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 119

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

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.


Project completed

Sustainable Artisanal Mining

A miner is drilling rock in search of gold

01.01.2015 - 31.12.2019

With the boom in the informal mining sector at the start of the 2000s, the Mongolian government, with support from the SDC, launched a project for sustainable artisanal mining in 2005. The project’s aim is to formalise and legalise these activities while developing the capacities of the miners.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Mongolia
Governance
Human rights
Mineral/mining policy
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)

01.01.2015 - 31.12.2019


CHF  6’342’889



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.


Project completed

Developing Skills for Better Employment

A student screwing a solar panel together.

15.12.2014 - 31.12.2020

Unequal access to employment and the mismatch between education and labour market requirements are among the reasons for the high youth-unemployment in Albania. The Vocational Education and Training (VET) system therefore is undergoing a reorientation in order to meet labour market needs. Through the Skills Development for Employment Programme Switzerland is supporting these reforms.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Albania
Vocational training
Employment & economic development
Human rights
Education
Vocational training
Employment creation
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)

15.12.2014 - 31.12.2020


CHF  3’000’000



Project completed

Expanding the vocational education and training system and teaching skills relevant to the labour market

01.11.2014 - 30.06.2019

The SDC is working to ensure that jobseekers and insufficiently skilled workers are taught skills relevant to the labour market within the formal and non-formal vocational education and training system in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The training is geared to the needs of the various economic sectors, so that workers can be deployed in a targeted manner.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Other
Vocational training
Education

Vocational training
Education policy
Advanced professional training

01.11.2014 - 30.06.2019


CHF  7’192’400



Private and public actors working together: pilot education project in Serbia

In a large room, five women sit one behind the other at sewing machines and sew.

01.10.2014 - 31.07.2022

 

The economic crisis weakened Serbia's competitiveness. Youth unemployment is relatively high and a large number of  young Serbians are looking for work but employers cannot find qualified workers. An SDC project is taking an integrative approach to address both problems.

 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Serbia
Employment & economic development

SME development
Employment creation

01.10.2014 - 31.07.2022


CHF  5’530’000



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

01.08.2014 - 15.07.2022

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.

 

 

 


Project completed

Public Private Partnership to Improved Sanitary Education in Ukraine

Two plumbers are cutting a pipe with a machine in a workshop.

01.07.2014 - 31.07.2018

This public-private partnership, developed in collaboration with the company Geberit, aims to improve vocational training in the field of sanitary technology in Ukraine, which will provide more employment opportunities for young plumbers. A new model will be developed to achieve this, based more on practical training and market needs, and will be tested in pilot schools before being rolled out across the country with support from the Ministry of Education.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ukraine
Water
Vocational training
Other
Education
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH) (til 2016)
Vocational training
Sector not specified

01.07.2014 - 31.07.2018


CHF  400’000



AfDB/AfDF: African Development Bank / African Development Fund – Core Contribution

01.05.2014 - 31.12.2023

The mandate of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Development Fund (AfDF) is to promote sustainable economic and social development in Africa by providing support for good governance and private sector development, infrastructure, higher education and vocational training. Switzerland has been supporting the AfDF since its foundation in 1972 and has been a member since 1982.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Africa
Other

Sector not specified

01.05.2014 - 31.12.2023


CHF  207’759’519



Project completed

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.

Object 61 – 72 of 119