What We Do
‘Skills for Jobs’ (S4J) is a project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), implemented in Albania by Swisscontact. The project supports 10 Vocational Education and Training institutions (VET) to:
- Establish close relations with the private sector companies and other partners;
- Improve market-oriented curricula;
- Apply new learning methods and quality standards;
- Implement apprenticeships in businesses;
- Develop and strengthen the institution, by building mechanisms for efficient management.
S4J is in its second phase, which started in April 2019 and will last until June 2023. At present, the project is supporting 5571 students and 779 trainees; 32% of the students and 26% of the VET schools in Albania!
The main goal of ‘Skills for Jobs’ (S4J) project is to offer young people in Albania the best vocational education and training. Better skills will help young people to get a job that they love and that pays them well.
Public and Private Universities
Results to Date
5571 students benefit from the S4J project
(31% of all VET students in Albania)
More female students in VET
For the academic year 2019-2020, 21% of the students enrolled in partner institutions were female.
More graduates are getting employed
One year after graduation, 48% of graduates in 2018 were employed compared to 33% in 2016.
Salaries higher than the national average salary for the graduates landing their first job
More graduates are getting paid 50,000 ALL or more, from 5% in 2017 to 21% in 2018 (national average salary in 2019 = 43,604 ALL net).
Lower dropout rate
During the 2018-2019 academic year, the dropout rate decreased to 9.3% (target 10%). This was achieved through counseling, individualized lesson plans, improved school culture and stronger collaboration between school and parents.
629 companies signed Memorandums of Understanding with project’s partner institutions.
Out of these, 577 provide vocational apprenticeships for 1874 students. Some of these companies, among the best in the country, co-finance the VET; participate in the VET network as well as in curricula development.
Career guidance is offered in 7 partner institutions
Consolidation of services such as career centers, work-based learning schemes, on-demand short-term courses, personalized development plans and graduate’s tracer system.
Intensification of the dialogue between VET providers and companies
16 local dialogue roundtables with businesses in the regions of Berat, Lezha, Shkodra and Vlora. 154 business representatives from 8 industries contributed for a better understanding of the needs for skills in the regional labor markets.
Better labor market-oriented offer
Considering the needs for skills in the labor market, for the academic year 2019-2020 partner providers have included in their curriculum 1 new direction and 12 new profiles.
The virtual learning platform and the platform for institution management as well as investments in ICT equipment, with improved features for learning and entertainment.
Support during distance learning
During the period of social distancing imposed by COVID-19, partner and non-partner institutions were supported in enriching materials on MësoVET platform and how to use the platform. They were also supported with teacher trainings for the distance learning process and for the development of digital materials by the means of more than 50 webinars. The number of the users of the platform was multiplied reaching 4339 users, among them 417 trained teachers.
Teachers trained by the industry
Trainings for: development of digital teaching materials, electric vehicles, tour guides, insurance, Smart Home, CISCO courses, digital marketing, Alfaweb, annual planning, video pedagogy, website maintenance, etc.
More efficient educational plans
Trainings were provided to 24 teachers from 9 partner institutions on the ‘best practices’ and ‘criteria for annual educational planning’. During the training, criteria lists for the assessment of the plans were also developed and 1230 annual plans were revised.
Better and strategic management of schools
All partner providers developed their strategic plans and annual action plans, based on the strategic priorities. The goal: to strengthen the institutions, to align their priorities with those of the project and the National Employment Service and, to improve the monitoring and assessment system.
Consolidated Development Units
Partner institutions selected their coordinators for each of the functions of the Development Unit and were supported by S4J for the consolidation of these functions.
The project’s partner institutions carry out a series of promotional activities throughout the year as part of the Institutional Marketing efforts, including the ‘Apprenticeships Week’.
DR. ERKA ÇARO
Deputy Project Manager Line Manager for New Ways of Learning
Line Manager for Work Based Learning
DR. SIDITA DIBRA
Line Manager for Organisational Development
Line Manager for Diversification of Offer
Line Manager for Business Relations
Monitoring and Results Measurement Expert
Project Executive Assistant
PR & Communications Officer
Account Manager for Shkodra and Lezha
Account Manager for Tirana and Elbasan
Senior Administration Officer
Senior Finance Officer
Finance and Administration Expert
Head of Logistics & IT Assistant
Logistics & Driver
Swisscontact is an independent, business-oriented Swiss organization aiming international development cooperation. Represented in 36 countries, with 123 projects and over 1100 employees, it has been promoting economic, social and environmental development since 1959.
Vocational Education and Training (VET) is secondary education aiming to develop students’ skills through combining vocational theoretical subjects and practice, preparing youngsters for employment after graduation. After graduating from VET secondary education, they can also pursue higher education.
Vocational Education and Training in Albania is supported by state institutions as well as foreign organizations and projects. The Ministry of Finance and Economy is the ministry responsible for VET, while the responsible agencies are the National Agency for Employment and Skills (NAES) and the National Agency of Vocational Education, Training and Qualifications (NAVETQ). VET in Albania is also supported by the Swiss, Austrian and German governments.
At present, there are 18,192 students enrolled in the VET institutions in Albania.
- Vocational education develops youngsters’ skills through the combination of vocational theoretical subjects and practice.
- Students attain their practical skills by being assisted and guided at every step by field experts.
- From an early age, youngsters have access to the labor market and learn from the experience of the most successful business representatives.
- Apprenticeships create opportunities for suitable and well-paid employment and possibilities for promotion in managerial positions.
- Youngsters discover their passions while working in practice and make more suitable career choices.
- Youngsters are quickly employed and self-employed in profiles that match their skills and education.
- They get prepared, in theory and practice, for pursuing higher education.
- The demand for qualified professionals from different industries is continuously increasing.
- Modernization and digitalization of the economy needs young professionals with practical experience.
- Vocational education in Albania is supported by countries such as Switzerland, Germany and Austria. These countries have extensively chosen vocational education for attaining professional and life skills
VET institutions which are partners of the S4J project have an extensive network of partner companies, some of the best in the region, which provide long-term apprenticeships for students. Based on the apprenticeship model developed by S4J, students receive career guidance by both school and business instructors, to help them understand their skills and flairs as well as which educational directions and job positions are best fitted for them. Students are also guided throughout the apprenticeship application process. During the Apprenticeship Fair organized by the school they get to know different businesses and have interviews. Once the parent, school and company sign a cooperation agreement, the student can start his apprenticeship in the company.
Partner institutions of the ‘Skills for Jobs’ project have been supported by the project with the necessary infrastructure and technology for learning that combines face-to-face learning with online learning. Blended learning classrooms and infoteques (computer-equipped rooms) have been set up in several schools, where students can work on their online projects. MësoVET platform, developed by the project, makes distance learning possible and is frequently enhanced with digital learning materials. During the period of physical distancing imposed by COVID-19, the use of the platform increased by multiple times and it was also used by other VET institutions in Albania who are not partners of the S4J.
- Developing a business mindset in partner Vocational Education and Training institutions by intensifying their collaboration with the private sector and other partners;
- Adoption of the apprenticeship model by partner providers, as a model with countless benefits for the students, companies and VET institutions;
- Improving and modernizing the learning process by integrating technology and new ways of learning, teachers training provided by industry front-runners and the integration of the process of assessment and monitoring of education plans;
- Institutional development by establishing and consolidating the Development Unit as well as through strategic planning, management and self-assessment process in partner institutions.