Human capital development in Albania: the role of vocational education and training

Albania is implementing various educational reforms aimed at improving the country’s human capital. In this process, Swisscontact is committed to a strong role of vocational education and training.

Human capital is a key factor to economic growth, sustainable development and competitiveness of a country. Only a small number of countries manage to use their citizens’ human capital at a satisfactory level (over 70%). In 2017, Albania ranked 85th out of 130 countries in the Global Human Capital Index conducted by the World Economic Forum. Issues in terms of this performance relate to

  • poor application of skills in the world of work, especially among young people,
  • availability of skilled workers in the labour market to accommodate the needs of the companies,
  • the mobility of skilled workers to the larger European markets.

Swisscontact is working in Albania to overcome these challenges. The ‘Skills for Jobs’ project is supporting the Albanian government and other stakeholders in their efforts to build an efficient Albanian Vocational Education and Training (VET) system, inspired by the Swiss model: In order for Albania to better nurture and further develop its human capital, it has to invest in improving the quality and relevance of what the education system is offering. Furthermore, it needs to increase the share of those who attend vocational education (vs. gymnasium) and offer opportunities for upskilling the many youngsters who have finished gymnasium and don’t pursue any further education.

To align the interests and efforts of many different stakeholders in the reform process of the employment and skills system, Swisscontact has established “Skills for Jobs” Academy, a platform for discussion and dialogue. Therefore, in September 2019, policy makers, academics, managers, teachers and instructors of VET providers, employers, students and parents met to develop a common understanding, alignment and commitment.

Labor market-oriented offer and demand-driven skills development were at the heart of the discussions during the Academy’s Summer School 2019 event. Building on the experience sharing and the expertise from various institutions, the Summer School fostered the reflection on how to make labor markets and skills policies more effective, efficient and sustainable through a continues and structured dialogue. It highlighted the importance of the quality and relevance of the offer for a functioning education system, within a holistic agenda and taking into consideration the institutional ramifications of a changing nature of work in a digital era.

The event only marked the beginning of a series of efforts that ‘Skills for Jobs’ project will undertake to promote quality and relevance of the VET system by facilitating an ever-growing collaboration between employers (focus on the companies), providers and policy-makers.

Click here to access the sessions and materials of “Skills for Jobs” Academy – Summer School 2019 event or watch the below videos.

 

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