agri-business, renewable energy, sanitation and hygiene in 5 regions of the Central Corridor (CC). Co-funding donor of OYE besides SDC is the MasterCard Foundation.


Project completed

Contribution to Network for Policy Research, Review and Advice on Education and Training (NORRAG)

15.04.2015 - 14.04.2018

Being an international network, NORRAG allows policy dialogue between a diversity of actors. It provides just-in-time knowledge on international education and training policies (IETPs). It supports capacity development and evidence-based policy making, particularly in the Global South. The period of shaping the post MDGs/EFA agenda is crucial for recalling the importance of basic education and training. By covering these two themes, NORRAG is a strategic partner for SDC.


Skills Development in Uzbekistan

Apprentices standing in a park learn how to use a theodolite

01.03.2015 - 29.02.2020

The fourth Phase of the Skills Development Project (SDP) in Uzbekistan contributes to the improvement and further development of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system by introducing and strengthening the systemic approach to cooperation among stakeholders in the water sector within the cycle “Demand-Training-Job Placement”. The systemic approach to be followed in this Phase of SDP is going to serve as a blueprint for other sectors of the economy and be replicated accordingly.


Project completed

Terre des hommes Schweiz programme contribution South 2015 - 2016

01.01.2015 - 31.12.2016

Social participation of youth is an objective and at the same time a condition for sustainable development. Young people are often marginalized and lack economic and social perspectives. Youth unemployment worldwide has dramatically risen in the last years and youth, especially girls, are far more exposed to violence and HIV-Aids than adults. terre des hommes schweiz program empowers young people to identify and use opportunities of participation and to advocate within communities for their rights and interests.


Swisscontact programme contribution South 2015 - 2016

01.01.2015 - 31.12.2016

Swisscontact has the vision of making a sustainable, effective contribution towards the reduction of economic disparities in a globalised world that is growing more and more complex. Swisscontact's mission is the promotion of economic, social and ecological development, by assisting people to suc­cessfully integrate into local commercial life and by so doing open up opportunities for them to improve their living conditions as a result of their own efforts


Project completed

Improving access to services for Syrian refugees living in Mersin Province

15.12.2014 - 14.09.2015

Since the beginning of the crisis, Turkish authorities, with the support of the international community, have been providing comprehensive assistance to Syrians living in the camps. Assistance to those outside has been less comprehensive and more ad hoc. While the government has extended temporary protection to all Syrians in Turkey, allowing them in principle to access public services, the overall number of refugees has stretched national structures and capacities to the utmost. The government has to limit itself to focus on immediate material humanitarian needs, and is largely unable, on its own, to address issues of continuing services, including psycho-social support and integration as the refugee crisis becomes protracted. Beginning October 2014 IOM has therefore embarked on a partnership with a local NGO, the Syria Social Gathering (SSG), to facilitate Syrian refugee's access to services in Mersin province, contributing to their self-reliance and integration in Turkey. The framework for this partnership is SSG's multi-service centre that provides education, vocational training, psychosocial, legal and primary health services to Syrian refugees. IOM's partnership with SSG will strengthen the sustainability of SSG's multi-service centre in Mersin. At present, there are no other local or international organizations providing assistance to the Syrians living in Mersin. So the sustainability of SSG's activities in Mersin is paramount for Syrians in this province to have access to basic services and protection.


Swiss Support for the introduction of the Dual-track principles in Bulgaria Vocational Education system

01.12.2014 - 30.11.2019

This project pursues a sustainable Bulgarian system of professional school education in which vocational education is tightly linked to the demand of the business. It is a vision, in which vocational schools are generating competent, knowledgeable and highly qualified workforce, able to respond to the immediate needs of the labor market and where companies are seen as responsible partners to the educational institutions. Dual Vocational Education and Training System (DVETS) is considered as one of the operational tools and entry point for the accomplishment of this vision.


Enhanced Skills for Sustainable and Rewarding Employment (ENSSURE)(Main Credit)

01.08.2014 - 31.12.2019

In Nepal, 450,000 youths enter the labour market yearly but remain un- or underemployed. Through ENSSURE, 21’000 youths will increase their employability by attending company-based trainings such as apprenticeships and further training of workers, combined with off-the-job systematic courses[1].The strong collaboration between the Ministry of Education and industry associations will increase the skill level of workers; thus labor productivity and will lead  to more decent employment.

 

 

 

[1] Systematic courses could be: Pre-employment basics, day or block release for related trade theory, pre-assessment course, etc.

 

 

 


Skills Development Programme (SDP)

01.05.2014 - 30.06.2020

Skills development is a key driver for inclusive growth in Cambodia, but delivery is poor. Through the Skills Development Program (SDP), SDC supports the rural poor and disadvantaged youth in northern provinces to have better access to more gainful and decent employment and contributes to strengthening the TVET national regulatory framework for better inclusion, more effective deliv­ery and higher relevance of vocational skills to labour market needs. 


Project completed

Programa de Reduccion de Riesgo de Desastres -PRRD 4: Promoting culture of Resilience

18.03.2014 - 31.12.2018

Bolivia is one of the countries worldwide with highest risk from impact of climate change (CC). The latter affects the socio-economic development of the country and in particular rural vulnerable livelihoods. Disaster Risk Reduction is not properly developed in public policies although the Bolivian Government is keen to reduce the vulnerability. The SDC project intends to develop a lasting/sustainable culture of resilience among public sector with training of key agents of change and raising awareness among population.


Nepal Vocational Qualifications System (NVQS)

01.02.2014 - 15.07.2020

In Nepal, 500’000 youths enter the labour market yearly but remain un- or underemployed. The project will support the Ministry of Education to establish a National Vocational Qualifications Framework and a corresponding NVQ Authority to manage it. Learners and workers, especially from disadvantaged groups, will benefit from an improved vocational training qualification and skills certification system, thus increasing their chances for sustainable and decent employment.

Object 61 – 72 of 99